Land Expropriation Bill – Dear SA asks for help

MEDIA RELEASE

Dear South Africa, an NGO facilitating public participation, notes a drastic swing in public opinion on the proposed amendment to the constitution catering for expropriation without compensation.

In December 2019, Parliament invited the public to provide written comment by 29 February, on a draft amendment to the Constitution catering for expropriation without compensation. Under South African laws, the government is compelled to grant the public an opportunity to provide an influencing comment on all policy and legislative amendments before implementation. However, such opportunities are often inadequately announced or facilitated, and extracting outcomes information from the government is challenging.

Alongside their 78 other participation campaigns, DearSA has been at the forefront of facilitating public participation by individually delivering over 520,000 public comments to Parliament during this Constitutional Amendment process.

“Although we have seen a concerning overall decline in public participation in this third round, we do note an increase in opposition to the constitutional amendment,” says Rob Hutchinson, MD of DearSA.

Participation from the “in favour” camp has significantly decreased while the “opposed” crowd has grown. Of the 190,573 who participated in this third round, 171,655 (90%) oppose the amendment, 14,870 support it and 4,048 partially.

“In the first round of June 2018, we received over 100,000 public comments in favour of amending the Constitution – 44% of the total participants. This latest third round has seen only 14,870 (8%) directly supporting the amendment,” says Hutchinson.

A full report and list of comments is available for download at this link on DearSA’s website. https://dearsouthafrica.co.za/constitution-eighteenth-amendment-bill/report/

The Committee is now hosting public hearings during March and April to enable those with limited access to internet or data to provide comment. DearSA will be closely monitoring the hearings to ensure a fair and accurate process is followed.

What will happen after the public hearings?

The AdHoc Committee will return the Bill to the National Assembly after considering all the public input. The members of the National Assembly will then vote on the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill. If passed, the Bill will then be brought before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Once passed, the law will allow for the expropriation of land AND property without compensation.

Objectives of the Bill

Subsection 2 (b); Provides for a court of law to make a decision for nil compensation when land or property is expropriated for land reform.

Subsection 3; Sets out the conditions and circumstances that must be considered when a decision is made by a court regarding the amount of compensation.

Subsection 3A; National legislation must be passed that outlines the circumstances when a court may arrive at nil compensation for expropriated land or property e.g. The Expropriation Bill.

Why is Parliament conducting public hearings again?

Parliament, mandated by the Constitution, must ensure that the public is involved in all its processes, including law-making. To satisfy this mandate, the Ad Hoc Committee is inviting all interested and affected parties, individually and or organised, to participate in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, as it relates to Section 25.

The Committee will consider all public input on the amendment of the Constitution in order for the NA to pass the Bill.

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Caution if upgrading Windows 10

If you receive notification to do a Windows 10 upgrade, proceed with caution. This upgrade is not a simple security upgrade, it is a full makeover.

Before you click that ‘Restart to upgrade’ button do it knowing you PC / Laptop will be out of use for at least 4 hours if not longer. And when the frustration of watching the % indicator not changing from one digit to the next, when you thing all is done, things won’t work quite as quickly as you would want. 

Everything from your internet connection to your Google Chrome Browser, even opening a Word document is like watching paint dry.

Hopefully it will settle in and with a bit of keyboard mileage things will improve but it is a frustrating exercise particularly if you have work to do. 

Beware ATM’s during Load Shedding

Collo’s Blog

This is written from a recent and ongoing experience and possibly others have had experienced similar problems when using ATM’s recently.

Two weeks ago 4th February to be precise, I approached an ATM at SuperSpar centre with a spring in my step. After a long, long festive season and an even longer January, access to some hard earned pension funds certainly was reason for my delight.

ATMSlipping my card into the slot and dialling in my code followed by a request for a sizable amount, well sizable for me, it gave me no hint of the disasters and frustrations that would follow, and continue to frustrate.  Instead of dispensing the funds a message appeared advising of a technical issue. Having requested the balance be shown on the screen instead of a printout, I noted that the amount of the transaction had been deducted in spite of not actually dispensing the cash.

My immediate reaction was to call the number listed on the ATM. This was my first mistake for I should have taken a photo of the screen displaying the error message and blocked cash draw. After a lengthy conversation I was advised that a reference would be sms’d to me, none was received. The next day I again approached the ATM and requested my balance which confirmed that money had not yet been refunded. I called the ATM phone number again and was advised that possibly the ATM contents had not yet been processed so to wait 24 hours.

Twenty four hours on and no change to my wealth so I called again and was now told to go to the nearest branch to report the incident. So off to Humansdorp in pouring rain, avoiding potholes appearing like gorillas out  mist of the deluge. Retelling my story face to face this time I was given yet another reference and assured that the money would be refunded within three to five working days

Being unusually patient I waited out the full five working  and with hope and positive thought I tried again only to be disappointed that I had had so much belief that the bank would do me right. Another call to the bank and yet another reference I was told  it would take at least seven to ten days.

Saturday morning hoping that surely enough time had elapsed I fearfully approached the ATM, posted my card in the slop, entered my code, requested a bla balane report and …..

Eskom at that exact moment struck with load shedding and swallowed my card.

Another trip to Humansdorp. a new card application, still no money.

A final check yesterday I called the hoping it would be the last time. Oh how wrong I was for I was informed that the money would not be refunded as …. Wait for it …. I received the money or (inferring I was trying to con the bank)  … someone else stole the money —- or the incorrect balance was not reported when the ATM was refilled.

I now have to go into the branch again, request CCTV footage and lay a claim of theft.

A comment from one staff member during many calls and bank visits was that load shedding was causing them a lot of problems,

The loss of the money aside, that there is no power back up on ATM’s in this day and age is ridiculous and a serious oversight by the banks considering load shedding is here to stay for quite some time. A power backup even if it lasts only long enough to eject the card with a warning of impending power outage would suffice and cost little more than a rechargeable battery with an inverter at a fraction of the cost of the actual ATM.

As for safeguards on money not being dispensed  … well my error for believing I would be reimbursed. 

Anyone else experience problems with ATM’s –  comment below

How far will you go to save a species?

World Pangolin Day, Saturday 15 February 2020!

Conservation non-profit organisation Pangolin.Africa has launched a World Pangolin Day campaign to involve ordinary citizens around the globe in what is expected to be the biggest one-day awareness event for the African pangolin ever.

The #running4pangolins campaign aims to generate mass global awareness on Saturday 15 February by inspiring everyone from armchair athletes to competitive runners to hit the tar, track, trail or treadmill in support of pangolin conservation.

No fixed route or distance has been designated, so as to make participation in #running4pangolins accessible to anyone, anywhere. Runners will receive a campaign bib on signing up, which will visibly identify them on the day as supporters of the pangolin awareness initiative, and participants may then choose to complete their local Saturday parkrun, to do a social run with friends or just run solo.

While some participants may choose to raise money through sponsorship from friends and family to help fund Pangolin.Africa’s conservation projects, the organisers stress that it this not a prerequisite for taking part in the event.

Says Toby Jermyn, Director of Pangolin.Africa “Participating in the campaign is easy, fun and free. Whether you run marathons, fun runs or just run for the bus, here’s the chance to do something really amazing for the most trafficked wildlife species on earth and show your support for the future of this extraordinary animal, by simply becoming a ‘running pangolin billboard’ on the day.”

For more information and to get involved visit www.pangolin.africa/running4pangolins

Pangolins, also sometimes called scaly anteaters, are strange looking creatures covered with protective horny, overlapping scales. It is estimated that the African Pangolin has been around for over 40 million years, adapting itself to the changing environment in order to survive.

There are eight different pangolin species in the world, with four in Africa and four in Asia.

The Pangolin is now the most trafficked mammal in the world. The demand for its scales and meat, mostly from the Asian market, means that if we don’t do something soon then the pangolin will go extinct in the very near future.

Now you know, tell your friends!

About Pangolin.Africa

Pangolin.Africa is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the survival of the most trafficked wildlife species on earth: the African Pangolin. Through a three-pronged approach of Publicity, Participation and Protection, the organisation is working with partners in the tourism, conservation and corporate fields to increase worldwide awareness of the species; gather data to contribute towards much-needed research; and implement protection and rehabilitation projects on the ground. Pangolin.Africa also plays an integral role in bringing together and supporting other individuals and organisations working in the pangolin conservation space in Africa and is a major production partner in the 2019 film Eye of the Pangolin. Visit www.pangolin.africa to learn more and follow their progress on social media.

About World Pangolin Day

Celebrated on the third Saturday in February each year, World Pangolin Day is an opportunity for wildlife conservation enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals and their plight. Read more at https://www.pangolins.org/