‘We are hungry, we want our land back’: Expropriation without compensation officially back on Parliament’s agenda

DearSA land expropriation

Amending Section 25 of the Constitution is officially before Parliament again after the National Assembly passed a motion on Thursday to establish an ad hoc committee to draft an amendment to allow expropriation without compensation.

In the debate on the motion, the old fault lines between parties who supported amending the Constitution and those who did not, have emerged yet again. The DA, IFP, FF Plus and ACDP opposed the motion.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina brought the motion, which noted the fifth Parliament adopted a report by the constitutional review committee (CRC) recommending the Constitution should be amended so section 25 makes “explicit that which is implicit in the Constitution, with regards to expropriation of land without compensation, as a legitimate option for land reform, so as to address the historic wrongs caused by the arbitrary dispossession of land, and in so doing ensure equitable access to land and further empower the majority of South Africans to be productive participants in ownership, food security and agricultural reform programmes”.

She also noted an ad hoc committee was established for this purpose by the fifth Parliament, but it had not completed its task before Parliament was dissolved before the May general elections. The committee recommended that the matter should be concluded by the sixth Parliament.

We are hungry, we want our land back”

“We must complete this. We are hungry, we want our land back,” Majodina said after introducing the motion, to applause from the ANC and EFF.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said it was a “smokescreen for the government’s failure with land reform over the past two decades”. He added the CRC process was “legally, procedurally and constitutionally flawed”.

“What this motion is, it is the greatest hoax perpetrated on the people of South Africa,” Steenhuisen said.

EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi said an amendment to section 25 would “reflect the pain where we come from as black people”.

She added in its current form, section 25 “draws a moral equivalence between the dispossessed and the dispossessors”.

“It makes the settler equal to the dispossessed,” Mkhaliphi said.

She added the EFF would ensure the ANC does not introduce “artificial amendments” and that the land was returned to its “rightful owners, which is the black people”.

IFP MP Elphas Buthelezi said there needed to be justification for amending the Constitution.

“The Constitution has not failed our people, it is the policies of this government that failed our people,” he added.

‘The EFF is more honest than the ANC’

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said while the ANC said they wanted expropriation without compensation with strict preconditions, the EFF was more honest.

“The EFF is more honest than the ANC. For them, it is an ideological issue because they say they want the land.”

He said sometimes it was difficult to tell whether the EFF and ANC were fighting, or in love.

Groenewald added the motion should have been named the “motion to destroy the economy and the future of South Africa”.

ACDP MP Steve Swart noted that the experts, who made presentations to the previous ad hoc committee, advised to tread carefully in amending the Constitution.

GOOD MP Shaun August said section 25 in its current form made provision for expropriation.

“Public land must be used for public good,” he added.

NFP MP Munzoor Shaik-Emam said while his party supported an amendment, it should be done in a way that does not disadvantage anyone.

“Two wrongs do not make a right,” he added.

ANC MP Mathole Motshekga said South Africa’s original sin was the violent dispossession of the Khoi and San people, and that the 1913 Land Act had consolidated the dispossession of the Khoi, San and black African people, which “degraded and dehumanised our people”.

Before voting, ANC MPs started singing, with EFF MPs joining in.

The motion was passed with 189 votes to 67, with no abstentions.

The new ad hoc committee will consider work and recommendations in the reports of the constitutional review committee and the previous ad hoc committee on the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution.

It will have 11 voting members, six from the ANC, two from the DA, one from the EFF and two from the other parties.

There will also be 11 non-voting members, two from the ANC, one from the DA, one from the EFF, and 10 from the other parties.

The deadline for the committee to report back to the National Assembly is March 31, 2020.

The ANC indicated earlier that it would nominate Motshekga as chairperson of the committee. Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza was the chairperson of the fifth Parliament’s ad hoc committee.

Article from News 24

Eskom bail out: From 600 trains to free higher education, here’s what R59bn could have bought

Eskom will be receiving a further R59bn from Treasury over the next two years to stay afloat, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Tuesday.

This lifeline comes on top of the R23bn annual inunction to the cash strapped power utility announced in February. The special appropriation bill will give Eskom R26bn in the 2019/2020 financial year with a further R33bn, the following year. Eskom’s precarious financial state threatens to swamp the country with close to R500bn in debt.

The power utility’s chairperson Jabu Mabuza who took office in 2018 described it as the “main theatre where corruption and state capture was taking place”. During Mboweni’s address on Tuesday, he too had some choice words about Eskom and other struggling state-owned enterprises.

But just how much is R59bn? Here’s what it could have bought:

1. 600 new trains 

The Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) signed a contract with newly formed consortium Gibela in 2013 to modernise its outdated rolling stock with 600 new trains, 580 to be produced in SA and 20 in Brazil. The price tag was R59bn including VAT and excluding inflation. This is not to be confused with the controversial Swifambo contract which landed a R3.5bn contract to deliver “too tall” trains.

2. Social and housing grants for one month (with some change)

Mboweni increased the budget for social and housing grants to R567bn in February. More than 17 million of the most vulnerable South Africans rely on these monthly pay-outs for their pensions, child support and disability allowances. The monthly bill for government comes to R47bn.

3. 56 state of the art schools

Menzi Primary School in Tsakane informal settlement east of Johannesburg was officially opened by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in January, having cost R105m to build. The school has room for just over 1000 learners from Grade R to Grade 7. It has 33 smart classrooms, two science laboratories, a library, IT control rooms, a nutrition centre, a dining hall, five courtyards, sports facilities and a school hall.

4. Free higher education for three years

In February 2018, then-finance minister Malusi Gigaba added R57bn for the next three years, to fund university students who come from households earning less than R350 000 per year. This followed widespread protests against the high costs of tertiary education in 2015 and 2016 and several campuses shut their doors for weeks. Zuma announced free higher education in a surprise move, in December 2017, ahead of the ANC’s pivotal conference.

5. Almost 2X eToll debt

The issue has divided the ANC and has caused widespread unhappiness among South Africans. National Treasury told the National Council of Provinces earlier this year that scrapping eTolls will cost the state R11.2bn in unguaranteed debt, on top of the current R19bn in guaranteed debt.

Bonus: 23 Nkandlas

Containing a fire pool, a chicken run and upgrades to a tuckshop, the hefty price tag for security upgrades to former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead came to R246m. Following a damning report by then public protector Thuli Madonsela in 2014 and various legal battles, he took out a second home loan in 2016 to repay R7.8m to the public purse.

4 Ways Expropriation Without Compensation Will Affect You

Article from the Rational Standard
By:Nicholas Woode-Smith

Expropriation without compensation (EWC) isn’t an abstract threat, always too far away to matter and only affecting the people you don’t care about. It is very, and most unfortunately, real and present.

With Parliament agreeing to review section 25 of the Constitution, we aren’t yet facing expropriation without compensation, but we are faced with the fact that our legislators are at least predisposed towards eliminating private property rights in South Africa. If or when section 25 is amended, the government will be allowed to seize private property without giving any compensation or being required to negotiate with the victims.

But even without amending the Constitution, plans have already been revealed of how the ANC will proceed with mass land-theft.

This disastrous policy has been pushed forward by the African National Congress (ANC), backed by the ANC-in-exile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). This is not just some idle support of a controversial policy, however. At the risk of sounding alarmist – you should be alarmed – the policy of expropriation without compensation is socially, politically and economically disastrous.

Yet, so many South Africans are apathetic. At best, they talk about expropriation without compensation in detached whispers, as if discussing Crimea. It isn’t something that one wants to acknowledge as happening to them. In fact, a lot of people, including land owners, have denied the threat of expropriation without compensation, thinking that it will only affect rural white farmers.

But society ripples. It won’t just affect white farmers. This policy will have dire consequences for all of South Africa. The following, to drive home the severity of EWC, are just a few:

1. Food prices will rise, if food doesn’t just run out

Many in the EFF and ANC have this romantic notion around small-scale, peasant style farming. A big part of the campaign to pass EWC is to, allegedly, redistribute farmland to create jobs for black people who were oppressed during Apartheid. EWC, they argue, is the fast-track to effective land reform that will bolster the wealth of the previously impoverished.

Yet, small-scale farming and even large-scale farming is not the path to prosperity. It is more often a money-sink, hardly seeing profits for decades. Farming is a skill and capital-intensive industry. Take it away from the current farmers, and you are left with farmers without the skill or capital to keep it going. And this isn’t racism. If a non-farming white person was given a farm, they would fail just as much as a non-farming black person.

We shouldn’t be playing around with food security. Already South Africa’s farming industry has suffered under threats of EWC and ever-increasing farm attacks. This is not something you merely read about in the news.

When farmers suffer, when the next harvest is uncertain, when the entire livelihoods and properties of the food producer is under threat, food security suffers. And at best, the price of food rises to exorbitant amounts, or we become completely reliant on foreign imports (which the government likes to restrict and heavily tax, making it expensive again). And at worst, we starve.

Venezuela and Zimbabwe are modern-day examples of the failures of socialism in achieving food security. The 20th century is rife with even more examples of how collectivisation, land reform and expropriation cause mass starvation. EWC will cause similar symptoms.

Succinctly: If you don’t want to starve or spend all your money on food, then oppose EWC.

2. No property will be safe

The proposed Expropriation Bill doesn’t only affect white-owned farms. It allows the state to seize anything. That means urban properties, holiday homes, apartment blocks. And not just landed property. EWC isn’t just about land reform. It is about instituting total collectivisation over the country. The Expropriation Bill allows the state to seize intellectual property, stocks, pensions… anything.

And there will be no negotiations. No compensation.

If you own stuff, and want to keep it, you need to oppose EWC.

3. Your wealth is at risk

If EWC is instated, the economy will crash. This doesn’t only affect the rich stockbrokers and business owners. This affects the poorest beggar, every professional, children in schools – everyone. World Wars have started over economic situations less dire than South Africa today. We have untold numbers of people living in poverty, without any opportunities. EWC will remove the few opportunities we have.

As trust in property rights deteriorates, investors will leave. Capital will flood out of the country. Banks will lose billions. And no, the “evil” banker doesn’t suffer. That’s your money they’re losing. Your savings. But it won’t be their fault. It will be yours for not doing everything within your power to stop EWC from happening.

macroeconomic impact assessment of EWC from the Gordon Institute of Business Science states:

“It makes no sense to attempt the implementation of land reform policies that have proven over and over again to exercise a destructive influence on the economy and threaten the livelihoods of the most vulnerable members of society — those that cannot sell their skills in other jurisdictions.”

And as EWC becomes another money-sink, the state will raise more taxes, enforce more regulations, and take more and more of your already-dwindling cash.

The economy will fail with EWC. This is not up for debate anymore. It is a certainty, and those arguing that it will not harm the economy are the worst kind of liars and useful idiots. When the economy fails, everyone will suffer.

4. Your favourite brands will disappear

If the loss of food, your stuff and your financial well-being aren’t convincing enough, then I must appeal to your consumerism. As EWC rips apart property rights and the economy, companies whose products you enjoy will leave the country. This goes for fast-food chains, restaurants, cell phone brands, access to designer gear, access to private security and all other forms of gadgets and conveniences.

Companies that can leave, will, because they don’t want to risk losing their stuff. And because they reasonably don’t want to share a huge part of their profit-pie with a government run by gangsters.

Conclusion

Most South Africans don’t support EWC. But they don’t need to. They just need to remain silent. Revolutions are won by stubborn and violent minorities. The pro-EWC factions in South Africa will stop at nothing to pass their bizarre pseudo-religious ideas – even at the expense of our hard-won rights, our freedom, our prosperity and our lives.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This saying has been commonly attributed to Edmund Burke.

It is way past time for more South Africans to take a popular stand against an unacceptable policy. I am not calling for mass protest or picketing. I’ve never found those to be effective. But there are many ways you can help oppose EWC.

From writing to your legislators, holding your political party accountable, writing articles for the media, donating to civil society organisations like the Free Market FoundationInstitute of Race Relations, and AfriForum. Help get the word out about this policy that many South Africans aren’t aware of or care about. Share Rational Standard content on social media. Tell your friends and family.

Don’t be afraid to be vociferous. Facts are on the side of those who oppose EWC. And it is time we stop apologising for it. It is time we get busy and stop the oncoming destruction of South Africa.

Original article link:

4 Ways Expropriation Without Compensation Will Affect You

Mboweni confirms R59 billion Eskom bailout

The minister also said the debt and restructuring of Eskom will need to be addressed.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Tuesday presented his plans to parliament to provide financial support to struggling energy utility Eskom.

Mboweni introduced the Special Appropriation Bill in the National Assembly, which will offer the parastatal a lifeline in the current and next financial year.

This will lead to a R59 billion bailout from government in two instalments: R26bn in the 2019/20 financial year followed by R33bn in the 2020/21 financial year.

“I stated in my budget vote 7 for the National Treasury that Eskom presents the biggest risk to the fiscal framework because of its financial problems and negative impact on the economy,” Mboweni said.

“Given the high risks of a systemic failure if Eskom were to collapse, government is urgently working on stabilising the utility, while developing a broad strategy for its future.

“Eskom faces serious financial and operational challenges, which to a large extent were caused by the governance challenges that the entity previously experienced which resulted in a decline in investor confidence.

The minister also said the debt and restructuring of Eskom would need to be addressed.

Mboweni said a team of officials had considered a number of options as a solution to the company’s debt challenges in order to ensure its sustainability.

He will be appointing a chief restructuring officer, who “will be mandated to test these options with the ratings agencies to establish what impact each will have on the fiscus and recommend the appropriate one for implementation”.

Article from The Citizen

Chance for public to comment on proposed by-law to protect Cape Town’s beaches

Article from IOL

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town will soon put out a draft by-law to protect its precious coastline from encroachment, poaching activities and other damaging actions.

In a statement, the City said it would soon publicise the draft Coastal By-law for public participation, with the intention being to “better protect and manage our coastline, which is one of Cape Town’s most important and valued assets”.

“Cape Town is synonymous with rolling waves, rocky shores, dolphins, whales, and sunsets on pristine beaches,” said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt.

“Our coastline draws millions of tourists and local visitors every year; it is central to our identity, and gives us a sense of place and pride.

“We also cannot overestimate the importance of the coast to our local economy. It is a public asset that must be preserved and protected for current and future generations.

“The draft by-law will assist us to better manage our coastline and enable law enforcement of activities that may have a damaging impact on the coastal environment.”

The draft by-law will be available for public comment from 1 August until 2 September, 2019. The City will, during this time, also host eight public hearings across Cape Town where residents can ask questions, and comment.

The draft by-law will be applicable to the coastal zone, which covers the seashore, the coastal waters and the environment on, in, under and above the coastal zone.

The proposed by-law addresses the following:

– poaching, or illegal fishing

–  harvesting, or removal of vegetation

– removal of sand, pebbles, rocks, shells, and kelp

–  removal of or damage to indigenous coastal vegetation

–  littering

– pollution and dumping

– encroachment of private property into the coastal environment

– measures to remove encroachments, and rehabilitate affected land

– possession or consumption of liquor or drugs

– hawking or doing business without authorisation

– launching of vessels

Vissuing of fines for contraventions

“One of the most important aspects of the proposed by-law is that it will give the City the legislative powers to enforce the public’s right to access and enjoy our beaches and sea.

“Some residents are claiming the beaches or parcels of land in front of their properties as their own private areas by either extending their homes or gardens, sinking swimming pools, or building walkways with ‘no-access’ signs on it. Our coastline belongs to all South Africans and the by-law will be used to entrench this right,” said Nieuwoudt.

The City added that the by-law will be a legislative tool to entrench and enforce the public’s right to freely access and enjoy the coastline; ensure the sustainable use and development of the coastal area; promote the protection of the natural environment of the coastal zone; manage and promote public access to beaches and beach areas; prevent anti-social behaviour on beaches and beach areas; and manage access to and the use of public amenities on the beach and beach areas.

It is also intended to enable better regulation, protection and governance of the coastline as a sensitive and economically valuable asset, and to ensure measures are taken to rehabilitate or correct actions that have a damaging impact on the coastal environment.

Outrage over Cape Town’s electricity tariff hike

Article from IOL

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is facing a groundswell of opposition to its increase of the electricity tariff and surcharge, a move which has been labeled as unconstitutional.

The tariff increase and surcharge has sparked outrage from cash-strapped residents and has lead a civic group, a concerned resident and energy expert to take separate action to put pressure on the city and the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to decrease costs.

The recent increase in electricity tariffs and the levy has seen the cost of electricity rise astronomically, with some residents paying up to 30% more than the 8.8% intended.

Civic organisation STOP COCT, which is spearheading a demand for a public hearing by Nersa, said the recent evaluations of properties had seen some residents slapped with high electricity bills.

Spokesperson Sandra Dickson said: “STOP COCT has received many complaints. People are upset about this.”

Dickson accused the city of not being transparent in the way it set the tariffs, as required by the law.

In July last year, the city introduced a surcharge of R150 for properties with prepaid meters and valued at more than R1 million, as well as those properties worth more than R400 000 with no prepaid meters.

This year, the surcharge was increased to R163.50.

In addition to the surcharge, the city added another surcharge of a flat rate of 10% to the electricity tariffs.

Nersa is now investigating the surcharge.

The city also stopped giving free units of electricity to customers whose monthly usage surpassed 450 units over a period of 12 months.

During the past three years, residents rejected proposed electricity and water rate increases during public participation hearings, but their concerns were ignored as the city implemented increases.

In 2017, then mayor Patricia de Lille postponed the increase after residents raised concerns.

An “Electricity tariffs must fall” has campaign also been launched by a concerned resident to force Premier Alan Winde, the city and mayor Dan Plato to take action.

Two days after its launch, close to 1900 people had supported the petition.

Nersa said it approved the city’s tariff increase application for the period July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020.

The city, according to Nersa, had applied for an average tariff increase of 11.30%.

But the city was adamant that it had only received “provisional approval and had yet to receive a formal, signed letter.

Despite this, it went ahead and implemented the tariff increase.

In addition, it also added a surcharge of 10% and a CPI inflation rate, and claimed that the money derived would be transferred to the rates account.

“In essence, since 2016, the tariffs have been higher than those approved by Nersa. In 2018, the real increase was about 15 to 16%. and now with properties re-evaluated, some residents have found that their accounts have increased by up to 30%,” said Dickson.

The residents now want Nersa to intervene. The call for the public hearing follows a similar one Nersa had with Tshwane residents who were unhappy about the implementation of a surcharge which the regulator had not approved.

Energy expert Ted Blom was looking into taking up the matter on behalf of dissatisfied customers. He believed the requirement that customers should lodge a dispute with their supplier, who in turn would refer the matter to Nersa, would dissuade many from taking action against the city.

Blom said municipalities should provide electricity at cost and should not include mark-ups.

“Both Tshwane and the City of Cape Town increased the fixed cost, which is unfair to residents and to non-users. That’s unconstitutional and against the National Development Plan.” Deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for finance Ian Nielson said the city followed “all the necessary” legal processes, including public participation.

Some residents took to social media to vent their dissatisfaction with the surcharge and tariff increase, while others also questioned the deduction of monies to off-set rates arrears from electricity purchases.

We will not abandon B-BBEE – Ramaphosa

Article from FIN 24

President Cyril Ramaphosa told Members of Parliament on Thursday that government would not scrap the broad-based black economic empowerment, although he acknowledged that the policy had been slow in achieving the economic transformation it was intended to.

Ramaphosa was replying to the National Assembly’s debate on his budget vote, which he tabled on Wednesday afternoon. B-BBEE has long been criticised as ineffective in reshaping the economic structure of South Africa.

Ramaphosa told members that while the pace of investment and economic transformation has been slow, it has not been insignificant, and the African National Congress-led government will not be abandoning B-BBEE.

“We are not going to scrap B-BBEE, because it has brought real benefits to blacks, women and persons living with disabilities. It has contributed to the significant growth of a black middle class, boosted employment equity and it has enabled black people and women to become owners and managers of businesses,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said the Presidency looked forward to working to mobilising all of society, business, labour, civil society, NGOs and political parties to grow the economy and to reduce poverty.

“Far from abolishing it (B-BBEE), now is actually the time to strengthen it, to make it more effective and make it more aligned with our goals of increasing investment and employment,” said Ramaphosa.

OPINION: New employment equity bill is progressive, must become law

Article from Business Report.

JOHANNESBURG – Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has announced in his budget vote that the government is soon to table the long-awaited Employment Equity Amendment Bill in Parliament.

This is a crucial bill that seeks to strengthen the Employment Equity Act and support the nation’s efforts to eradicate the legacies of apartheid discrimination, and inequality in the workplace.

It is a powerful bill that employers, unions and workers should familiarise themselves with to ensure that when it becomes law, most likely in mid-2020, we all understand its rights and obligations.

Critics of the government’s efforts to achieve employment equity will complain that it is unnecessary 25 years into democracy, and that it would bully business.

However, the complaints are not based on fact.

In the public service, women constitute 45.3percent of employees, 39percent of senior management and 32.6percent of top management. The private sector fares far worse with women only making up 32.3percent of senior management and a mere 21.6percent of top management.

The statistics for persons with disabilities are a shocking indictment on employers. While they constitute at least 10percent of the nation, they make up less than 1percent of employees in the public and private sectors, despite the employment equity target of 2percent.

The EE Amendment Bill has six essential components:

Targets – It empowers the minister to set employment-equity targets for economic sectors, as well as regions. This is crucial as many sectors are significantly untransformed, eg they are still overwhelmingly white and/or male-dominated (such as the insurance, banks, and mining industries).

It allows the minister to set regional targets given that racial diversity in South Africa often has regional differences, such as the Western Cape and Northern Cape are provinces with coloured majorities or KwaZulu-Natal where 10percent is of Indian descent or Limpopo where minorities constitute less than 3percent of the population.

Plans – The bill requires employers with more than 50 employees to submit employment equity plans for their companies, spelling out how they will achieve these targets.

Employers are then required to submit annual reports to the department. Employers will complain about this, but the bill’s regulations have provided user-friendly forms to make it much easier to develop plans and submit annual reports. The point is to spur employment equity and not to bog companies down with paperwork.

Remuneration – The bill requires employers to pay workers equal pay for equal work. This is still a major problem facing millions of women as well as African, Coloured and Indian workers, 25 years into democracy.

The bill clarifies what is discrimination, as well as what workers can do to when facing such abuses such as lodging grievances with the CCMA or the Labour Courts.

This will empower the CCMA and the courts when making judgments on equal pay cases.

Testing – Increasingly job applicants are being subjected to very dubious psychological tests by employers. These are often irrelevant, unfair, unscientific, and unregulated.

Frequently, such tests have been used to discriminate against black or women applicants or to favour jobs for pals.

The bill now requires such tests to be fair and relevant to the job, not be discriminatory or biased and most importantly, that they must be approved by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

An aggrieved employer can now refer dubious tests to the CCMA.

The employer will then be forced to provide proof why the tests are relevant and fair, and that they have been approved by the HPCSA.

Inspection – As part of ensuring the employment equity objectives become reality, the bill seeks to strengthen the hand of the labour inspectors.

The inspectors are compelled to inspect workplaces and empowered to issue employers with compliance orders.

Nxesi also announced that the number of labour inspectors are to be increased from 1400 to 1900, and that an additional 200 health and safety inspectors are to be employed. However, given a labour force of more than 12 million, this is still far too few.

The department will be establishing a toll-free hotline where workers can SMS the names and addresses of employers who are in violation of any labour laws.

This information will be given to the labour inspectors who will then raid, fine, and issue compliance orders to offending employers.

Tenders – Companies seeking to do business with the state will be compelled to submit a certificate from the department confirming that they are in compliance with the Employment Equity Act and its objectives, and that they do not pay their employees less than the national minimum wage. This will ensure that recalcitrant employers abide by the progressive labour laws.

Cosatu has engaged extensively on this bill with other stakeholders at the National Economic Department and Labour Council (Nedlac). While employers complain about filling in forms, these have been made simple and user-friendly.

Some will object to being made to comply but it is crucial that we do so, if we are serious about building a non-racial and non-sexist society.

To do nothing means that we are happy to see women, persons with disabilities and African, Coloured and Indian workers remaining in low-paying jobs.

If we want to be a humane, modern and productive economy, we must accept the responsibilities that come with it.

As trade unions, we have to ensure all our shop stewards, members and workers know their rights, and challenge and report employers who break the laws.

Cosatu looks forward to seeing this progressive bill become a reality, and will ensure its speedy passage through Parliament and its signing by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Expropriation without compensation?

Article from EWN

Minister Thoko Didiza on Tuesday tabled the department’s budget and one for the Department of Fisheries and Forestry, which is also under her leadership.

CAPE TOWN – Land expropriation without expropriation would happen whether those opposed to it like it or not.

That was the word from Agriculture and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza and her deputy Mcebisi Skwatsha.

Didiza on Tuesday tabled the department’s budget and one for the Department of Fisheries and Forestry, which is also under her leadership.

Skwatsha said the sky would not cave in when legislation to expropriate land without compensation was finally passed.

“To expropriate land without compensation sooner than later will be a reality. All this will happen in an orderly and constitutional fashion,” he said.

Skwatsha’s comments followed those of Didiza who said land expropriation was inevitable.

“For me this is, and it must be, a new conversation among South Africans. We don’t need to fear the inevitable but we can shape that future of an inclusive South Africa.”

Didiza said it would ultimately be up to the national legislature and how it crafted and worded the legislation to make land expropriation a reality.

Laws to criminalise racism and hate crimes a priority: Ronald Lamola

Article from the Sunday Times

Justice and constitutional development minister Ronald Lamola wants the new parliament to prioritise a proposed piece of legislation aimed at criminalising racism and other hate crimes.

Presenting his first budget vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Lamola detailed his legislative agenda for the 2019-2020 financial year, including the revival of the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill which the fifth parliament failed to finalise before the expiry of its term before the elections in May.

The bill sparked controversy when it was first tabled in parliament in 2018, with its detractors describing it as a threat to freedom of speech.

But Lamola said he would soon be reviving the bill in parliament so that the justice portfolio committee could start processing it afresh.

He said the controversial Traditional Courts Bill would also be back on the agenda.

As part of its legislative programme, the department intends to promote the following bills this financial year:

• The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, which has already been introduced into parliament and was being considered by the justice and correctional services portfolio committee.

• The Traditional Courts Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly of the fifth parliament and is awaiting consideration by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

• A bill providing for the establishment of a Land Court aimed at promoting land justice and the democratisation of land ownership. The bill would aim to address some of the challenges experienced with the current Land Claims Court dispensation.

• The Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill would be introduced to ensure compliance with court judgments.

Turning to the scourge of crime and corruption, Lamola said he would lobby the national Treasury to lift a freeze on the hiring of staff at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) from 2015, which he said had resulted in almost 700 vacant prosecutor posts.

Lamola said he would also discuss with the Treasury the implications of accepting private-donor funding to bolster the capacity of the NPA.

“However, much more needs to be done to resource the NPA to enable it to meet the demands for its services. For example, the fiscally induced freeze on all hiring of staff since 2015, resulting in 685 vacant prosecutor posts as at the end of June, needs to be reconsidered so that the NPA can recruit much-needed middle-to-senior level positions as a matter of urgency, especially in the specialised units,” he said.

“While recognising the current fiscal constraints, the department will need to engage with the national Treasury regarding measures to enable the adequate capacitation of the NPA.”

Lamola said the department would discuss with the NPA and the Treasury the implications of private-donor funding “because as we leave no stone unturned to ensure all criminal cases are prosecuted, we will nonetheless endeavour to do nothing that will undermine the independence and integrity of the prosecution”.