Media Statements

STOP THE BANTUSTAN BILL
STOP THE BANTUSTAN BILLS MARCH POSTPONED

Dateline: JOHANNESBURG, April, 25 — Due to unforeseen logistical and
procedural challenges, the planned ‘Stop The Bantustan Bills’ march to the
Union Buildings has been postponed, and the new date is as follows:

Date: 05 June 2019

Time and Venue: Assemble at die boere square ( Paul Kruger Square) from 05:30
and procession starts at 07:00 to arrive at Union Building at 10.30

In the buildup to the march, STTB Campaign and the Alliance for Rural
Democracy will be undertaking a series of events across the country, labelled 10
Days before and after elections. Please visit our social media pages where will
continue to update and engage our partners and the media accordingly.

If you require any further information, please also contact us on
ruraldemocracytrust@gmail.com

The Alliance for Rural Democracy staff and Stop The Bantustan Bills campaigners
would like to thank the public who have shown commitment and support
towards the march

Media Statement 20-02-2019

Increase the volume of rural community voices to Stop the Bantustan Bills in the new Democracy.

It seem as if rural communities are speaking to a toy phone, no one is listening to their plight. The President’s statements during State of the Nation Address (SONA) and during the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) confirms, the President is definitely not listening.

Yesterday, the National Assembly passed the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill (Framework Amendment Bill). This Bill has the practical purpose of giving an extended legal legitimacy to apartheid-era Tribal Authorities (as defined by the apartheid government through the Bantu Authorities Act of 1951, not those necessarily recognised by communities). These undemocratic structures have failed to comply with the transitional requirements as prescribed in the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003 (TLGFA) and have undermined rural democracy in communities.

The Tribal Authorities affected by this Bill have had more than 14 years to transform into Traditional Councils, which requires that they become democratic with 60% of the total council nominated by the senior Traditional Leader, 40% elected representation from their communities, and 30% of members of the Traditional Councils to be made up of women, but have failed to do so. The net effect is that traditional communities living in rural South Africa have little say in how the land, natural resources and customary law is governed.

Why is this Bill so important to pass whilst there is the TKLB (Traditional and Khoi- San Leadership Bill) which will replace all other Traditional Leadership laws? In the public hearings held in the Khoi and San District of the Free State, the community asked the Free State Provincial legislature why Government is calling them to discuss the Framework Amendment Bill which is silent about the Khoi and San communities if it is serious about recognition of Khoi and San communities?

The reason is simple. The non compliance of Tribal Authorities to democratize themselves into Traditional Councils as prescribed by the TLGFA renders them illegal and so are the deals they have signed and decisions they have made. This Framework Amendment Bill is considered in conjunction with the TKLB and Traditional Courts Bill (TCB). It means that the Tribal Authorities, appointed by the apartheid government, will be able to sell out their local communities, sell mining rights to mining companies to exploit the land, while the local communities lose their land, homes, family graves, their environment is permanently damaged, without consultation and consent and they receive no benefit whatsoever. These communities are already facing expropriation of their land rights without any compensation.

This Bill paves the way for further exploitation of rural communities across South Africa. In particular, communities that have been fighting their exploitation such as the Xolobeni community in the Eastern Cape, the Makhasaneni community in KwaZulu Natal, Bakgatla ba Lesetlheng community and Bapong ba Mogale in Northwest, and Mapela Community in Limpopo.

Later this week it is likely we will see Parliament attempt to pass the TKLB. The controversial Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill which will allow for reopening of land claims is also on Parliament’s schedule. It is crucial that we must make our voice heard now, so that Parliament and the President cease their efforts to pass these unconstitutional laws. Join the fight to stop the re-bantustanization and re-dispossession of rural land and further marginalization of the already marginalized people in our country.

The Stop Bantustan Bill campaign website www.stopthebantustanbills.org was launched in November and has already thousands of signatures. This is living proof that many people who will be directly affected by these new laws are demanding that their voice be heard – they have a right to say NO!

 

Media Statement 07-02-2019

The Stop the Bantustan Bills Campaign will be watching today’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) closely, expecting clarity on what legislative agenda will be outlined for the next three months.

Yesterday marked the opening of Parliament for one of our shorter legislative periods leading up to national elections in May this year. This means that Parliament will be working hard to finalize pending legislation before it lapses in terms of the rules of Parliament.

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill (TKLB) is close to finalization, with only two  procedural steps remaining before it goes to the President for final signing into law.

The surprise sitting on 10 January, where the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the TKLB, indicates clearly that Parliament’s intention is to finalize this Bill before elections.

This is concerning because the TKLB poses a number of threats to land rights and democracy, particularly for people living in rural areas of the former homelands. This bill, for all practical purposes, will impose a separate governance system on the 17 million South Africans living in the former Bantustans. This bill would also allow for land occupied by ordinary families to be used by multinational corporations, including mining companies, without proper community consultation or consent. Khoi and San communities deserve recognition, but this bill will undermine their rights too.

The Stop the Bantustan Bills Campaign demands that the President and the National Assembly put a stop to this Bill and protect the land rights of rural citizens who remain the most marginalized in our democracy.  The TKLB is undemocratic and unconstitutional!  

 

Media Statement 30-01-2019

Stop The Bantustan Bills calls for action to stop the National Assembly from passing the unconstitutional Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill (TKLB) and the Traditional Courts Bill (TCB). 

In January the NCOP convened in an “special sitting” outside of the normal Parliamentary sessions to  pass three bills, one of which is the TKLB. This bill will impose separate and unconstitutional laws on the 17 million South Africans living in the former Bantustans. 

In its current form the TKLB will:

  • Effectively strip those in former homeland areas of basic citizenship and property rights by giving anti-democratic powers to traditional leaders in these areas.
  • Reinforces the tribal boundaries created by the Bantu Authorities Act of 1951
  • Reinforces domination of men over women

The bill  overrides the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act (IPLRA) and important legal victories for mining affected rural communities, won in October (Maledu case) and November (Baleni case) of 2018, which ordered that IPILRA be complied with in consultation of affected people regarding their land rights.

A small part of this bill correctly provides Khoi San communities with state recognition,  but hidden in the rest of the bill, especially in  the newly amended Section 24  are provisions which will undermine the basic rights of South Africans including those of the Khoi and San communities. South African citizens living in the affected areas will not have the same rights as other South Africans regarding land rights, water rights, access to justice and a  say over their environment.

This is why Kgalema Motlanthe’s High Level Panel, established by Parliament itself, previously recommended that the bill be withdrawn because it will exacerbate structural inequality, encourage and protect corrupt mining deals.

Other groups, including the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans recently condemned it as undermining basic citizenship and property rights.

This shock special sitting followed a failed attempt to ram the bill through in the last week of Parliament’s 2018 term. The passage of this bill so far makes it appear that the ruling party is prepared to risk alienating rural voters and a humiliating legal defeat in the interests of mining moguls and some connected traditional leader elites.

We were deeply disturbed by the NCOP passing this undemocratic and unconstitutional Bill in January. More social and economic inequality is bad for all of us.

The next step in the process is for TKLB to go to the NA for a vote, which is expected soon.

We call on all South Africans to  ask questions, make your  voices heard and stand together to stop the Bantustan bill.

Join the campaign to ensure that this bill, along with the Traditional Courts Bill do not become law.