June 19, 2019

Could it be that South Africa already has in place the start of what may be a workable land reform programme? In a written reply by EFF member Leigh-Ann Mathys to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Farming we learn that more than 200 small-scale farms have been established on state land in all nine provinces, and a good number of them are flourishing.

The communities of Matzikama municipality in the northernmost reaches of South Africa’s west coast held a verbal sparring match with Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe last week over mining company Mineral Sands Resources’ (MSR’s) plans to expand mining in the region.

Our president has been hard at work at parliament from long before its official opening, speedily assenting to as many Bills as he can before the fifth democratic parliament closes on 29 March ahead of the election, leaving outstanding Bills to lapse – or become the problem of the incoming parliament.

South Africa lacks a nationally coherent national economic policy because from the starting point, at parliament, legislators work in silos and fail to talk to each other. This was according to Professor Ben Turok, former MP and now Director of the Institute for African Alternatives, who addressed the parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry. The following is a summary of what he told the Members, ending with an apology for being “a little controversial.”

As parliament gets down to the business of tackling Section 25 of the Constitution in the hope of agreeing on a legislative re-write which leaves no ambiguity about what exactly is meant by land expropriation without compensation, an intensive two-day conference of stakeholders from across the board reached a consensus that EWOC is likely to make a modest contribution to land redistribution, but on its own it is not going to provide the solution.

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Notes from the House is an independent online publication that tracks and monitors Parliament’s role in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to improve the lives of South African citizens. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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