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The Centre for Constitutional Rights writes regular articles on topical issues, participates in the national debate on constitutional issues and interacts with government and interested groups with a view to upholding constitutional rights and values.

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Join us for the fourth in a series of discussions for 2019, hosted by the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).

Topic:   “Unpacking the National Health Insurance Bill” 

The CFCR has invited experts to analyse the implications of the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI Bill) and to analyse the feasibility of the provisions. The NHI Bill was recently tabled in Parliament and public comment on the Bill is currently sought. 


  • Mr Michael Settas, member of the Free Market Foundations’ Health Policy Unit
  • Mr Russell Rensburg, Director of the Rural Health Advocacy Project


From 8 October 2019, foreign nationals who have been living in South Africa as refugees and asylum-seekers camped outside the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) offices in both Cape Town and Pretoria. They were (and are still) seeking to be resettled in other countries, following the most recent spate of violent xenophobic attacks in the country. The September attacks sparked international outrage and saw 12 people dead (most of whom were South African), hundreds arrested and property damage worth thousands of Rands in the streets of Johannesburg.


Join us for the third in a series of breakfast discussions for 2019 hosted by the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS). 

Topic: “Unpacking the report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture: The Pros and the Cons” 

The CFCR has invited experts to explore the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture’s Report. The Panel was mandated to provide policy perspective on land reform regarding restitution, redistribution and tenure reform and to consider among others, the circumstances under which expropriation without compensation will be applied.

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On 12 September 2019, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, released this year’s Crime Stats.  The Crime Stats cover the period from 1 April 2018, to 31 March 2019. They focus on 21 categories of crime, encompassing data collected from both the South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as the public. It is important that the statistics are released to keep the public informed of the state of affairs in a country that is rife with criminal activity. However, it is just as important to understand that the crime stats play an even bigger role than mere information circulation. 

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October 11 is commemorated annually across the world to highlight the many ways gender inequality impacts young girls and their access to fundamental human rights. This day was first commemorated in 2012 and finds its origins in the United Nations (UN), which noted the need to address discrimination against girls in all spheres of life. According to the UN, there are over one billion girls in the world. This commemoration provides an opportunity for governments, society and organisations to raise awareness about the challenges faced by girls and to reaffirm their commitment to making much-needed changes. This year’s theme is “GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable” and this year, the aim is to celebrate the achievements made by girls since the 1995 adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing Declaration), a comprehensive policy agenda for women’s empowerment aimed at removing all the obstacles to women’s equal and active participation in all spheres of life. 


On Thursday, 10 October, the majority of the Constitutional Court held that the University of Stellenbosch’s contentious 2016 Language Policy (US 2016 Language Policy), which effectively provided for the increase of English tuition to broaden access to the University, with no similar provision for Afrikaans tuition, was constitutionally valid. The Gelyke Kanse and Others versus the Chairman of the Senate of the University of Stellenbosch and Others matter (Gelyke Kanse matter) was heard on appeal from the Western Cape High Court, which dismissed the review of US’s 2016 Language Policy in October 2017.

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At the beginning of August 2019, the Report of Commission of Inquiry into Interference in the Decision-making in the Newsroom of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC Report) was released. The Commission was established in May 2019 to investigate the alleged interference of the governing party in the broadcaster’s newsroom. The report found no direct link between the African National Congress (ANC) and the many controversial editorial decisions taken at the SABC per the allegations. However, it is important to note that whilst a direct link was not found, the Commission stated that the spectre of the ANC was still found in the newsroom. This arises from the fact that the SABC executives report to the Minister of Communications, who is a member of a political party. In the case of South Africa, since 1994 this Minister has come from the ANC ranks. This indirect link lends credence to the suspicions of party-political interference. 

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On 9 July 2019, Advocate Andy Mothibi, head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), announced the establishment of a Special Tribunal by October 2019. The Tribunal’s purpose is to recoup money looted from the State, opening yet another chapter in South Africa’s fight against State capture and corruption. 

Estimates on the amount of monies lost through corruption amount to R1.5 trillion over the past four years alone, according to media reports. Despite the many anti-corruption mechanisms in place already, recovery of the monies lost has proven extremely difficult. The recovery of small sums, if compared to the total sums lost, already appears as a cause for celebration. Just recently, for example, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola announced that the National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) had recovered R115.9 million in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act during June and July of 2019. This includes State monies lost through fraud and corruption. In light of this situation, the Special Tribunal’s effectiveness in recovering State money will be key in determining how the government’s newest anti-corruption campaign will go down in history.

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