Words and Deeds

Emailed as "Words and Deeds. Extracts from InfoUpdate nos.12 and 13 - June/July 2009"
30 June 2009

News

Portions of the eThekwini Municipality's Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy, adopted by Council, relate to Revenue Clearance Certificates. eThekwini Municipality - 1 May 2009
Read more
 
Black Lawyers Association
Municipal law seminar
Recent Journal Articles
Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg

Die grondwetlikheid van die voorgestelde onteieningsraamwerk van Suid-Afrika
Gerrit Pienaar
TSAR - 2009, no.2, p.344

Lossingsdiskresie by alle retensieregte-grense herbevestig - Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd v D Florentino Construction CC 2008 5 sA 534(K)
J C Sonnekus
TSAR - 2009, no.2, p.353

Die onbenydenswaardige posisie van Suid-Afrikaanse beleggers in die buiteland - Crawford Lindsay von Abo v The Government of the Republic of South Africa saak no.3106/2007 van 06-05-2008 (ontegrapporteer)
E C Schlemer
TSAR - 2009, no.2, p.366

Recent Judgments
Constitutional Court of South Africa
10 June 2009
CCT 22/08 [2009] ZACC 16
Residents of Joe Slovo Community, Western Cape v Thubelisha Homes and Others

Concourt : State must help Joe Slovo evictees - 10 June
The Constitutional Court will allow the eviction of 20 000 shack dwellers in Cape Town but ruled on Wednesday that they must be given alternative housing. The eviction of residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement on the Cape Flats cannot happen without them receiving proper, alternative housing, five judges said in a unanimous decision. "The appeal succeeds in part and is dismissed in part," reads the judgment handed down in the Constitutional Court. -
IOL website

Slovo eviction ruling 'groundbreaking' - 10 June
A Constitutional Court order allowing the eviction of 20 000 shack dwellers under some strict conditions was "groundbreaking", the human settlements department said today. -
The Times website

12 June 2009
Statement by the Director-General of Human Settlements on Joe Slovo residents’ application against temporary relocation to delft in Cape Town
SA Government Information website

A (partial) victory for Joe Slovo residents - 10 June
The Constitutional Court today granted an order for the eviction of Joe Slovo residents to far off Delft to facilitate the building of houses as part of the N2 Gateway Project. The fact that the court ordered the removal of people from their homes where they have lived for the past 15 years, will rightly be harshly criticised. It has failed to display the kind of "grace and compassion"  one would expect of the self-styled champion of the vulnerable and dispossessed.  - Pierre de Vos on the
Constitutionally Speaking blog

Joe Slovo case : the good, the bad and the (mostly) unstated - 14 June
The Constitutional Court judgment ordering the eviction of the more than 4000 families living in the Joe Slovo Settlement has been lauded by some because it partly reverses a High Court judgment of Judge President John Hlophe which would have left 20 000 people languishing in far off Delft with no prospect to return. The five separate judgments handed down by the Constitutional Court (running over 200 pages) is indeed a vast improvement on the lower court effort. The Constitutional Court judgment ordering the eviction of the more than 4000 families living in the Joe Slovo Settlement has been lauded by some because it partly reverses a High Court judgment of Judge President John Hlophe which would have left 20 000 people languishing in far off Delft with no prospect to return. The five separate judgments handed down by the Constitutional Court (running over 200 pages) is indeed a vast improvement on the lower court effort. - Pierre de Vos on the
Constitutionally Speaking blog

Listen to the shack-dwellers - 25 June
Transit camps, as they were known during apartheid, were used in the Fifties for the screening, segregation and repatriation of unwanted black urbanites. And in the ambiguous late apartheid years, progressive lawyers used transit camp legislation to prevent the removal of people to distant sites and service areas. Today, recent court cases have raised the question : do transit camps qualify as "adequate alternative accommodation" as required by post-apartheid law? -
Mail & Guardian website

See also : South Africa. Cape Town. R10-million to stop city land invasions

5 June 2009
CCT 67/08 [2008] ZACC 15
Von Abo v President of the Republic of South Africa

 

According to section 172(2)(a) of the Constitution "The Supreme Court of Appeal, a High Court or a court of similar status may make an order concerning the constitutional validity of an Act of Parliament, a provincial Act or any conduct of the President, but an order of constitutional invalidity has no force unless it is confirmed by the Constitutional Court".

In the matter of Von Abo v Government of the RSA & others [2009] JOL 23707 (CC), where judgment was handed down in the Constitutional Court this morning, the applicant sought confirmation of and order made by the South Gauteng High Court, against the President of the Republic of South Africa, for his failure to consider and decide upon a request by the applicant for proper protection against the violation of his property rights by the Government of Zimbabwe, properly. The applicant contended that the president's conduct was inconsistent with the Constitution, and invalid.

In its judgment, the court dealt with the following :

"a) whether the order of the High Court that the conduct of the President is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid, is subject to confirmation by this Court in terms of section 172(2)(a) of the Constitution.

b) if this Court were to find that the order of the High Court is not subject to confirmation what order should this Court make in relation to costs ;

c) if this Court were to find that the order of the High Court is not subject to confirmation what order should this Court make regarding its own order made on 4 November 2008 regarding the confidentiality of certain documents claimed on behalf of the respondents".

Source : LexisNexis

Concourt declines order against president - 5 June
The Constitutional Court on Friday declined to confirm an order that would have made the president responsible for a farmer's struggle to get diplomatic protection while the Zimbabwe government seized his land. The case relates to South African businessman Crawford von Abo's bid to get a Pretoria High Court judgment confirmed that the president be held responsible for the government's failure to give him diplomatic protection during Zimbabwe's controversial land seizure programme. Von Abo, a South African citizen, had lost farms and assets during the Zimbabwe government's policy of seizing land from white farmers to redistribute among black Zimbabweans. -
IOL website

President 'not responsible for diplomatic protection' - 8 June
The Constitutional Court has declined to confirm a high court order that former president Thabo Mbeki intervene on behalf of a local businessman whose farms were seized by the Zimbabwean government 12 years ago. Crawford von Abo should not have approached the Constitutional Court because the conduct he complained about did not concern SA's president, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke said on Friday. Diplomatic protection was the responsibility of the government as a whole, or of the foreign affairs minister, and not of the president, said Moseneke. -
allAfrica website

Tenants in the dark approach top court - 17 June
Residents of a building in Ennerdale, Johannesburg, who have been without electricity since July last year after City Power disconnected the supply because the building’s owner was R400 000 in arrears, have approached the Constitutional Court for relief. The residents contend that the right of access to housing included, at least in an urban setting, the right of access to electricity as well as the right to human dignity. Before the electricity was cut off, the residents had been paying their electricity bills to the landlord as part of their rental accounts and everybody had been up to date. The residents asked the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg for an order that it was unlawful for City Power to disconnect electricity to the building without giving the occupants adequate notice and an opportunity to make representations. -
Business Day website
Eastern Cape High Court : Port Elizabeth
26 May 2009
849/2009 [2009] ZAECPEHC 25
Milkwood Construction (Pty) Ltd v ERF 1109 Marina Martinique CC and Others
Contract – Formation of – Dispute of fact – Whether such real or genuine – All evidence establishing conclusion of binding contract – Whether such contract one for sale of land in terms of Alienation of Land Act or joint venture agreement – Power of authority member of close corporation – Court ordering majority member and trustees to sign resolution to enable registration of transfer
Free State High Court : Bloemfontein
14 May 2009
A181/2008 [2009] ZAFSHC 59
Wild Wind Investmnets v Styleprops 181 (Pty) Ltd and Another
Transfer of property
KwaZulu-Natal High Court : Durban

Durban traders score victory against city - 15 June
Traders at the Early Morning Market, in Durban's Warwick Junction, have scored a victory against eThekwini Municipality in the Durban High Court. The court ruled that they should be granted occupation and possession of their stalls after being locked out of the site. -
Legalbrief website

See also : South Africa. Municipal Management and Procedure. eThekwini

KwaZulu-Natal High Court : Pietermaritzburg

Man on R200m fraud charges stripped of assets - 11 June
KwaZulu-Natal businessman Jabulani Mabaso, who stands accused of defrauding the provincial Education Department of about R200-million, has been stripped of the expensive properties and luxury cars which, the State alleges, were his ill-gotten gains. The assets - the value of which is still being determined - will remain under the control of a court-appointed curator until the outcome of a criminal trial in which he will have to answer to theft and fraud charges relating to a tender for the supply of books and stationery to schools. This week, curator Trevor White of PricewaterhouseCoopers began taking control of the properties which were "restrained" by the order handed down by Judge King Ndlovu in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The order also authorised the attachment of about R4-million in several bank accounts and five vehicles. The order also covers assets of other entities in which Mabaso holds shares. Mabaso has until July 7 to oppose the asset forfeiture application. He will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court again on the criminal charges on July 15. -
IOL website

Military base battle back in court - 12 June
The battle over the sale of the old Natal Command military base in Durban - which reached court in 2005 - has resumed in Pietermaritzburg High Court. A report in The Mercury says the eThekwini Municipality maintained that it had the right to sell the base and that the sale should not be set aside. Legal representatives of the municipality, the local government, housing and traditional affairs MEC, and Rinaldo Investments, owned by film-maker Anant Singh, were in court opposing an application brought by former gambling boss Sunny Gayadin to have the sale set aside. Gayadin brought the application on behalf of Giant Concerts, which is owned by his wife.  -
Legalbrief website

See also :
Court orders Gayadin millions held in trust - 15 March 2002
In another court on Tuesday, Gayadin and a close corporation admitted liability for damage to the historic Buchanan Street swimming pool in Pietermaritzburg. The pool was closed for six months when its buildings were damaged by illegal demolition of a building ordered by Gayadin. -
IOL website

Heritage buildings lost - 4 April 2004
Two years ago, businessman Sunny Gayadin was fined R5 000, the highest fine ever paid in the province, after pleading guilty to pulling down a Victorian building in Pietermaritzburg. -
Rootsweb website

Court grants man R21m - 25 June
The department of transport in KwaZulu-Natal was on Tuesday ordered to pay 70 percent of the R30 million damages claimed by an Australian who was injured on the Sani Pass road. Making the order, Pietermaritzburg high court judge Sharmaine Balton said the poor state of the road to Lesotho was an indictment of the department. Australian electrician Murray Eastman was left a paraplegic by an accident on this road in March 2005. Eastman and his wife Jane had spent long periods in local hospitals and would require further expensive treatment in future in Australia. They were injured when a bakkie driven by retired Australian professor Robert Mitchell crashed between Himeville and Sani Pass road. According to evidence , Mitchell was driving fast on a wet, slippery road. He was ordered to pay 30 percent, or R9 million, of the Eastman couple's damages. -
Sowetan website

See also :

Pothole wrangle goes to highest court - 23 June
The Constitutional Court will be the final arbiter on who is responsible for the severe injuries sustained by a Pietermaritzburg advocate when he crashed his bicycle while trying to avoid potholes in August 2004. Allistair McIntosh, who sued the KwaZulu-Natal premier and transport MEC four years ago for R7,6-million because of the injuries he sustained, confirmed to The Mercury on Sunday that he had been served with papers indicating the provincial government's intention to challenge the matter in the Constitutional Court. -
IOL website
[
InfoUpdate 29 of 2008]

Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa
29 May 2008
632/07
McIntosh v Premier, KwaZulu-Natal (632/07) [2008] ZASCA 62
Delict – cyclist falling in attempt to avoid pothole in road - legal duty of Province apparent from statute – additional considerations when weighing up reasonableness of public authority's conduct

Pothole victim sues province - 26 January 2009
The Witness website
[InfoUpdate 3 of 2009]

North Gauteng High Court
Court wrangle over property rates double bill - 23 June
A Wierda Park resident turned to the Pretoria High Court after the Tshwane Metro Council apparently seized R200 he had paid for electricity towards his outstanding double billed property rates account. Hermanus Jacobs said in papers before the Pretoria High Court that on June 11 he went to his local supermarket to buy a voucher for his prepaid electricity meter. He handed R200 to the cashier to pay. She returned without the voucher and told him the council had refused to sell him electricity. "I asked her to return my R200. She said she could not as the council had automatically used my money on my so-called arrears". -
IOL website
South Gauteng High Court
White squatters triumph - 3 June
The people of a squatter camp for whites in Krugersdorp have given the Mogale municipality a bloody nose in court by successfully opposing an eviction order. The 225 mainly Afrikaner residents of Coronation Caravan Park, near Krugersdorp Dam, on the West Rand, were taken to court by the municipality. It wants to evict them to make way for a park for the influx of soccer fans expected for this month's Fifa Confederations Cup. Mogale municipality's urgent application for an eviction order was dismissed by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg because the council had not followed the correct procedures in its efforts to evict the residents. The residents' lawyer, Naude de Klerk, told The Times that their victory meant that the right to housing had triumphed over "putting a television up for people to watch soccer". -
The Times website
SA Government. Speeches
3 June 2009
Providing a mixture of housing products
 
Rural development, food security a priority - 3 June
Government is to put in place a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agragrian reform and food security. This is according to President Jacob Zuma, who delivered his first State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Wednesday. "Working together with our people in the rural areas, we will ensure a comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agragrian reform and food security, as our third priority," he said. -
BuaNews Online website
 
4 June 2009
Speech by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr G Nkwinti, (MP) debate on the State of the Nation Address National Assembly, Parliament
Useful Links and Items of Interest
South Africa
Agriculture
Minister holds out olive branch to white commercial farmers - 19 June
Briefing the media yesterday in the wake of her budget vote on Wednesday, Joemat-Pettersson said that without partnerships with organised agriculture, SA could achieve neither the target of moving from being a net importer of food to being a net exporter, nor that of putting 30% of farmland into black hands by 2014. She said her department's mandate was to turn SA into a net exporter of food and "we recognise that without organised agriculture we cannot have a turnaround strategy for agriculture in this country". The minister also moved to reassure the agricultural sector that assistance would not be confined to subsistence farmers and that commercial agriculture was vital to the department’s turnaround strategy. -
Business Day website
Land Affairs

Deeds Office figures on property sales - 19 June
House sales continue to drop and from a legal point of view, the volumes of deeds lodged at the Pretoria Deeds Office have already dropped from approximately 6 000 a month to 1 800 a month. -
Michael di Broglio's Legal Blog

Move to use farmland as a graveyard outrages residents - 3 June
Residents of Moime village in Maake, outside Tzaneen, are angered that the local municipality has converted their farming land into a graveyard for the Lenyenye community without consultation. They said they were surprised to see a bulldozer from a private company contracted by the Tzaneen municipality to clear their farming land for use as a graveyard without their knowledge. Residents spokesperson Choshi Ramodike said when they made enquiries at the Bakgaga ba Maake Traditional Authority, most of its members did not know anything about an agreement reached with the area's queen on the use of the land. -
Sowetan website

Development

Golden corridor's agonising wait - 24 June
Some view the Howick-Durban corridor as a potentially abundant source of future economic growth and job creation. However, its successful development as a prime logistics hub will rest largely on the commitment of financial and human resources from the two major municipalities that stand to gain the most out of this vision - Msunduzi and eThekwini. -
Witness website

New residential property : more pain looms - 18 June
Builders, interior decorators and other suppliers of goods and services in the new residential property arena can expect the tough times to continue. The number of building plans passed by local government officials is down dramatically on recent years, latest statistics show. In a note released by Absa Home Loans, senior property analyst Jacques du Toit said residential building activity is expected to remain depressed for the rest of the year. This was in response to the release of data on residential building activity by Statistics South Africa up to April 2009, which "indicate that the planning and construction phases of the housing sector remain depressed against the background of tough economic conditions". -
Moneyweb website

Land Claims and Expropriation

17 June 2009
Govt must set pace and price of land reform
Speech by Stone Sizani, ANC MP and chairperson of the portfolio committee on rural development and land reform, national assembly, parliament, Cape Town, June 17 2009
Politicsweb website

Minister calls for a new look at land reform - 5 June
In a briefing document circulated to members of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on rural development and land reform, Nkwinti called for a review of all the major land reform products implemented in the past decade. The 1997 white paper on land reform, on which the products are based, states that land reform must reverse racially skewed ownership patterns inherited from apartheid that prevented black South Africans from using natural resources to accumulate wealth. Nkwinti's briefing document calls for the drafting of a new white paper that will focus on turning land reforms into a catalyst for rural economic development. This may require drafting new enabling legislation, the document says. -
Business Day website

20 June 2009
Willing buyer, willing seller model doesn't work
Speech by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, on his departmental budget vote, national assembly, parliament, Cape Town, June 17 2009
Politicsweb website

Keep land for S Africans - 17 June
Significant changes are to be made to the willing buyer-willing seller model of land restitution, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Wednesday. Less costly models would be investigated, he told MPs in the National Assembly during debate on his department's budget vote. Nkwinti said both landless people and the ANC, at its last convention, had noted the willing seller-willing buyer model did not work. The department would now seek a different formula for land redistribution. -
News24 website

S Africa farmers' union critices land reform plans - 19 June
South Africa's biggest farmers' union on Friday criticised the government's plans to scrap a voluntary system of buying land from white farmers to give to poor blacks. Johannes Moller, president of farmers union AgriSA said the move to scrap the willing-buyer, willing-seller model, under which the government negotiates with owners to buy land, would be unconstitutional unless the system were replaced with a similar one. -
Reuters website

Govt won't seize white farms, says minister - 16 June
South Africa's new Agriculture Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said on Tuesday the continent's biggest maize producer would not seize white farms to redistribute to black South Africans as this would harm its economy. -
Mail & Guardian website

See also : Agriculture

South African farmers claim for mine rights, Business Day says - 4 June
South African farmers are submitting claims for damages incurred during the expropriation of their mineral rights, Business Day reported, citing AgriSA, a farmers association. Farmers are being advised to submit details of their claims to the association as soon as possible, the Johannesburg-based newspaper said, citing Nic Opperman, AgriSA's natural resources director. -
Bloomberg website
Keyphrase :
Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act

Land claims : government staff don't agree - 8 June
Chief land claims commissioner Andrew Mphela says the government must offer land owners market value for their property – but his staff are ignoring him. Mphela has been in a flurry of meetings with Agri SA and other stakeholders recently, and last month emphatically told reporters it is not government policy to offer landowners less than market value for properties earmarked for restitution. Mphela was attempting to calm persistent fears over rumours that willing sellers were suffering financial losses, resulting from government purchase offers being "significantly lower" than actual property values. -
Citizen website

Chief and developer clash over land - 20 June
Fed up with the slow pace of a land claim lodged a decade ago, a KwaZulu-Natal induna is dishing out chunks of privately owned land to villagers in return for a "calabash full of Zulu beer". This has pitted headman Muzikawu-tshingwa Msane against the land's shocked owner, Richards Bay hotelier Freddy Schoonhoven, who said he knew nothing of the claim until the land's illegal occupation. Msane, who says he'll ask King Goodwill Zwelithini to intervene, said he had lodged the claim because the property in the Ogwadleni area was ancestral land. Local community leader, Chris Mkhize, said land in a traditional authority area was communally owned and neither a chief nor his headman had the authority to sell it. KwaZulu-Natal Land Claims Commission spokesman, Nokuthokoza Ndlela, said the commission was still investigating the claim's validity. She said nobody was allowed to sell or develop land once there was a claim on the property. -
The Times website

Anger over RDPs - 18 May
Left to solve the problems that besieged his predecessors, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka had to visit Finetown informal settlement in Enerdale, south of Johannesburg, yesterday to calm down angry residents. The community had gone on rampage on Saturday after a report- back meeting by local councillor Freedom Sotshantsha, who told them that the council would not be able to build RDP houses on the piece of land they were staying in because it was dolomitic. -
Sowetan website

Eviction case may sow seeds of reform - 11 June
The decision by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to try to evict emerging farmer Veronica Moos again is probably a blessing in disguise. Moos herself, of course, is devastated. After winning a court order to be restored to her farm, she set about securing production credit with the backing of the Gauteng branch of farmers' union AgriSA, and is being assigned a mentor to provide her with technical and marketing guidance. To be told she's still in breach of the department's controversial "use it or lose it" policy and faces fresh eviction proceedings therefore came as a nasty shock. The department's decision has, however, prompted Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) to prepare a case on behalf of Moos against the government's Proactive Land Acquisition (Plas) policy. -
allAfrica website

Property Law

Tardy councils face financial paralysis - 26 June
Many municipalities could face financial paralysis after Tuesday when the deadline for the creation of new property valuation rolls expires. The Municipal Property Rates Act, which became law in July 2005, specified that all municipalities had to revalue all properties in their areas for the purposes of levying rates. The act gave them four years to comply. Those that did not cannot legally levy rates. Thus their major source of revenue for payment of salaries and provision of services will be stalled, deepening the crisis faced by dozens of municipalities. -
allAfrica website

Municipal Management and Procedure

Cape Town

City endorses draft policy to guide future urban planning - 23 June
The City of Cape Town has endorsed a draft policy that will guide the way in which the space available for urban growth is used in future. This draft policy will soon be open for public discussion and comment. Known as the Cape Town Spatial Development Framework (SDF), it will supersede the guide plans and spatial plans now used to reach land use decisions. -
City of Cape Town website

R10-million to stop city land invasions - 8 June
The City of Cape Town is spending R10-million in the current financial year to fund its Anti-Land Invasion Unit (ALIU) in an effort to safeguard housing projects it says "are being threatened by systematically planned and executed land invasions". But anti-eviction organisations have slammed the unit, saying the money could be better spent elsewhere and that it is leading to "war" between communities and the city. -
allAfrica website

See also : Constitutional Court. Residents of Joe Slovo Community, Western Cape v Thubelisha Homes and Others

eThekwini

City Manager's Newsletter : Response to Academics around Warwick Developments - 4 June

A few days ago a former employee, now academic, Glen Robbins wrote to me requesting assistance in addressing the state of urban policy and research at the University. He bemoaned the fact that UKZN was losing ground in research in the area of urban policy. He asked if we could develop a more collaborative relationship between eThekwini and UKZN. Whilst I am still discussing the matter with my colleagues I personally share his sentiments. Interestingly, having worked at UKZN and now at eThekwini I have come to realize that the municipality has an outstanding group of researchers, teachers and practitioners in urban policy who have made and continue to make significant contributions to redressing the terrible effects of the apartheid city.

Academia is about research, teaching and outreach. In all these endeavours, enquiry and engagement are critical to developing arguments and coming to conclusions. Sadly, none of the academics listed has taken the time to do their job, before drawing their conclusions. Some have worked in the area and some get paid to write about the poor of Warwick. In spite of it being one of the most researched areas in our city, very little has been done to make Warwick serve the interests of its commuters, giving them access to safer environments, more public spaces and better retail opportunities. Certainly none of these academics has really applied their mind to our proposals and that of the developer.

The reality of Warwick is that it is a classically designed apartheid transport hub. Formerly Indian areas were the buffer between the commuter hubs used by African South Africans and the white CBD. The Early Morning Market has 600 leaseholders, over 95% of whom were formerly classified as Indian, and some have now illegally sublet their leases. The street traders who have emerged in the area post-1990 are dominantly African.

For most of the day the area is dirty, there are far too few ablutions and commuters are very vulnerable, with this being the most dangerous set of intersections in South Africa. There are no banks, post offices and sufficient public services in the area to serve the number of people who deserve access. Since the demise of apartheid, sub-nodes have emerged organically as space becomes available, with a whole set of inefficiencies. Just walk behind mothers and children who take taxis from their homes into and out of our city through Warwick and you will realize how vulnerable they are.

Taxis going to the South of the city are located in the north, taxis from the north are located in the south, some areas are crime ridden, many pedestrians are forced to walk on the street because traders have taken over many sidewalks.

The academics have no sense of the geographic scale of Warwick and confuse the overall precinct with the private sector investment of some R400million. The precinct is huge and much less than half comprises the transport hub. Within that transport hub, only a very small portion is made up of the area in which we will be developing the taxi and retail space (only some 20000 square metres of shopping) and the Early Morning Market is a very small component of the business occurring in the area.

Our many motivations to national government for assistance to reconfigure the transport hub to serve the needs of commuters finally bore fruit because of the 2010-related investments. Our plan aims to improve public transportation systems to enhance accessibility, mobility and safety ; reduce unnecessary traffic congestion; create economic opportunities for both informal and formal trade ; and make development culturally responsive and unique to enhance the tourist potential of the area.

The first step in turning Warwick into a public transport hub was to take the Western Freeway traffic out of the area. Hundreds of commuters have died or been seriously injured because of vehicles coming off the freeway. We are therefore building two overpasses feeding into and coming out of the Western Freeway. The second step was to integrate the various ranks and mini-hubs so that commuters would have a seamless transition from one mode to another. Taxis parking all over the area meant that there was little room for manoevre. Our solution was to deck the southern part of the Berea station so that taxis could be relocated there, but the cost of over R300 million to do so was far too prohibitive. The next best option was to create a taxi garage on the site of the Early Morning Market. Thirdly, our Inner City People Mover needed space to integrate into that area. Finally, we needed to improve the area so that commuters were not so vulnerable. Dangerous conflict.

Given that we simply did not receive enough funding from national government, and as we were going to build a taxi facility on the site of the Early Morning Market, the developers who had been appointed to regenerate the Berea Road Station approached us with a proposal. They had the air rights to address the taxi configuration and suggested that instead of in effect a parking garage, that they build a retail centre on the site taking into account the transport, commuter and trading needs that the city identified. This was a win-win solution, not costing the municipality any more than what is on budget. Importantly it is the first time ever we have had a R380 million development in Warwick and is the first time in the city that informal traders will be allocated space in the retail centre and also be given better opportunities to trade on the pavement next to the Mall under improved trading conditions.

We care about what the commuters need. They require a seamless integration between trains, taxis and buses. This flow can now easily be achieved. Taxis are able to be located on the second floor of the building (built by the developer) and the city has rights to develop a third floor if required. The also want better public facilities and open spaces and they will get these. They also want a range of shopping opportunities in the area. An independent study on retail needs in the areas and based on surveys of commuters shows they are very dissatisfied with the range and mix of available opportunities. A study late last year showed that over 75% of the commuters wanted a range of retail opportunities other than those available right now, from grocery stores to music to clothing to cell phones and the like. They wanted banks and a post office and wanted facilities such as ablutions. And the city would also want any such development to have a strong empowerment content. Whilst the developers presently have over 25% of their investors being people of African origin, we have set as a condition that within 5 years this should be over 50%. It is unacceptable that even 15 years after a democratic government is established that people formerly classified as African South Africans are not in the mainstream of retail developments and this Warwick development will help to redress that.

It should also be noted that the retail side of the Warwick development is not a Mall. It is just over 20 000 square metres in size, slightly smaller than the Berea shopping centre!

The development will affect three groups of traders and we are doing everything we can to accommodate all within the area. The first group, who have come to be called the Bovine Head Cookers have been relocated into the English Market literally over the road from where they presently are located. They have agreed completely with the city and are happy to relocate. The second group are the street traders. All will be accommodated within the new development in far better conditions than they presently occupy, but they will still pay the same tariff as they do presently. Importantly, there are graduation possibilities to allow these traders to move into situations where they become SMMEs. All of these traders have agreed with the development and are happy with the process.

The third group are the Early Morning Market traders. This is the group which has continually stood in opposition to the development. We presently have around 600 such traders who have leases with the city. Their reality is that they presently owe the city almost R20 million in outstanding rentals and in fact many of the lessees have illegally sublet their leases to other traders. Our own work shows that there is massive exploitation occurring in this sector. We have proposed that these traders be moved from the northern side of the freeway to the southern side (some 200 metres) and while we work with them on how we can ensure more sustainable livelihoods for them and their employees. Importantly, they have previously agreed that the existing market is simply not viable and all we are now doing is to engage with them and identify much more viable opportunities. Unfortunately, they have refused to engage with us.

It is strange that the academics are now gathering in opposition around this group, not interested in the conditions under which 400 000 or more commuters operate in the area every single day.

I am not sure if it is race or self-interest or opposition to the democratic majority that brings these academics together, but it is certainly not as a result of them practicing their craft. I am sure in days to come an academic will study the nature and form of this interesting social group of academics now characterized as being against the Warwick developments. If they had done a little research or done some thinking I am certain they would not have penned such opposition. As a society we are encouraging more and more users of public transport, but I haven't heard the academics tell us about how to deal with the squalor these commuters face. And today there are thousands of children travelling alone on public transport through the Warwick area and quite frankly they are incredibly vulnerable. These are the people we are planning for.

We would be delighted to engage with these academics to encourage them to unpick the apartheid city and create a new city in which we do something to ensure the lives of the working classes are improved and the poor don't remain poor forever. With or without these academics, though, I am certain that the lives of the commuters in the area will be improved in Warwick and we will continue to focus on that.

Dr Michael Sutcliffe
City Manager : eThekwini

 

City Manager's Newsletter : Warwick Development : Response to Robbins and Skinner - 12 June

The request for public debate around Warwick developments is welcome, but I am not sure that Glen Robbins and Caroline Skinner have drawn on any basic research to substantiate their claims.

Let me elaborate. They begin by agreeing with me that our focus should be on improving the lives of the 400 000 or so commuters who visit Warwick on a daily basis. But Robbins and Skinner provide no analysis of who the commuters are and what we should be doing to respond to their needs.  We have that analysis and have used it to start improving the area.

What we know is that these commuters are working class people, with some 94% being of working age. 70% of these commuters earn between R2 500 and R7 000 per month, showing that many have disposable income. Whilst they are happy with being able to buy fresh produce, they have overwhelmingly indicated that the range of available products in the area are inadequate. Hence the need for retail centres providing such opportunities, of which the Warwick development will be one.

Many of the 6% who are not of working age include children as young as 7 years old who catch the train by themselves, from KwaMashu and other parts of our city to attend schools in the CBD like Addington Primary School next door to where I live. They must surely have a safe and seamless link between the various modes of transport. As parents, surely we don’t want children walking huge distances along busy and unsafe streets?

Over 90% of those surveyed make use of taxi's, buses and trains as their main mode of transport, but 60% of them spend at least one hour and over 25% spending over 2 hours in Warwick on a daily basis. This time is presently spent walking between transport modes or simply waiting in queues with sun and rain bearing down on them. Surely, this is enough reason for us to get more and better facilities in the area.

Only 5% of all the people surveyed actually enjoyed the area. This goes against the romanticism of the academics who seem to think Warwick is a nice, vibey place. It may be so if you are a visitor and want to see the poor and working classes, but if you are a commuter it is close to hell.

In terms of the crime issue, it is absurd to think that we would not expect the developers to implement security of the highest standards. They would do that anyway to protect their investment, the investment of the Tenants and the informal traders that will form part of this development. And we will have integrated into that a far better CCTV coverage of the precinct as a whole.

It is true that some architects met my colleagues and I and one of the things they claimed was that such a retail centre may well increase rather than decrease crime. We asked them to provide such evidence as I would never knowingly allow that to be the case. They could not provide it at the meeting, but agreed in my presence to meet the developer to take such matters forward. They were invited to do so, but unfortunately later refused to meet and instead said they would fight the issue through the media. Surely, the architecture fraternity is being poorly served by leaders who show scant disregard for honestly made requests by the city to provide evidence supporting such claims?

We have consulted extensively with all other stakeholders. Both the central and south bound taxi associations will make use of the rank in the retail centre. And over 270 traders will be part of the shopping complex and Masigiye Square and they will continue to ensure prices are kept competitive.

Finally, Robbins and Skinner have clearly not even looked at the designs of the new centre and yet they make bold and uninformed comments. The facts are that all walk ways within the mall are 10 meters wide, compared to the 8 meters found in Gateway. This allows us to address 'the large volumes of commuters that will link the trains, buses and taxis. Currently, there are no facilities that can accommodate the handicapped, but once complete, all the levels will be accessible to the handicapped via the installation of lifts. Pedestrians will be far safer in the centre and on the pedestrianised Julius Nyerere street.  The shopping centre is only in the region of 21 000 sqm (smaller than the Berea Centre) and yet has four different entrances in order not to restrict any flow of commuter movement between the various transport nodes. These walk ways will remain open and secure 24 hours a day. All the street traders for the first time will have lockable facilities, dedicated delivery areas and an area that will be continuously monitored by the centre management in terms of security, cleanliness etc.

I would urge Robbins, Skinner and their colleagues to go back to the basics, do some research and draw conclusions which will better the lives of the poor. I look forward to engaging with them around finding real solutions and if they need some assistance in research methods, I will  again make myself available to teach such at UKZN.

Dr Michael Sutcliffe
City Manager : eThekwini

Rubber bullets fly at Durban market - 15 June
The situation is extremely volatile this hour at the Early Morning Market in Durban’s Warwick Junction. A short while ago, police opened fire on traders with rubber bullets, wounding a number of them. This was apparently after traders tried to break down the gates to the market. -
East Coast Radio blog

Press Release Early Morning Market Traders : Responding to the Misinformation

This press release was emailed out at : 16 June, 2009 21:40

Over the past few days the Early Morning Market traders have approached the courts to obtain court orders after which they have misled the media and the public about these matters.

On Saturday morning the Early Morning Market Traders Association approached the courts to obtain a rule ordering eThekwini Municipality to restore their members possession and occupation of their stalls. Having obtained this order, they then refused to provide the municipality with a copy of their order until Monday morning. On Saturday they pronounced that this was a significant victory for them, but when finally we read the order we realized it was of academic value only as the municipality has never barred traders with leases from access to their stalls. The fact these traders are not trading is simply that they have willingly decided not to trade but to stand in sympathy with persons who have no rights to trade in the Early Morning Market.

In his own affidavit, Mr Haripersad Ramlal agreed with the city that those traders who occupy stalls leased to them by the city should have access to their stalls and we have always agreed.

The problem is that most of the persons who have such leases are not occupying the stall but appear to have illegally sublet them to other persons. These persons have no right to trade in the Early Morning Market.

Having realized this, on Monday the Early Morning Market Traders Association again approached the courts to try and broaden the list of traders who should have access to the market. The court however, told them they should look at the citys official list and if they disagreed with that list then they should go back to court to explain why they disagreed. Attorneys from the city and from the Traders Association met today and agreed that the citys [sic] list is the one that should be used to determine who has the right to trade in the Early Morning Market.

In the interests of transparency I have enclosed the list of persons who are on that list.

Our own survey on 4 June indicated that from this list, only 239 stalls were occupied by legal tenants, some 332 stalls were occupied illegally by subtenants who submitted affidavits indicating that they had no agreements with us and there were 105 stalls vacant.

For the record, then the city has not ever been in contempt of court. It is important that the media report properly on these matters and not be led by people who claim easy victories, but who pursue a path of confrontation. The city has all along wished that Early Morning Market Traders take up our offer that they be temporarily relocated whilst we work with them in finding a more sustainable future.

Dr Michael Sutcliffe
City Manager : eThekwini

Names of persons with leases/permits/kiosks :

ABDULLA A
ABDULLAH S B
ABOOBAKER A
ABOOBAKER & BEE S
ADAM F
ADAM H B
ADHIAMMA & MUNIAN
AHAD  A
AMDUTT H
AMMAYEE
ANJALAI
ARJOON L
ARRAN M
BAATHYAMMA S
BACHOO N
BEE S
BHANMATI
BHIKHA G
BHIKHA G & BHIKHA A G
BHIKHA G & BHIKHA A G
BHOODOO I
BHOODOO D
BIBI A H
BISNATH
BISNATH
BRAJ O
BUDHU S
BUDHU S & BOODHOO M
BUDREE G
BUSOWAT C
CASSIM A M
CHANDERAL C
CHANDERAL C
CHANNAH M L
CHETTY
CHETTY S K
CHETTY C D
CHETTY D
CHETTY G
CHETTY G
CHETTY G C R
CHETTY J
CHETTY K
CHETTY K
CHETTY L
CHETTY M
CHETTY M
CHETTY M
CHETTY S
CHETTY S
CHETTY C
CHETTY J
CHETTY L
CHETTY L
CHETTY R
CHETTY R
CHETTY R
CHETTY R
CHILIZA F B
CHUNDERMAL
DAYAL D H
DAYAL H D & D D
DAYANAND R
DAYANAND B
DAYANAR D
DEVANAI
DEVI S
DHUSRATH L
DIANATHEVIAMAL
ELLAMMA
ELLAMMA & GOVENDER V
FAKIR E
GANGADI
GAREEB B
GOOBIAH D
GOUNDEN C & GOVENDER M
GOUNDEN G
GOVENDER G G
GOVENDER I P
GOVENDER J
GOVENDER K
GOVENDER K
GOVENDER K
GOVENDER L
GOVENDER M
GOVENDER N
GOVENDER P
GOVENDER P
GOVENDER P S
GOVENDER R
GOVENDER S
GOVENDER T
GOVENDER V
GOVENDER V
GOVENDER V
GOVENDER V
GOVENDER A & NAIDOO T
GOVENDER G
GOVENDER M
GOVENDER N
GOVENDER P
GOVENDER P & GOVENDER V
GOVENDER P & GOVENDER R
GOVENDER R
GOVENDER S
GOVENDER T
GOVENDER Y
GOVENDER S & CUPISAMI K
GOVENDER S & CUPISAMI R
GOVINDAMMA
GOVINDHRAJULU
GURUVEN S G
HALUMAN R
HANEEF M
HANEEF M
HANEEF M
HARICHUND
HARICHUND D
HARIKRISHNA K
HARINARIAN
HARIPERSAD S
HARISANKER
HASSEN
HIRALALL J
HIRALALL R
HIRAMAN ANIL
HIRAMAN V
HLENGWA D W
HOOSEN A B
HOOSEN I
HOOSEN I
HOOSEN M N
HOOSEN R
INDERJEETH
ISAIAH C
ISAIAH C
ISAIAH C
ISAIAH C
ISMAIL A M
ISMAIL H
ISREAL M
JACKPERSAD R
JAGARNATH B
JAGGERNATH
JOORAVAN  L
JUDGEO R
JUGGERNATH
JUGNANAN P
KAMATCHI
KAMATTCHI
KANDHIALALL P
KASHAYALIE S & RAMCHARAN V
KASHAYALIE S & RAMCHARAN V
KASHAYALIE S & RAMCHARAN V
KAULA J & RAMLUCKEN H M
KAULA J & RAMLUCKEN H M
KEMWATHY & NARRIAN M
KHAN A
KHAN I G
KHANYILE J K
KHOZA B
KULLAMMA
KUMARIDEVI
LAKSHMIBAI
LECHMI M
LOGABATHY
LOGAMBAL & SWIMINATHAN
LOGANATHAN M
LOGATHASEN
LUTCHMAMMA
LUTCHMEE
LUTCHMEE
LUTCHMEE
LUTCHNYANARIAN M
MABEKEKE G V
MABHENGU M N
MAGHRAJ A M
MAHABEER P
MAHABEER P & CHANDDIKA C
MAHABIR M
MAHABIR M
MAHABIR M
MAHADEO K
MAHADEO S
MAHADEO S
MAHARAJ
MAHARAJ
MAHARAJ A
MAHARAJ S
MAHARAJ S D
MAHARAJ A Y
MAHARAJ D Y
MAHARAJ D Y
MAHARAJ H
MAHARAJ K
MAHARAJ P & RAMPERSAD S
MAHARAJ S D
MAHARAJ S K
MAHARAJ V
MAHARAJ A
MAHARAJ B P
MAHARAJ D S
MAHARAJ D S
MAHARAJ N
MAHARAJ R
MAIN M G
MAISTRY D
MAISTRY P
MAISTRY M
MANDLEVU S
MANDRI O
MANDRI O
MANDRI S
MANDRI M
MANILALL & PANDAY G
MANOGARAN & INDRANI
MANQELE Q J
MARIAMMA & MOGANARUNGAN
MARIAMMA & SAROJINI
MBHELE G
MBHELE J
MCHUNU S C
MDLETSHE Z T
MIAJEE M & MIAJEE G
MKHIZE B
MKHIZE S G
MOGANARUNGAN
MOHABIR B B
MOHAMED A B
MOHAMED G
MOHAMED J B
MOHAN & PALAD
MOODLEY K S
MOODLEY K S
MOODLEY P

MOODLEY P
MOODLEY R
MOODLEY V
MOODLEY V
MOODLEY K S
MOODLEY R & MOODLEY D
MOODLEY C & MOODLEY G G
MOOIDEN
MOONIAMAH
MOONIAMAH
MOONSAMY
MSILANI G N
MSWELI A M
MTHEMBU B E
MTULI B K
MUNIAM L
MUNIAMAH C
MUNIAMMAL
MUNIANNAL
MUNISAMI
MUNISAMI S & PARANDAN O H
MUNNIAMAH
MUNSAMY M
MUTHAMMA
MUTHAMMA
MUTHAMMA
NAICKER S
NAICKER M
NAICKER S
NAICKER A
NAICKER V
NAICKER P
NAIDOO
NAIDOO S K D
NAIDOO C
NAIDOO J
NAIDOO L
NAIDOO L
NAIDOO N
NAIDOO S
NAIDOO S
NAIDOO S
NAIDOO A
NAIDOO B C
NAIDOO D
NAIDOO D
NAIDOO L
NAIDOO R
NAIDOO R
NAIDOO K
NAIDU P
NALA S I
NANDKUMAR
NANDRAJ R
NARADU P
NARAINSAMY
NDABA F A
NDABA S J
NDABA Z
NDIMANDE S N
NEELAMBAY
NENE T S
NORVEY M
NTOMBELA S M
NTULI T H
NUNDKISSOR A
NUNDKUMAR
NUNKUMAR D
NZIMANDE T E
OSMAN S E
OSMAN I
OSMAN I
PADAYACHEE M
PADAYACHEE V R
PALE R
PANDAY S
PARATHMEN P
PARSOTHAM C & M
PATEL C S
PATEL S
PATEL C S
PATHAMVATHI
PATHER G V
PEERIMAL M R
PEERUMAL L
PEERUMAL L
PERSAD N
PHEHLUKWAYO K M
PHEHLUKWAYO K M
PHEHLUKWAYO N C
PILLAI S R
PILLAY G
PILLAY N & LUTCHMEE
PILLAY R
PILLAY R
PILLAY S M
PILLAY S V
PILLAY R
PILLAY S
PILLAY S
PILLAY S
PILLAY V
PILLAY V
PILLAY G
PITCHIAH
POLAMMA & VASUDEVAN
POOMONEY & GOVENDER R
PREMLALL
PUSKARANANDH
RADHA
RAJBARAN S
RAJCOOMAR N & BASDEO
RAJPAL V
RAJPAL V
RAKIM A B
RAKIM A B
RAKIM A H
RAMABALI
RAMAN C
RAMAN C
RAMAN C
RAMATUAR N
RAMATUAR R
RAMBALI V
RAMBALI V
RAMBARUTH C
RAMCHARAN V
RAMCHURAN N
RAMDAW N
RAMJEE N
RAMJEE U B
RAMKISSON R K
RAMKISSON R K
RAMKISSON R K
RAMLALL H
RAMLALL H
RAMLALL G
RAMLALL H
RAMLALL H
RAMLALL R
RAMLALL R R
RAMLALL R R
RAMNATH S D
RAMPERSHAD
RAMPERSHAD N
RAMSUMAIR
RANCHOD P
RANCHOD P
RANI D & MOONSAMY D
RANMATH
RAPITI R A
RAZAK A
REDDY G
REDDY K M
REDDY P R
REDDY P R
REDDY L
REDDY L
REDDY L
REDDY Y
ROOKMONEY
ROOKMONEY
RUTHMANI
SAIMEN R
SAMDEVI
SAMPATH B
SAMY D
SANJITH
SANNAH G
SARNAR M
SARWAR G H
SATHIATH M
SATHIATH M
SAVANDALIAI
SAVATHIRI
SELVATHURAY V & NAGAN E S
SELVATHURAY V & NAGAN E S
SEWNANDAN A
SEWNARAIN
SEWNARAN R
SHADEO
SHAIK A S
SHAIK A S
SHAIN M
SHEZI B P
SHUNMUGAN
SHUNMUGAN S
SINGH A
SINGH A
SINGH B
SINGH B
SINGH J
SINGH J
SINGH R
SINGH R
SINGH S
SINGH V
SITHAMMA
SOMANATHAN & MUNIAMMA
SRIKISSON
SUBBAMMA
SUBBAMMA D H
SUMINTHRA
SUNDER R & MAHABEER P R
SUNDERLALL P
SUNITHRA
SUNMUKHLAL
SURESH
THAMBIRAN A
THAMBIRAN P
THANRDAZIE G
THUSINI T
TININI M
TSHAKA X
VALLABH H D
VALLABH H D
VALLABH R
VALLIE S M
VARATHRAJUL
VEERAMMA
VEERON R
VEERSAMY G
VENKATASU A
VENKATASU J
VENKATASU R
VENKATASU E B
VENKETAMMA
VIJIALUTCHMEE
XOLO S N
XUTYELO N
YAGALINGUM
YEGABARAM J
YOUNUS R
ZAMA S L

Durban market clash raises a historic echo - 17 June
History has a way of repeating itself. The conflict over plans to build a 20 000m2 shopping centre and taxi rank at the site of the Early Morning Market, on the fringes of the Durban city centre, echoes a struggle that began in the late 1800s. So far it has not been an easy ride for city manager Mike Sutcliffe. Rising tensions over the mall have made the developer, Isolenu, edgy. The KwaZulu-Natal heritage agency Amafa has declined an application to alter the site, due to the historical nature of some parts of the building, particularly the gates. Now the Durban High Court has ruled that traders can continue operating from the site until Friday. Moving location this time could result in the market closing for good. -
Business Report website

Durban council's trader fees stretch legal boundary - 19 June
The Durban city council may be flouting competition laws with a surcharge it levies on traders at the Early Morning Market at Warwick Junction, where a controversial mall development is planned. The Competition Act says it is prohibited for a dominant firm to require or induce a supplier or customer to not deal with a competitor. But a city official said the surcharge would be up for review when a feasibility study was done later this year on restructuring Durban markets. -
Business Report website

Thousands of livelihoods jeopardized to make way for a shopping mall for FIFA 2010 - 23 June
Traders from the Warwick Junction Market of eThekwini (Durban), South Africa are enduring police harassment, including being shot with rubber bullets, in a bid to defend their livelihoods. For these traders, their income is vital to the survival of their families. Even during the economic downturn, the city is prioritizing building a shopping mall for the upcoming FIFA 2010 World Cup over the survival of thousands of traders and their families. -
Wired PR News website

Traders, cops clash at Durban market - 24 June
Angry traders have clashed with Durban Metro Police this morning as their fresh produce and goods were being confiscated from the Early Morning Market in Warwick Junction. Traders were yesterday given a guarantee by Durban city mayor Obed Mlaba that he would be at the market at 5am to see that all traders were allowed to open their shops but were caught unexpectedly by police, who acting on the orders of the city’s market manager, began seizing their goods. Early Morning Market Association chairman Harry Ramlall said he was shocked that the city was continuing its clampdown on traders when a task team, led by Economic Affairs MEC Mike Mabuyakulu, yesterday agreed that the traders could operate while the KwaZulu-Natal High Court made a decision on the legality of all traders. -
The Times website

Fatima Meer rallies behind market traders - 28 June
Durban social activist Fatima Meer has condemned the impending closure of the city's Early Morning Market by the eThekwini Municipality. Meer, 80, said she was concerned that the closure of the market, to make way for a multimillion-rand shopping complex, would "hurt" the working class who shop there. This week, the 1860 Legacy Foundation, a body formed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in South Africa, stepped into the fray by convening a mass meeting to encourage debate on the future of the market. "The council is trying to split up the traders. However, they have been admirably united in their tremendous fight", said Meer. - The Times website

See also : KwaZulu-Natal High Court : Durban

Provincial Government

23 June 2009
Address by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, honourable Sicelo Shiceka, on the occasion of the Budget Vote in Parliament
SA Government Information website

Provinces may be scrapped : Shiceka - 23 June
Changes to provincial and local government structures were being studied and a decision would be made by March next year whether SA needed provinces at all, Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka said yesterday. The possibility of changes in the number of provinces has long been a subject for debate but this is the first time that there has been a suggestion that provinces could be abandoned completely. -
Business Day website

Zille slams Shiceka's 'do we need provinces?' statement - 23 June
The DA condemns in the strongest possible terms the acknowledgement yesterday by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, that the ruling party may try to scrap the provinces and that it is forging ahead with the Constitution 17th Amendment Bill. I have written to President Zuma requesting an urgent meeting to state my objections to these measures. -
Politicsweb website

Hands off three-tier system, DA tells govt - 24 June
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has issued a strong call to government to reject any plan to do away with provinces or to reduce their self-governing powers. -
Citizen website

ANC handling of local government 'a failure' - 24 June
Despite some successes, the ANC government's management of provincial and local government in the past 15 years had been a failure, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka said yesterday. His assessment, as he introduced his budget vote in the National Assembly, is the most brutal yet from a minister. Shiceka said that unless something was done, the state would fail to deal with service delivery backlogs, let alone make progress. -
Business Day website

What now for provinces? - 26 June
Does this mean that provinces will be abolished? I seriously doubt that it would. First, it would require a major re-engineering of the Constitution. The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will have to be scrapped along with the whole section of the Constitution dealing with provincial government. Chapter 3 – dealing with co-operative government – will also have to be amended. Whether the present crop of ANC leaders has the will and expertise to take on this momentous task is unclear. - Pierre de Vos on the
Constitutionally Speaking website

See also : InfoUpdate 11 of 2009. South Africa. Provincial Government

Taxation Law

Tax break looms for property investors - 25 June
David Warneke, a tax specialist and partner at Cameron & Prentice Chartered Accountants, spells out how a new draft law will work in favour of property investors. The Draft 2009 Taxation Laws Amendments contain a proposal that, if enacted, will allow individuals to transfer their domestic residence out of a company or close-corporation, for a period of two years, tax-free. The motivation for the proposal was to allow such entities to avoid the payment of annual duties. -
Moneyweb website

United Kingdom

Brief encounter : land ownership - 26 June
There are some old mine workings near our house that have been sealed up for years. The local records office has plans that show at least one tunnel under our garden, a long way below the surface. Precisely how far down does our property go or do we own everything underneath the house? There is an ancient principle of Roman law that "cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos" ("for whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to the sky and down to the depths"). This rule has been applied in England and Wales for many centuries. In the era of space travel and deep tunnelling, lawyers have started to test the legal limits of this ownership. The short answer to your question is therefore that you certainly own the land to at least 2 800 ft down, but law has yet to go any deeper than this. -
Times Online website

United States, Canada and South America
Brazil's Lula signs Amazon bill - 26 June
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has approved a controversial bill allowing Amazon farmers to acquire an area of public land larger than France. But the president vetoed some of the most contentious clauses that would have enabled absentee landlords and companies to benefit from the measure. Smaller parcels of public land will be handed over for free, and larger ones at reduced or market rates. Critics say it will amount to an amnesty for illegal land-grabbers. -
BBC News website
 
Atlanta is making way for new public housing - 20 June
In 1936, Atlanta built Techwood Homes, the nation's first housing project. By the 1990s, a greater percentage of the city's residents were living in housing projects - sprawling red-brick barracks that pockmarked the skyline - than in any other city in America. Now, Atlanta is nearing a very different record : becoming the first major city to knock them all down. By next June, officials here plan to demolish the city's last remaining housing project, fulfilling a long and divisive campaign to reduce poverty by decentralizing it.  -
New York Times website

Regards
Mary Bruce

KwaZulu-Natal Law Society

 
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