Real story behind Western Cape farm violence


Mr Noseyman (Nosey) Pieterse, who emerged as a key figure behind the “strikes”, is mobilising for the next round of the “rural struggle” he claims to lead.

From years of experience, I know that when I am in a political pressure cooker, it is best to allow the heat to subside and some steam to escape before analysing what happened.

The Real Story behind the Western Cape’s Farm Violence

Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance (Photo: DA)

At the height of a crisis, when perceptions are sharply polarised, people aren’t prepared to question their pre-conceptions. They only see the “evidence” that supports their prejudices.

The recent “farm strikes” that shook the Western Cape for most of December and January (with a short Christmas break) was a case in point.

Let’s look at what really happened, not because the crisis is behind us, but because we are in a lull between storms. By all accounts, Mr Noseyman (Nosey) Pieterse, who emerged as a key figure behind the “strikes”, is mobilising for the next round of the “rural struggle” he claims to lead. Mr Pieterse wears several hats. He is simultaneously a farmer, the President of an association of BEE farmers in the wine and spirit industry, as well as a trade union leader, organising workers in the industry.

We should, in the weeks ahead, be prepared for the possibility of further rural “strikes”. In this context, it would help to have a better understanding of the crisis from which we have just emerged.

Before I begin, let me be clear: the life of a seasonal farm labourer is a very difficult one. Thousands of poverty stricken people come to the Western Cape from across Southern Africa (particularly Zimbabwe, Lesotho and the Eastern Cape) for the fruit-picking season, desperately seeking work in one of the few remaining sectors that employ unskilled labour. Many of these migrants have remained in the Province permanently and have set up “home” in shack settlements on the outskirts of rural towns. Unemployed for most of the year, they rely on the short fruit-picking season to earn some income, much of which disappears immediately into the coffers of loan sharks on whom they depend to keep their families alive. And as growing numbers of desperate work-seekers arrive, the competition intensifies between them for the shrinking number of jobs available, a result of the consolidation of farms and escalating mechanisation. As tough as it is to survive on the daily minimum wage, it is far tougher to earn nothing at all. And, as happens world-wide in situations of conflict over scarce resources, individuals band together in groups to protect and advance their interests. In divided societies, the fault line between groups is often determined by ethnicity. Here there are four distinct groups of seasonal work-seekers on the Province’s deciduous fruit and grape farms: Zimbabweans, Basotho, amaXhosa and traditional Western Cape farm workers, who would (in terms of the old apartheid designations) have been classified Coloured.

This is fertile ground for exploitation. And so it is easy to see how the dominant (but entirely misleading) narrative arose: “heartless white farmers and labour brokers make ‘super profits’ by using ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics to drive down workers’ wages as their lives deteriorate”.

It is easy to see how this narrative fuelled the anger and rage that led to the destruction of tens of millions of Rands worth of farm infrastructure (packing sheds, cooling stores, tractors, orchards and vineyards) in an orgy of violence lasting several weeks.

And one can discern the ANC’s interest in fuelling this narrative. It was a golden opportunity to drive a wedge between two strong sectors of DA support — farmers and farm workers – while seeking to position the DA on the side of “heartless farmers” and the ANC as the “champion of exploited workers”.

Unsurprisingly, this narrative was parroted by many observers, reinforcing stereotypes and creating conditions conducive to disinvestment and job losses in a sector that is the backbone of the Western Cape’s economy.

Except that the truth was the exact opposite.

I have rarely come across a case study that so graphically illustrates the disjuncture between perception and reality.

Some of the key facts (that explode this narrative) are as follows:

  • The workers’ protests started on a farm called Keurboschkloof, previously a model farm in the Western Cape where workers were paid far above the minimum wage. When the farmer, Pierre Smit, died, his farm was taken over by a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) consortium that immediately CUT WORKERS’ WAGES from an average of R14.51 to R10.60 per hour.
  • This, understandably, elicited protests by workers, further aggravated by the fact that a former ANC Councillor, who is also a labour broker, tried to bring in “scab labour” at the behest of this BEE consortium to replace the protesting workers.
  • Braam Hanekom (nephew of an ANC Cabinet member) and his organisation “Passop” sought to unionise the workers for the COSATU affiliate, the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU).
  • He was challenged by Nosey Pieterse, a rival unionist, who claimed sole right to organise workers in the area.
  • When the protests spread to the Royal Mushroom Farm and Normandy Farm in mid-October, I was tipped off about an ANC strategy to “bring Marikana to the farms of the Western Cape” – a phrase used repeatedly by the ANC, and particularly Tony Ehrenreich, who combines a role as COSATU provincial general secretary and the ANC caucus leader in the City of Cape Town.
  • And as the protests spread, ANC Western Cape Leader Marius Fransman made his presence felt, announcing “die Boere gaan k.k”, while the Minister of Agriculture, Tina Joemat-Petterrson also visited the area and used inflammatory language.
  • But the one Minister actually responsible for labour matters, Mildred Oliphant, remained abroad for weeks, and did not bother to cut her trip short despite the protest against the minimum wage SHE HAD SET. All the while, the ANC sought to blame the farmers.

So the truth is exactly the opposite of the prevailing narrative

In fact, the best option available for unskilled, seasonal farm workers in South Africa is to secure a job with a farmer like Pierre Smit, who is not a rare exception in the Western Cape. In fact, research by Ben Stanwix of UCT’s Development Policy Unit shows that on average farmers pay significantly higher wages in the Western Cape than other provinces. This is one of the reasons why tens of thousands of desperately poor people leave their homes in far more fertile regions across Southern Africa to seek work on the rocky mountain slopes of De Doorns and other farms in the Western Cape.

The truth also reveals a number of profound ironies

Irony number one: while the ANC was slamming “heartless white farmers”, many of them were actually paying their workers more than the minimum wage that had been set by the ANC Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, in consultation with COSATU.

Irony number two: When the workers went on strike in protest, and the ANC was slamming labour brokers for playing a role in the exploitation of workers, a former ANC councillor, Nelie Barends, who is also a labour broker, tried to provide the BEE farming consortium that took over Keurboschkloof farm with scab labour. In fact, throughout the period that the ANC was slamming labour brokers’ in the Hex River Valley, their own members (including ANC councillor Pat Marran and his wife) were playing a key role as brokers supplying seasonal labour to farms.

Irony number three: as the ANC, Passop, FAWU and Nosey Pieterse claimed to be representing the interest of the workers they were actually at war with each other, a conflict which seriously jeopardised worker interests, causing serious divisions and infighting between different groups of workers, usually divided on an ethnic basis. But they all shared one common goal: to convince workers that their “war” was actually with the farmers. All the while, ANC politicians sought to spread the unrest across the province for their political advantage.

Irony number four: While the ANC accused farmers of fanning xenophobia, it has actually been driven by labour brokers representing differing groups of workers, and exploiting the fault lines caused by ANC policy. While Zimbabweans were legalised through a special amnesty of the Department of Home Affairs (with the support of the farmers), workers from Lesotho were excluded from the amnesty and their employment was deemed illegal and penalised through heavy fines. This meant that thousands of Basotho who had been previously employed, were now unemployed due to ANC policies, while the ANC sought to fan and exploit their anger to spread the unrest.

Irony number five: While the ANC claims to be against labour brokers, it was the farmers, together with the Zimbabwean workers who really fought to get rid of these broker intermediaries. The Zimbabweans, in particular, resisted a consortium or labour brokers (including those with ANC links) who sought to extract from farmers R10 per day for every worker the brokers placed in a job. Zimbabweans wanted to contract directly with farmers, without an intermediary role of labour brokers. This was vehemently opposed by the labour brokers, dominated by ANC public representatives, who were determined to defend the “super profits” they earned from placing workers.

Irony number six: The ANC and its various allied organisations, were happy to drive the conflict between the Basotho, Zimbabweans, and local labour to extend the unrest throughout rural areas, in their attempts to present the Western Cape as being exploitative, racist, and ungovernable.

Why should anyone believe me? Go and read the primary academic research such as Ben Stanwix’s article “Minimum wages and compliance in South African agriculture” as well as a discussion document by Jan Theron (co-ordinator of the Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group at UCT) titled “Changing employment trends on farms in the Hex and Breede River valleys” and the research paper “Violence, Labour and the Displacement of Zimbabweans in De Doorns, Western Cape” written by Jean Pierre Misago of the University of the Witwatersrand’s Forced Migration Studies Programme that contain some in-depth interviews on this matter (over and above my direct discussions with farm workers and farmers).

There is much priceless information out there if one is prepared to join the dots

The best of all of these is an article titled “Oogsten in Afrika” published in the magazine Quote in October 2012, which quotes Anton de Vries, the Dutch co-founder of the BEE consortium that took over Keurboschkloof farm (that cut worker wages as soon as they took over) saying he had set up a venture to “profit” from land reform. He boasted that it was an official partner of the ANC national government and has contacts in the highest levels, which is its greatest asset.

It is time we woke up and saw what is really happening in our platteland, instead of continuing to bow before the ANC’s warped and deliberately distorted version of events.

The reality is that while most farmers pay significantly higher than the minimum wage they are struggling to make ends meet because of the low return on their product. For example, a “Capturing Gains” research project revealed that when it comes to the final retail price for table grapes from Hex River Valley imported to the United Kingdom, 42% goes to supermarkets, 32% to distributors, while only 18% is retained by the farmers, who must cover all their costs from this return.

Instead, of falling prey to the ANC’s ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics, farmers, farm workers, civil society and government need to work together to address this highly distorted value chain and increase profitability on farms so that the individuals putting in the hard work start reaping the benefits.

By Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance – 17 March 2013

The Real Story behind the Western Cape’s Farm Violence

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‘ANC is most racist party’


One respondent told the researchers that “in the ANC racism is still very strong and it can be proven any day, anywhere.”

Grassroots members of South Africa’s ruling ANC believe that the famed anti-apartheid party is sidelining non-black supporters, according to a potentially politically explosive study published on Wednesday.

'ANC is most racist party'

Research by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation — formed by Nelson Mandela’s ex-prison mate and fellow anti-apartheid activist — showed that ANC members who are not black feel left out because of their race.

“Generally speaking, branch members have deep-seated concerns with non-racialism in the ANC and in society more broadly,” said the report posted on the foundation’s website.

One respondent told the researchers that “in the ANC racism is still very strong and it can be proven any day, anywhere.”

Another said “the ANC is more racist than any political party at the moment.”

The ANC “preaches about being non-racist… but is doing the opposite,” added another party member.

The impression that the party promotes the interests of blacks first has seen its support base eaten away in sections of the population, the report concluded.

“Indeed the perception (whether real or imagined) that the ANC is advancing only the interests of Africans has led to loss of electoral support in ‘minority areas’.”

The study was conducted in the country’s largest city and its economic hub, Johannesburg.

Respondents were sampled from South Africa’s four main racial groups — blacks, whites, people of Indian descent and those of mixed race, known colloquially as “coloureds”.

Branch members in the predominately coloured Eldorado Park neighbourhood and those in the highbrow and mainly white suburb of Sandton “are frustrated with the party and feel much anger about the way they are treated,” the report said.

“This has made the role of being an ANC branch member in these areas very challenging, and often thankless.”

The results of the study showed that the party, which prides itself as an example of democracy in Africa, has fewer members of the minority races occupying leadership positions at branch level.

“Many branch members are disillusioned about the manner in which members are awarded senior positions,” said the study, with many believing these are ‘only open to Africans’.”

“This raises significant questions about democracy in the party,” it added.

ANC officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

While acknowledging that race relations have significantly improved since the ANC took to office nearly two decades ago, the study noted that members also feared broader societal trends.

“Branch members feel not enough change has taken place and that racial tensions are impeding social cohesion and concomitant growth and progress in the country.”

ANC is most racist party

UK gives £19million aid to South Africa – its president spends £17.5million on his palace


It is a nation racked by poverty, where 13 million people survive on less than £1 a day, and two million have no access to a toilet.

Yet as his people struggle in squalor, South African president Jacob Zuma has sparked outrage by spending £17.5 million to upgrade his rural family home.

Lavish works – which include the construction of 31 new houses, an underground bunker accessed by lifts and a helipad – will cost almost as much as the £19 million British taxpayers send to South Africa in annual aid.

UK gives £19million aid to South Africa - its president spends £17.5million on his palace

Not quite right…South African president Jacob Zuma continues to have a lavish lifestyle despite many parts of his country struggling for survival

The costly upgrade to Zuma’s once-humble home in the village of Nkandla includes Astroturf sports fields and tennis courts, a gymnasium and state-of-the art security systems, including fingerprint-controlled access pads.
And nearby roads have benefited from a further £40 million of improvements.

When African journalists revealed the astronomical cost of the work, Zuma’s ministers turned on the whistle-blowers, saying that revealing the details of ‘top secret’ documents was illegal.

Originally the cost of the project, which began two years ago, was put at £500,000 – but it has since skyrocketed. South African taxpayers are footing most of the bill, although Zuma, a polygamist with four wives and at least 20 children, is said to be contributing £700,000 of his own money – a stretch on his annual £185,000 salary.

However, he also receives a controversial £1.2million in ‘spousal support’ for his wives – despite recently calling on fellow politicians to tighten their belts – and pays only a peppercorn rent of £560 on the tribally owned plot in the Zululand hills where his mansion sits.

Zuma has named his residence a ‘national key point’ – a status invented by the previous paranoid apartheid government – which means it is entitled to security measures ‘in the interests of the nation’.

Last week he was grilled in parliament about what he and his family were costing the nation, and struggled to answer, protesting that he was unaware of the scale of the work.

‘All the buildings and every room we use in that residence were built by ourselves as family and not by the government,’ he protested. He did not know the amount spent on bunkers, claiming: ‘I don’t know the figures; that’s not my job.’

Under pressure, Zuma has been forced to agree to two investigations: one to probe the spiralling costs at Nkandla, the other to see if there was a breach of parliamentary spending rules.

‘Nkandlagate’ – as the state-owned media have been banned from calling it – is just the latest scandal to engulf the 70-year-old African National Congress leader. In 2004 he faced trial with his financial adviser Schabir Shaik over racketeering and corruption claims for accepting tens of thousands of pounds in bribes from European arms firms.

Shaik was imprisoned for 15 years, but Zuma’s case was ‘discontinued’ after complicated legal wrangling – even though a judge said there was ‘overwhelming’ evidence of a corrupt relationship between the two men.The following year, a 31-year-old HIV-positive woman accused him of rape. Although he was acquitted, Zuma’s ludicrous claim that he took a shower after sex to prevent contracting HIV made him a laughing stock.

His personal life also came under scrutiny following the 2000 suicide of his first wife, who left a note describing ‘24 years of hell’ with him, and again after the illegitimate birth of another child in 2009. He accused the media of invading his privacy when revealing the scandal.

Meanwhile, South Africa is in an increasingly parlous state, having had its credit rating downgraded following industrial unrest. Workers at the Marikana platinum mine were mown down and killed by armed police last month when they dared to demand better pay. A truck-drivers’ strike later led to more deaths, and last week thousands of farmworkers downed tools in protest at their £4.85 day-rate.

Yet Zuma – who glories in his nickname ‘100 per cent Zulu boy’ – still has substantial support among the people, bolstered by his freedom-fighter credentials, having spent ten years imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela.

Britain is committed to spending an average of £19 million a year in aid on South Africa until 2015, mainly aimed at reducing HIV. But the Department for International Development is examining how it spends the UK’s aid budget, and recently announced plans to slash the controversial £280 million a year it sends to India.

By BARBARA JONES – 24 November 2012

UK gives £19million aid to South Africa – its president spends £17.5million on his palace

Gun my ook ruimte


Die ANC se resep vir nasiebou werk nie. Jy kan nie van een sportbyeenkoms na die ander strompel en dit dan nasiebou noem nie, skryf Pieter Mulder, VF Plus-leier.

Gun my ook ruimte

Soveel verskillende identiteite in een land.

‘Praat jy Suid-Afrikaans?” het ’n Amerikaanse joernalis my onlangs in ’n onderhoud gevra. Hy het die oggend in Suid-Afrika aangekom en duidelik geen huiswerk oor die land gedoen nie.

Toe ek aan hom verduidelik dat Afrikaans my eerste taal is en dat my voorvaders in 1680 hier aangekom het, lank voordat die meeste Amerikaners in die VSA aangekom het, was sy volgende vraag: “Hoeveel mense in Suid-Afrika praat dan Suid-Afrikaans?”

Tydens die onderhandelinge in 1995 plaas die grondwetskrywende vergadering ’n koerantadvertensie wat lui: “Suid-Afrika: 20 miljoen vroue; 18 miljoen mans; 8 gelowe; 25 kerkgroepe; 31 kultuurgroepe; 14 tale; 9 rassegroepe; 1 land.”

Soveel verskillende identiteite in een land.

“Nasiebou” en “sosiale kohesie” word daarom in amper elke politieke toespraak gebruik. Hoe presies die nasie gebou moet word, verskil van spreker tot spreker.

Beskik ons in Suid-Afrika oor die regte resep vir nasiebou? Ek sê nee. Die ANC se huidige resep werk nie. Jy kan nie van een internasionale sportbyeenkoms na die volgende strompel en dit dan nasiebou noem nie.

Hoekom het nasiebou in Europa geslaag, maar in verskeie Afrika-lande misluk? In Europa was nasiebou makliker omdat die meeste mense in ’n land dieselfde taal praat en kultuur deel.

Toe die Europese lande Afrika onder hulle verdeel het, is mense van verskillende taalgroepe kunsmatig in een land saamgegooi.

In hierdie Afrika-state is daar nie een taal en kultuur om vir nasiebou te gebruik nie. As alternatief is die weerstand teen die Europese oorheersers as nasiebouresep gebruik.

Omdat die Europese “base” teruggegaan het Europa toe, het dit goed gewerk om mense so saam te snoer teen ’n gemeenskaplike afwesige vyand.

Hierdie Afrika-resep kan nie in Suid-Afrika werk nie. Oudpres. Nelson Mandela het dit besef. Daarom het hy uitgereik na Afrikaners en ander wit mense wat geen ander land het waarheen hulle kan terugkeer nie. Om hulle tot vyande te verklaar is die Malema-resep wat verdeel en polariseer. Telkens wanneer die ANC in die moeilikheid is, word die Malema-resep nader getrek deur sommige leiers. Dan word die wit mense, die Afrikaners of die boere as die oorsaak van die probleme en as vyand geïdentifiseer.

Wat is die ANC se huidige resep? Dit is ’n kombinasie van die Malema-resep en die ou Britse assimilasie­resep.

Met assimilasie probeer die meerderheid die minderhede insluk. Tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog skryf die Britse onderwysminister aan lord Milner oor die Afrikanerkinders in die konsentrasiekampe: “We must appeal to England, and ask the sisters and daughters of those who have been fighting for the Empire to come out and complete that part of the work which their male relatives are unable to accomplish?.?.?. I feel that the opportunity during the next year of getting them all to speak English and become Englishmen is golden.”

“Daar word van die minderheid verwag om deel van die meerderheid te word,” het dr. Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma verlede jaar op die beraad oor sosiale kohesie aan Afrikaanssprekendes gesê.

Alexis de Tocqueville het minder­hede se dilemma korrek opgesom: “?.?.?. hulle kan net deel van die meerderheid word as hulle die dinge laat vaar wat werklik vir hulle belangrik is” (soos hul taal en kultuur).

Die prys vir aanvaarding, volgens hierdie resep, is dat minderhede juis die sake wat vir hulle kosbaar is en wat hul identiteit bepaal, moet opoffer. Hierdie resep lei tot konflik en sweep groepe op teenoor mekaar.

Waar die groot verskeidenheid identiteite in Suid-Afrika ons ryker en sterker behoort te maak, word die verskille nou verdelende faktore.

So ’n verdelende faktor is die afdwing van een taal in Suid-Afrika.

Dr. Neville Alexander, voormalige Robbeneiland-gevangene en PAC-aktivis, het soos volg hierop gereageer:
“ ’n Engels-alleen-beleid vonnis die meeste mense tot permanente middelmatigheid omdat hulle nie spontaan, kreatief en selfversekerd kan wees as hulle nie hul eerste taal kan gebruik nie.”

Op Afrika-kongresse wat ek bywoon, praat hulle oor die slegte koloniale tyd, maar die bespreking is in die koloniale tale. Europa het ’n ander resep. Die Europese Unie en parlement het 23 werktale. As Europa die Afrika-patroon sou volg waar die oorspronklike koloniseerder se taal gebruik word, sou Latyn as die oorspronklike taal van die ou Romeinse Ryk die taal van die EU gewees het!

’n Tweede verdelende faktor is die benadering dat nasiebou afgedwing kan word.

Die titel van die fliek Invictus kom van ’n gedig wat Mandela in die tronk vir inspirasie gebruik het. Volgens die gedig kan jy enigiets met my doen, maar jy kan nie my denke met wette of geweld verander nie.

Dit lyk of die huidige ANC geen les daaruit geleer het nie.

Louis Botha was een van die helde ná die Anglo-Boereoorlog met sy pogings om Britse imperialisme in Suid-Afrika te keer. Die Britse owerhede het die Zoeloekoning Dinuzulu in 1908 in die tronk gegooi.

Een van die eerste goed wat Louis Botha in 1910 as nuwe eerste minister gedoen het, was om opdrag te gee dat hy vrygelaat word. Vandag staan Dinuzulu en Louis Botha se standbeelde ter erkenning hiervan langs mekaar in Durban.

Elke keer as ek in Pretoria verby die straatnaamveranderinge ry en sien hoe die ANC ’n rooi streep deur Louis Botha se naam getrek het, is ek opnuut kwaad. Ek beleef dit as die miskenning van my helde en geskiedenis. Nasiebou kan op geen manier op mense afgedwing word nie. As dit nie ’n vrywillige proses van alle deelnemers is nie, slaag dit nie.

Die regte nasiebouresep is om die verskillende identiteite as ’n bate te beskou en te erken. Daardeur skep jy ’n situasie waar almal soos wenners voel en daar geen verloorders is nie. “Ons kan lief wees vir wie en wat ons is sonder om te haat wie en wat ons nie is nie,” het Kofi Annan dit goed opgesom.

Ek vra ruimte om myself in Afrika te wees. Dat daar ook ’n plek vir my, my taal en erkenning aan my helde sal wees. Is dit te veel gevra?

Die voorwaarde is dat ons wat ná uhuru in Afrika agtergebly het, ons identiteit moet vind in ons verhouding met Afrika.

Prof. Doehring van die Max Planck-instituut in Duitsland het hul Europese navorsing hieroor soos volg opgesom: “Dit is duidelik dat die nasies en volke van Europa nie omgee om deel te word van die groter Europese vrugteslaai nie mits elkeen toegelaat word om sy identiteit te behou as of ’n piesang of ’n lemoen in die vrugteslaai.”

“Die stam moet sterf vir die nasie om te leef,” was die mislukte resep in baie Afrikastate. Vandag is baie van hierdie “nasies” dood, maar die stamme baie lewendig.

Ons keuses:
– Die Malema-verdeelresep of die Mandela-uitreikresep;
– Die mislukte Afrika-assimilasieresep of die suksesvolle Europese resep.

Ek kies die Europese resep waar alle identiteite met wedersydse respek waardeer word en deur wette, minderheidsregte en selfbeskikking geakkommodeer word.

– Dr. Mulder is ook adjunkminister van landbou, bosbou en visserye.

Gun my ook ruimte

ANC wil plaasgrond verder belas


Boere gaan ook op “onbenutte” grond belas word en buitelanders mag voortaan nie meer eiendom in Suid-Afrika besit nie.

Dít is van die finale resolusies oor landelike ontwikkeling en grondhervorming wat die ANC in Desember op sy nasionale kon­­fer­ensie in Mangaung aanvaar en pas bekend gemaak het.

Die resolusies bevestig opnuut die beleid van gewillige koper/verkoper moet vervang word deur ’n stelsel wat billik en regverdig is.

’n Grondoudit van staatsgrond wat al jare sloer, moet spoedig afgehandel word.

Daarna sal buitelanders grond in Suid-Afrika net op lang termyn kan huur.

Dr. Theo de Jager, Agri SA se vise-president, sê hulle is bekommerd oor die belasting van “oortollige” grond.

“Watter boer gebruik elke stukkie van sy plaas? Grond word geroteer vir aanplanting of weiding. Die regering kan nie vir ons definieer wat oortollige grond is nie.”

Oor buitelanders wat nie grond kan besit nie, sê De Jager ’n 2006-studie het gewys net 1% van plaasgrond behoort aan buitelanders.

Samuel Seeff, voorsitter van Seeff Eiendomme, sê dit is ’n mite dat buitelanders die duurste en beste eiendom in Suid-Afrika koop en besit.

“Net tussen 3% en 6% van alle residensiële eiendom in Suid-Afrika behoort aan buitelanders. Hulle dra by tot infrastruktuurontwikkeling en die meeste buitelanders koop eiendomme kontant, wat tot beleggingsvloei na Suid-Afrika bydra.”

Dawie Roodt van die Efficient-groep sê dit sal Suid-Afrika se beeld verder knou.

ANC wil dié grond belas

Belasting vir gegradueerdes – ANC


Die ANC het verlede jaar by sy verkiesingskonferensie in Mangaung ‘n resolusie aanvaar om ‘n belasting op gegradueerdes in te stel, het die Sowetan Donderdag berig.

Belasting vir gegradueerdes - ANC

Themba Masondo, sekretaris-generaal van die South African Students’ Congress (Sasco), wat deel was van die onderwyskommissie, het die ooreenkoms oor die belasting bevestig.

Afgevaardigdes in die onderwys- en gesondheidskommissie het besluit dat oorweging “gegee moet word aan ‘n belasting vir alle gegradueerdes van hoër onderwysinstellings”.

Inligting oor die veelbesproke belasting is vaag, en geen verduideliking is gegee oor wanneer dit geïmplenteer gaan word of die persentasie wat gehef sal word nie.

Themba Masondo, sekretaris-generaal van die South African Students’ Congress (Sasco), wat deel was van die onderwyskommissie, het die ooreenkoms oor die belasting bevestig. Hy het aan die koerant gesê Sasco is gekant daarteen.

“As ‘n organisasie het ons ‘n aantal kwessies geopper oor die belasting. Hulle is nie so duidelik oor hoe dit gaan werk nie.”

Masondo is egter ten gunste van ‘n algemene heffing, waar mense uit hoë inkomstegroepe meer betaal.

Luidens die ANC se resolusies is die doel van die belasting om die koffers van die Nasionale Studente Finansiële Hulpskema (NSFAS) aan te vul. Dié hulpskema sal na verwagting ‘n groot rol speel in die regering se planne om gratis opvoeding aan alle voorgraadse studente te bied.

Gratis opvoeding sal waarskynlik volgende jaar ingestel word.

Belasting kom dalk vir gegradueerdes

Skilled people told to leave SA


A skilled but jobless professional is fed up after hearing endless excuses from recruiting agencies or told to leave SA. He writes:

Good day,

Your article states that South Africa is in need of skilled professionals but my problem is that finding work through agencies is made impossible, as they only see qualifications and disregard experience.

There are even agencies out there that recommend specialists to leave South Africa.

I am fortunate to be in the position where I have both qualifications and work experience. However, the greatest difficulty I have is with the recruiting agencies that either do not understand how to market skilled professionals, or just want to make a quick buck with little or no regard to a proper placement.

I have a very broad technical background in IT with 15 years’ work experience, ranging from service delivery/management (ITIL) over information security (ISO, IT risk management, PCI standards and digital encryption) straight through to IT infrastructure management, with some IT project management.

For the last 2.5 years I have gone through the standard application to advertised vacancies and registration on the most popular job sites, but have not found a contact person or recruitment agency that can help me proactively market my skills to a potential employer that can make use of my skills.

Below I have listed the most typical excuses I get to hear, when I am declined for a position I have applied for:

Overqualified
Too technical (for a technical job)
Too senior (for a senior technical position)
Too management-orientated (for jobs that originally stated experience with ISO & PCIDSS)
Too much management experience
Stay in the wrong area (northern suburbs versus southern)
Wrong ethnic background
Too passionate

At the moment I am struggling with staying motivated due to the continuous rejections, and I have great doubts about my future here in South Africa.

Told to leave SA

ANC sidelining non-blacks


Grassroots members of the African National Congress (ANC) believe the party is sidelining non-black supporters, according to a potentially politically explosive study published on Wednesday.

ANC sidelining non-blacks

Research by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation showed ANC members who are not black feel left out because of their race.

“Generally speaking branch members have deep seated concerns with non-racialism in the ANC and in society more broadly,” said the report posted on the foundation’s website.

One respondent told the researchers that “in the ANC racism is still very strong and it can be proven any day anywhere”.

Another said “the ANC is more racist than any political party at the moment”.

The ANC “preaches about being non-racist… but is doing the opposite”, added another party member.

The impression that the party promotes the interests of blacks first has seen its support base eaten away in sections of the population, the report concluded.

“Indeed the perception [whether real or imagined] that the ANC is advancing only the interests of Africans has led to loss of electoral support in ‘minority areas’.”

The study was conducted in the country’s largest city and its economic hub, Johannesburg.

Respondents were sampled from four main groups – blacks, whites, Indians and coloureds.

Branch members in the predominately coloured Eldorado Park neighbourhood and those in the highbrow and mainly white suburb of Sandton “are frustrated with the party and feel much anger about the way they are treated”, the report said.

“This has made the role of being an ANC branch member in these areas very challenging, and often thankless.”

The results of the study showed that the party which prides itself as an example of democracy in Africa, has fewer members of the minority races occupying leadership positions at branch level.

“Many branch members are disillusioned about the manner in which members are awarded senior positions,” said the study, with many believing these are “only open to Africans”.

“This raises significant questions about democracy in the party,” it added.

ANC officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

While acknowledging that race relations have significantly improved since the ANC took to office nearly two decades ago, the study noted that members also feared broader societal trends.

“Branch members feel not enough change has taken place and that racial tensions are impeding social cohesion and concomitant growth and progress in the country.”

– AFP

ANC accused of sidelining non-black members

Nkandla’s main contractor liquidated


THE main contractor, Bonelena Construction, upgrading President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence is being liquidated for owing R175 000 — despite earning a fortune from government contracts.

Nkandla's main contractor liquidated

Jacob Zuma’s homestead – Nkandla

Bonelena Construction, Enterprise and Projects secured two major deals worth R100 million in connection with the R240 million presidential security upgrade alone.

NKANDLAGATE: How R 248 Million (of YOUR Tax monies) was spent!

It is now being liquidated for failing to pay for the vans and trucks it rented from the Durban branch of Reebib Rentals. Reebib is part of the Avis Group.

The liquidator is Pietermaritzburg-based Berrange Incorporated.

Bonelena is owned by Pietermaritzburg resident Thandeka Nene.

The Witness has also learnt that the Independent Development Corporation (IDC), Bonelena’s largest funder, is also seeking its slice in the liquidation order as they no longer see the company as a profitable entity. Attempts to further question the IDC on this point proved unsuccessful.

A search revealed that Nene has secured contracts from the KZN Department of Education, Department of Transport and Department of Public Works from 2007 to build schools, roads and new facilities at hospitals.

Yesterday, The Witness revealed that a man claiming to be a relative of the president, Vincent Zuma, was also seeking money owed to him by Bonelena.

Zuma said he was awarded a R16 million sub-contract by Bonelena in June 2011 to complete the roads within the Nkandla security complex.

He claimed he only ever received R138 000 and never received his site establishment fee of R2 million, forcing him to leave the site in less than six months due to rising debt.

Zuma said yesterday he first met Nene in Inanda, Durban, where he did work for her at a primary school two years ago.

“Even on this contract I battled to get my money out of her.

“They only ever paid me in small amounts over a period of months,” said Zuma.

The Witness can confirm that in June a company called Incledon DPI, a subsidiary of DPI Plastics, which is a supplier of PVC piping, was awarded a sale in execution by the Pietermaritzburg high court against Bonelena.

Items that were to be auctioned included office furniture, computers, copy machines, and kitchen appliances. It is unclear if the auction took place however according to the firm representing Incledon, GDLK Attorneys, the file has been closed.

Nene has claimed through the press in recent weeks that her company’s financial problems stem from the fact that the department has yet to pay them.

Questions sent to Bonelena for Nene’s attention via email and sms yesterday asking for further clarity on just how much they had been paid for their work on Prestige Project A, clarification on whether the company is being liquidating, if they would seek legal action against DPW and whether they had completed their work at the Nkandla security complex were not responded too.

To seek clarity on liquidation consulting independent attorney, Yolanda Gielink said if a company cannot pay its debt, it may be liquidated of its own accord or by way of application by the creditors.

The process of an application for liquidation of a company appears to expedite the process of debt recovery,” said Getlink.

She said it is not uncommon for business person to keep their personal assets separate from the juristic entities their businesses operate under.

“This practice however does not however safeguard the personal assets 100%, as acquisition and dispossession of assets, if investigated, may still be attached if found to have been made in anticipation of liquidation,” said Getlink.

Public Works said it would not comment on whether Bonelena had been paid for work completed because the presidential compound was protected as a “National Key Point”.

Siboniso Soni, who identified himself as Nene’s spokesperson, failed to respond to several requests for comment.

By Jonathan Erasmus – 30 Nov 2012

Nkandla contractor liquidated owing R175 000

Fraud – Northern Cape ANC leader & officials


Northern Cape ANC leader John Block is due to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday facing fraud and racketeering charges.

Fraud - Northern Cape ANC leader and officials

Northern Cape ANC leader John Block is due to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court to face fraud and racketeering charges.

The allegations relate to government departments purchasing water purification equipment at inflated prices in 2005 and 2006.

Accused with Block is Intaka Holdings director Gaston Savoi.

The pair, together with former senior Sol Plaatje municipal officials, are also due to appear in the Kimberly High Court in April this year for their fraud and corruption trial.

In this case, Block, Savoi, former Sol Plaatje mayor Patrick Lenyibi, municipal manager Frank Mashilo and chief financial officer Nandipha Madiba face charges of fraud, corruption and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act. Accused with them is Intaka Holdings industrial director Fernando Praderi.

The charges relate to the acquisition of a portable water purification unit by the Sol Plaatje municipality for Ritchie, an area near Kimberley, in April 2011.

It is alleged that Intaka was paid more than R2.7-million before the plant was installed or commissioned. The Sol Plaatje municipality includes Kimberley and surrounding areas such as Ritchie and Modder River.

– Sapa

Block is due in court

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