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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Stephen Grootes.]

Over the weekend President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, publicly assuring him that government and the ANC had no interest in removing land that forms the Ingonyama Trust from his control. This has been widely seen as Ramaphosa “bending the knee” to Zwelithini. Considering that it comes in the context of a difficult and emotive debate about land expropriation without compensation, it is no surprise that Ramaphosa took the line of least resistance.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s action, in assuring Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini that government and the ANC had no interest in removing land that forms the Ingonyama Trust from his control, could be an indication that, despite his own personal wishes, the political terrain in which he is currently operating makes any meaningful reform impossible before the 2019 elections. This nationwide freeze could have implications for many sectors, and particularly for the economy. 5

Ramaphosa gave every appearance of rushing to KZN last week. Zwelithini had clearly raised temperatures with his holding of an Imbizo, at which speaker after speaker lambasted the findings of the Kgalema Motlanthe-led High Level Panel which suggested that the Ingonyama Trust’s land be removed from the king’s control. Zwelithini had held this Imbizo on the anniversary of an attack on the Ondini Palace of King Cetshwayo in 1879. This was surely not a coincidence; there are also plenty of other anniversaries that could be used to raise temperatures even further.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
4.6% y/y in June 2018 (CPI) & +4.6 y/y in May 2018 (PPI)
294.84 in USD BIllion (December 2017)
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