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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Marianne Merten.]

With a vote of 209 against 91, the National Assembly on Tuesday voted to amend the Constitution to expressly allow for expropriation without compensation. That result was on the cards after a 10-month process, and should not have surprised anyone. What will unfold next under the shadow of the looming 2019 election is what will be important, and none of it is guaranteed. But EFF leader Julius Malema, calling for ‘black unity, in particular African unity’, made sure everyone knew who should get the credit for this historic step – the EFF – as 2019 electioneering politicking marinated the debate.

The Struggle song on black land dispossession and pain, Thina sizwe esimnyama, sikhalelela izwe lethu… (*) resounded from the parliamentary benches of the EFF and ANC, and from a few other seats, as MPs stood waiting for the division the DA requested. Parliamentary tradition requires the bells be rung for five minutes. When the vote result was announced, it was 209 for and 91 against a constitutional amendment for land expropriation without compensation as recommended by the joint constitutional review committee.

That the vote happened on the eve of the birthday of Black Consciousness leader Robert Sobukwe, the founding president of the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), brings to full circle a 10-month process that started with the EFF motion, as amended by the ANC, being adopted on 27 February 2018, the 40thanniversary of Sobukwe’s death.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in March 2019 (CPI) & +6.2 y/y in March 2019 (PPI)
1.4% q/q (4th quarter of 2018)
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