Lessons for SA from Zimbabwe

Posted 21 January 2018

South Africa has a tortured history of land ownership. Under apartheid, black South Africans were denied freehold title to land, but were allowed to reside in townships like Soweto under 30 and then 99-year leaseholds. Yet tends of thousands of residents lose their homes each year to the banks. As Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation points out, repossessed properties should be returned to the local government, not the banks. Black South Africans, experiencing their first taste of property ownership, may well wonder whether this is the freedom for which they had hoped. Now ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa now wants to take land from white farmers without compensation. Zimbabwean member of parliament Eddie Cross explains that this is a rapid route to ruin, and one need only look north of our border to understand why. Here is a lesson from Zimbabwe and how land reform should be done. 

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SAA's new CEO tolls airline's death knell

Posted 17 January 2018

If SAA were a privately-owned company, it would be shipped to the knackers' yard. It is hopelessly insolvent. The airline's new CEO Vuyani Jurana outlined to parliament's standing committee on finance, and it was not a pretty picture. Even after getting another R10bn lifeline from Treasury in March, the airline will have outstanding debt of R13,8bn and expects to post another loss of R5,6bn for 2018. Perhaps it is time to wind it up and sell the brand to a more competent airline operator. 

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NPA about to move on Guptas, sets sights on assets worth R1,6bn

Posted 15 January 2018

The Asset Forfeiture Unit, part of the National Prosecuting Authority, is preparing to make a move against the Gupta family and has its sights set on assets worth R1,6bn. This is the first time the state has taken action against President Jacob Zuma's friends, says City Press.

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Important notice for Acts Online users

Posted 12 January 2018

This site has been a free to access site since its inception in 1985. We are proud of the fact that Acts Online is the go-to site for all South Africa acts, as well as updates and amendments. Our reach continues to expand year-on-year. We also offer news on legal and political developments as they occur. Now we are asking users to contribute to its upkeep.

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Beware ANC threats to overturn property rights

Posted 10 January 2018

The ANC's support for a change in the Bill of Rights' property protection clause, allowing for expropriation without compensation, harkens back to a darker time in SA's history - the infamous Land Act of 1913 which deprived black South Africans of property rights in so-called "white" areas. The ANC is on a slippery path to outright tyranny, and the victims will be drawn from every class and race group. All it needs is a hostile government, and then no property rights will be sacrosanct, says Eustace Davie of the Free Market Foundation.

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Balance of power has shifted in the ANC as Zuma consents to state capture inquiry

Posted 10 January 2018

With the axe of a recall by the ANC hanging over his head, President Jacob Zuma has capitulated and allowed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to select a judge to head a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

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The rise of fake news under the ANC government

Posted 09 January 2018

South Africans are being fed a buffet of fake news on which to dine, from Bell Pottinger's fake "white minority capital" slurs to what looks like a fabricated 1963 article reproduced more recently in The Star eulogising the rise of a 21 year-old Jacob Zuma. Ed Herbst, writing in Biznews, explains.

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Eskom relies on 'ridiculous' lawyer's report to wipe slate clean

Posted 07 January 2018

Eskom relied on a lawyer's report to exonerate itself from wrong-doing over payment of R500-million to Trillian Capital, despite having no valid agreement with the Gupta-linked company, says Timeslive.

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Mnangagwa inherits Mugabe's trash

Posted 07 January 2018

Zim president Emmerson Mnangagwa has inherited the military machine that his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, inherited from his predecessor Ian Smith. With seven months to elections, the new Zim cabinet cannot pretend that there is any residual love for Mugabe and his bootlickers. Opposition MP Eddie Cross recalls a lunch with Mugabe many years ago, and how Pol Pot's murderous Khymer Rouge served as a model for the new Zimbabwe. That legacy will be hard to shake off.    

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Zim has a 2018 message for SA and it's not good

Posted 05 January 2018

As we launch into the New Year, there are some positive developments to consider as we ponder the plight of over-indebted consumers, the push-back against entitlement politicians, and the message trickling across the Limpopo from Zimbabwe as it confronts a brighter future. 

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After 37 years of Mugabe, Zim takes a radical turn for the better

Posted 02 January 2018

Opposition Member of Parliament for Bulawayo, Eddie Cross, recalls a frightening encounter with the newly installed Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose new cabinet includes some excellent choices and some dubious ones. "The Crocodile", as he is known, has a reputation for taking no prisoners. But Cross remains optimistic that Mnangagwa will deliver on promises of free and fair elections, and a radical transformation of the economy. His ministers have 100 days to deliver - or else.

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Cyril leads a house divided after a deal with the devil

Posted 19 December 2017

The rand strengthened on news that Cyril Ramaphosa had been elected leader of the ANC. But with that came some cruel baggage, including individuals who have been compromised by the state capture scandal, who now join Cyril at the top table, writes Carol Paton.

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Eskom is a train smash that explains why the economy is flatlining

Posted 14 December 2017

Eskom has become a totem pole for all that is wrong with SA. It is also provides a salutary lesson in what happens when deluded socialists get their hands on the economy. As Nicholas Woode-Smith argues in this article, Eskom has been mismanaged for decades. For a time we had the cheapest power in the world, based on electricity prices that were completely unrealistic. Then the government spoke half-heartedly about inviting private competition. It was so poorly implemented it was designed to fail. The train smash that Eskom has become explains, to a larger degree than many will admit, why the economy is flatlining. 

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2017: the year the tide turned against corruption and lawless banks

Posted 12 December 2017

2017 will go down as the year the tide turned against corruption. President Zuma will soon be gone and his successor, assuming it is Cyril Ramaphosa, will start to rebuild the ruling party around traditional ANC Charter values of human rights and respect for voters. He will have to if the ANC has any hopes of maintaining a majority in the 2019 elections. 2017 was also a year in which the courts started to rein in lawless behaviour by the banks, making it harder to repossess homes for a pittance. 

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Time to get rid of SAA

Posted 12 December 2017

SAA has shown itself to be one of the most incompetently run organisations in SA, and that’s saying something when you stack it up against Eskom and other state-run organisations. It needs a lifeline of R10bn from the state just to keep limping along. James Peron argues that it is time to get rid of the airline, just as other countries have done. It needs to be sold to a well-managed private operator, while keeping the SAA brand.

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The choice that could save SA, or wreck it

Posted 08 December 2017

Frankly, it's not a great choice: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Cyril Ramaphosa as the next leader of the ANC and possibly the country. Dlamini-Zuma will be hell-bent on protecting her ex-husband Jacob Zuma against 783 charges of corruption. Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader turned billionaire, is seen as friendlier to business and likely to return the ANC to its Freedom Charter roots. As The Economist argues, opposition parties hoping for a wrecking ball like Dlamini-Zuma to win the election race are playing a dangerous game. She might just win, and then we face the prospect of a hereditary kleptocracy.
  

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New court rules make it harder for repossessed homes to be sold for a pittance

Posted 06 December 2017

One of the outrageous abuses taking place under the noses of our courts in SA is the ability of banks to repossess homes when a customer is three months in default, and then sell the property at sheriff’s auctions for a pittance. This leaves the customer without a home, and an outstanding debt to the bank. Needless to say, this abuse was a gift to criminal syndicates and property speculators, who feed on the misery of others by picking up these properties for as little as R100. Well, that just became a whole lot more difficult. New court rules gazetted last week make it far more difficult for banks to get away with this. For distressed home owners, putting up a strong defence against the banks got a whole lot easier. 

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SA preparing to enforce some of the strictest data protection laws in the world

Posted 05 December 2017

The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act changes the way people and organisations are required to handle personal data. Drawing on legislation in force in Germany and the UK, the new Act imposes heavy penalties for abuses. This, says Sage South Africa, gives SA some of the strictest data protection laws in the world.

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Zim's white farmers see opportunity in Mugabe's exit

Posted 01 December 2017

Zimbabwe's new president Emmerson Mnangagwa does not share his predecessor's hatred of white farmers, and as a farmer himself appears keen to use agriculture to revitalise the economy. This has given hope to several farmers who were evicted from their farms as part of the country's controversial land reform programme, according to AFP.

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SA actively invited junk status

Posted 29 November 2017

The ANC knows very well what needs to be done to avoid junk status. For many years, however – and especially in the past 11 months, when the threat of downgrades has been most acute – it has been doing the opposite. So much so, in fact, that it seems to have been inviting junk status, writes Anthea Jeffrey of the Institute of Race Relations in Biznews.

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Mugabe's allies scatter to the winds

Posted 26 November 2017

Zimbabwe's former information minister Jonathan Moyo is smart, funny, always ready with a stinging quote to reduce his political opponnents to ash. According to Richard Chidza, he was also a political turncoat who jumped sides whenever it suited his own political survival. With the swearing in of new Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, Moyo is once again out in the cold. The diehard Mugabe supporters have lost their chief patron, and for some this is the end of their political careers. Some may end up in prison. Will Jonathan Moyo survive this time, as he has done so many times in the past?

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Life after Mugabe

Posted 26 November 2017

Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, has been granted immunity from prosecution and a $10m lump sum golden handshake. In the view of many Zimbabweans, this is a small price to pay to get rid of the old man and his wife, Grace, who had ambitions of succeeding her husband. Now the hard reality sets in. The new president Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered an inauguration speech on Friday that sounded very much like the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) policy platform - re-engaging with the wider international community, tackling corruption, sorting out the thorny land reform issue (and whether and what to pay white farmers who were dispossessed without compensation). In this article, MDC representative Eddie Cross spells out the challenges that lie ahead. The optimism of Zimbabweans has never reached such heights. Will it be short-lived?  

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Mashaba plans to sue Home Affairs over processing of illegal immigrants

Posted 23 November 2017

Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba wants to know who is in his city legally and for those whose documentation is not in order to be processed by Home Affairs. And to achieve this he is preparing to take the Department of Home Affairs to court, arguing that the challenge of illegal immigration was a crisis in the city and that the responsibility for “immigration control lies with national government and not local municipality”.

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Zim: the genie of freedom has been uncorked and won't go back in the bottle

Posted 22 November 2017

Zim opposition member of parliament Eddie Cross reports on the events of the last few days, culminating in the resignation/removal of Robert Mugabe and his coterie of "criminals" from power. There is a palpable sense of freedom in the country, but we should be modest in our expectations. Zanu-PF has signalled its intention to go it alone in government, without inviting opposition parties to the table. A million people gathered on thre streets of Harare in the last few days to bid the old man good riddance. The genie of freedom has been uncorked and will not go back in the bottle. Long-suffering Zimbabweans are in no mood to entertain another dictator dressed up as a saviour, if that is what Mugabe's successor Emmerson Mnangagwa has in mind. These are interesting days indeed.

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SA's wealthiest woman wins defamation suit against ANN7 owner Mzwanele Manyi

Posted 21 November 2017

Billionaire entrepreneur Magdalena Wierzycka has won a defamation suit against ANN7 owner Mzwanele Manyi, who acused her of economic terrorism. Manyi argued that this was robust discourse and any attempt to stifle debate would have a chilling effect on free speech.

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