Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Apartheid law must go by year-end: minister

27 April 2010, 15:34

By Christelle Terreblanche
Political Bureau

The government has set a final deadline - December 31 - for provinces to repeal one of the last remaining cornerstones of apartheid - the Black Authorities Act - despite resistance by some traditional leaders.

A Black Authorities Act Repeal Bill was tabled in Parliament on Monday by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, more than a decade after the SA Law Commission first recommended its scrapping.

Enacted in 1951, the act was seen as the centrepiece of a range of laws that set up "tribal" and regional homeland authorities for the administration of "the affairs of Blacks".

Nkwinti says in a memorandum to the repeal legislation that the act was a means by which black people were "controlled and dehumanised, and is reminiscent of past division and discrimination".

Land experts say little will change on the ground, as the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003 has already replaced the act.

Some believe the vast powers given to chiefs under apartheid were entrenched by the 2003 act, with old tribal authority boundaries under which 22-million South Africans still live.

A senior researcher at the University of Cape Town's Law, Race and Gender Unit, Mazibuko Jara, said there had been strong opposition to the repeal from the traditional leadership lobby because it was central to guaranteeing the powers of chiefs under apartheid.

This article was originally published on page 5 of The Cape Argus on April 27, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

How can this sterling piece of legislation ever be repealed.

The Rainbow Nation should be grateful for this act.

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