Coming soon

The next few days are expected to be somewhat cooler than the norm for this time of the year over the southern to eastern parts of the country, where easterly to south easterly winds will advect moisture for most of the days with substantial cloud cover at times.

Warm and dry conditions will persist over the north western parts (mainly northern half of the Northern Cape and adjacent areas) according to current forecasts. The generally favourable rainfall situation over the interior will also be associated with strong south easterlies in the southwest. Rain-bearing systems (cut-off lows) over the southern parts may also be associated with heavy downpours at times and possible severe storms in places.

The following is a summary of weather conditions during the next few days:

• General:
o The period will be relatively cool over the southern to eastern parts with above-normal rainfall.
o The winter rainfall region is also expected to receive rain
o The northern half of the Northern Cape and adjacent areas are expected to remain mostly dry. o It will be very windy over the southern parts of the country at times.
o It will generally be windy for this time of the year over most of the interior, especially the central to southern parts and from time to time also over the Highveld.
o Strong south easterlies are possible over the southwestern parts for most of the period.

• Rainfall:
o Scattered showers and thundershowers are expected on most days over the central to eastern summer rainfall region, including the entire maize-production region except for the extreme southwestern parts.
o Widespread rain and thundershowers are possible over Limpopo and central to eastern Mpumalanga during the weekend. Heavy falls are possible along the escarpment and the Lowveld.
o Scattered rain and thundershowers are expected over the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and southern parts of the Northern Cape during the weekend and possibly again by Wednesday (22nd). Heavy falls are possible over the mountainous areas in the Western Cape.
o Except for isolated thundershowers at times, the northern half of the Northern Cape should remain dry for the most part according to current forecasts.

• Temperatures:

o It will be cool to cold over the southern parts, with maximum temperatures below 20°C, accompanied by strong winds which should lower the sensible temperature, during the weekend and into early next week as well as possibly by Wednesday and Thursday (22nd and 23rd).
o Mild conditions will dominate over the interior and along the coast for the most part. Maximum temperatures over the interior will remain below the lower 30s for the most part.

Overview of expected conditions over South Africa during the next few days

A tropical low-pressure system in the north, moving across Zimbabwe, together with an upper-air low over Botswana will initially bring widespread rain and thundershowers to the north eastern parts. Two upper-air cut-off lows developing over the southwestern parts during the period will also result in widespread thundershowers over the interior, together with rain and thundershowers over the southern parts, including the winter rainfall region. Conditions in main agricultural production regions (17 - 22 January)

Maize production region:

It will be cooler than normal for most of the period. Isolated to scattered showers and thundershowers are expected on most days. Maximum temperatures over the western maize-production region will range between 24 and 30 °C. Minimums will be in the order of 14 - 19°C. Maximum temperatures over the eastern maize production region will range between 22 and 29°C while minimums will be in the order of 10 - 15°C.

Cape Wine Lands and Ruens:

Widespread rain and thundershowers are expected, especially during the weekend and again by Wednesday (22nd). The wind will be strong southerly to south easterly, especially in the southwest, especially during the weekend and again by the 22nd. Temperatures will be below normal for this time of the year.

Possible extreme conditions - relevant to agriculture

According to current model projections (GFS model) of weather conditions during the coming week, the following may be deduced:
• Rain and thundershowers over the north eastern parts may result in heavy falls over the north eastern escarpment and Lowveld during the weekend.
• Showers or thundershowers during the weekend over the mountainous regions of the Western Cape may be associated with heavy downpours and could possibly lead to localised flooding.
• Thundershowers during the weekend and next week over the mountainous regions of the Western Cape may have a tendency to become severe, with hail.
• Cool, wet and windy conditions over the southern parts of the country for extended periods may have a negative impact on small stock.
• Some thundershowers over the central parts of the country by next week may have a tendency to become severe.

Once again, traditional leadership in South Africa is being tested as the proposed legislation seeks to perpetuate rural dwellers’ insecurity of land rights.

After the conquest of various indigenous tribes by settlers and colonialists, the institution of traditional leadership was transformed from being at the centre of power in traditional communities to being the proxies of the colonial government.

This fact naturally attracted the union government and then later the apartheid government. The nature of the engagements between traditional authorities and the then colonial governments was generally characterised as resisting rebellious traditional leaders by successive governments recognising and imposing their own preferred and compliant chiefs.

Instead of the traditional leaders’ power resting with the people, which had historically been the situation generally, though with some notorious exceptions, manipulations by government subverted the state of affairs by abetting and financially supporting identified chiefs.

It is no surprise, therefore, that legislation such as the Bantu Authorities Act, gave us the current iteration of traditional leadership, chosen by the state to do its bidding. After 1994, government cemented these leadership positions with their own legislation such as the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act.

Government’s latest attempt to continue the legacy of the National Party is the Traditional and Khoi San Leadership Act, was signed into law last year.

The act, known as the Bantustan Act by those opposed to it, defines traditional leadership authorities and their territories on the same grounds as did the legislation under apartheid.

The most contentious aspect of the act is section 24, which gives traditional councils the power to enter into agreements with third parties, such as mining companies, on behalf of the community. The effect of this section will remove property rights from individuals and give them to a council. This is an injustice that may include deprivation of land.

Customary law recognises communal land ownership as a property right. Individual property rights to land, as per our Roman-Dutch common law, are not expressly stated. Those communal land rights resided in the chief through legislation such as the old Bantu Authorities Act, which gave them statutory powers supposedly in line with customary law.

Individuals living in those territories do not enjoy private ownership but limited tenure that they derive from the chief, headman or king. These rights are protected in law by the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act.

These agreements are subject to certain conditions such as consultation and a vote at the said consultation by a majority of those in attendance. Organisations such as the Amadiba Crisis Committee, made up of members from the famous Xolobeni community, are opposed to giving the power to control their property to councils with their own sectional interests.

Like its predecessor, government is continuing the policy of treating rural dwellers like perpetual children requiring a guardian, in the form of a traditional council, to “protect” and administer their property.

Section 24, read in conjunction with section 22(1) of the Bantustan Act, paints a grim picture. Councils are accountable to the premier of the province in which they are situated and not to the community members. The rural communities, which will be affected by this legislation, are rightly outraged the legislation seeks to perpetuate the top-down relationship created by apartheid laws concerning the interaction between rural dwellers and their leaders, instead of the historically original bottom-up authority of traditional leadership.

Section 24(3)(c) of the Bantustan Act lists the conditions to which agreements are subject. In the Constitutional Court judgment in Baleni v Minister of Mineral Resources, which relied on the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act, it noted that for the deprivation of communally owned land, consent and not only consultation, is required.

The Bantustan Act, in other words, is at odds with that judgment.

The act requires a mere majority vote (of the attendees at the consultation). It might be argued that this is a manifestation of consent, but in the Baleni judgment, it was shown that the customary law of some communities may require consent in the form of consensus rather than a mere majority.

The constitutional validity of the Bantustan Act is therefore at risk.

This is to be contrasted with the historical role and duties of traditional leaders. In this context, when an issue that affected the community would come under discussion, the traditional leader’s role was that of a facilitator. This is not to romanticise the historical role of traditional leadership in the event of an issue or dispute that warranted consideration by the community.

It is a historical fact. The discussion would involve the whole community based on consensus without the traditional leader even expressing his own view or imposing it on the community. The consensus around an issue culminating in a resolution would mean not a simple or two-thirds majority but a 100% endorsed resolution owned by the affected community.

This has always been a manifestation of participatory democracy at its best. Instead of creating legislation that will give more than 18 million rural dwellers secure land rights, government is moving in the opposite direction, subjecting these individuals to more insecurity.

Property rights are integral to prosperity. They should always be controlled by those who are rightfully entitled to them and not by an institution accountable, not to the people, but to government.

Zakhele Mthembu is an associate of the Free Market Foundation and a law student at Wits University. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Free Market Foundation



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