Tuesday 30 June 2009

ANC in provincial land grab?

(Scripturelink Voters' Guide; c.f. (IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 29 / 06 | June / 2009 ; (IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 07 / 11 | December / 2008 )

Article by Marc Aupiais

According to IOL in an article by Ainsley Daniels((IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 29 / 06 | June / 2009 ): Sicelo Shiceka, who is The Republic of South Africa's ruling ANC (African National Congress) Minister of the controversial Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Ministry, has made claims of a report allegedly in which the ANC run South African State government, or officials in it are looking into reducing the number of provinces in South Africa. The provincial government of the opposition DA (Democratic Alliance) in the Western Cape (province) had previously alleged interference in provincial matters. The minister had claimed that even the Western Cape would be pressured by him. His ministry has certainly not eased tensions.

On December 07th 2008, when he, as a person, represented local government, involving the changes to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa as they related to the contentious and at times violent Khutsong Township issue, he was accused of undermining the central government((IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 07 / 11 | December / 2008). This would certainly be am about turn, if those allegations are true.

During apartheid, there were much fewer provinces, reflecting the politics of pre-apartheid Boer and British colonies, which had formed the Union of South Africa, and the 1910 Union Constitution in compromise, after the Second South African / Boer War, seemingly won by the British.

Any amendment to having 9 provinces, as with a separate effort to get rid of vital aspects of Judicial -Independence,( the latter pushed by minister of Justice and Constitutional reform: Jeff Radebe:) would require amending the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. With the enlargement of the opposition, the ANC could not introduce any of these plans into practice: without the help of opposition parties' Members of Parliament.

If I am correct, they would also need the okay of provinces whose borders are affected to successfully legislate the prior. Acting without the confirmation of an applicable province, would require taking away the current Constitutional rights of the provinces to do so. To take away areas of provincial authority was apparently also suggested by the ruling ANC recently.

According to IOL(IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 29 / 06 | June / 2009), critics of redrawing the provinces believe the ANC wants to redraw them to oust their DA opposition from the Western Cape province, where DA head: Helen Zille is premier.

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