Author Archives: Abdul Waheed Patel

Final Report of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture


The summary is based on the recommendations contained in the final report of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

The final report of the Panel was released on Sunday 28 July 2019, by Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Ms Thoko Didiza, accompanied by members of the Panel.

In September 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed the Panel to support the work of the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform and to advise the IMC on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support.

The Panel – individually and collectively, believe that land reform can contribute to inclusive growth and sustainable development and enable social cohesion, deliver social justice and restore dignity to the majority of South Africans.

The Panel’s proposals contain wide-ranging recommendations with a view to government implementing fair and equitable land redistribution.

The Panel over the duration of finalising the report met and discussed with relevant ministers and experts on several platforms.

The Panel’s final report has been noted by Cabinet.

In its findings, the Panel in the report states:

1. Critical issues of land hunger, insecurity of tenure with the majority land rights that are not legally recognised in both rural and urban areas, are threatening stability, inclusive growth and development.

2. With 80% of urban dwellers residing on only 2% of the country’s land, a radical shift was required in land reform trajectory. This is exacerbated by government’s reluctance, we believe, to address communal tenure and underdevelopment of communal areas perpetuating the marginalisation of women, the rural poor and the communal farmers, in general.

3. Among the Panel’s immediate recommendations and actions, is the allocation of land, building on and refocusing private partnerships and strengthening of food systems and rural urban linkages.

4. There is a need for a consolidated national land reform policy framework with a new whitepaper that will address current gaps to include urban land, address spatial transformation and climate change. The framework must also add land administration as the fourth pillar, retaining and strengthening land restitution, redistribution and tenure, as indicated in the 1997 land national land policy.

5. There is a need to expedite and refocus of land reform to address inequality and historical injustices.

6. South Africa has made world headlines as the most unequal country. The report attributes the persisting inequalities to the manner in which land is owned, managed and transacted.

7. It is urging President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Cabinet to expedite land reform by using all its powers to resolving all outstanding land restitution claims, release lease acquired private land and much more effectively identify privately owned land needed for redistribution.

8. With regards to land redistribution without compensation:-
a. The majority of Panel members endorsed the proposed policy shift towards using provisions of the Constitution, with the majority of the panel feeling it is an inescapable fact that Section 25 of the Constitution is “compensation centric”. It draws from global examples where it is inextricably linked to some form of compensation.

b. The Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture has proposed for the amendment of the Constitution that clarifies that expropriation without compensation may be necessary in limited circumstances.

c. The Panel has therefore offered a proposal for a constitutional amendment that clarifies that expropriation without compensation may be necessary in limited circumstances, and it proceeds to indicate those circumstances.

d. The Panel said some members felt compensation may be zero in justifiable circumstances.

e. Another recommendation was for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to finalise the database of applications under the land reform labour tenants of 1996 and prepare a proper time bound and publicly available plan for implementation.

f. The Panel calls on Parliament to monitor implementation of this plan and to amend regulation to the act addressing labour tenants and restitution claims. Those whose claims have been lost must have an opportunity to resubmit and the Department must identify claims where expropriation may be used to break the deadlock.

g. As a bold approach to land reform, the Panel proposed and recording the varying tenure rights that exist in the country, saying 60% of land rights in South Africa were not recorded or recognised.

h. The Panel in the report also calls for the reform of the Land Claims Court, the establishment of Land Reform Fund that will bring together state and private finance to support land reform – both the acquisition of land and support for beneficiaries thereafter.

i. The Panel also recommended the development of a Donations Policy, which encourages landowners to donate properties, or part of their properties, by offering exemptions from donations tax, and carrying the conveyancing costs of land transfer.

j. Minister Didiza, on behalf of the Cabinet, appreciated and thanked the Advisory Panel for the work done and the speed with which they have completed the task.

k. Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said:

“The panel was to advise government on circumstances in which the policy on expropriation without compensation will be implemented, what procedures to follow and institutions to enforce as well as the rights of any affected persons, including the rights to judicial review. In a sense this process of the panel was to do a review and also be forward looking in anticipation of the Constitutional Amendments.”

20 changes to South Africa’s Cabinet: All You Need To Know


(Picture courtesy of: New24 and Eye Witness News)

In the late hours of the evening of 30 March 2017, the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa issued an alert that it would make an announcement related to changes to the National Executive.

Just after midnight on 31 March 2017, the Presidency issued a statement announcing President Jacob’s Zuma’s appointment of 10 new Cabinet Ministers and 10 new Deputy Ministers.

In an unprecedented move, President Jacob Zuma effected 20 sweeping changes to his Cabinet citing the need to “improve efficiency and effectiveness” and “bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise” as his reasons.

In total 5 former Cabinet Ministers and 2 former Deputy Ministers were axed from the National Executive.

The new Ministers and Deputy Ministers appointed by President Zuma have been issued a clear directive by the President to work tirelessly with other Cabinet members to bring about “radical socio-economic transformation” and delivery of the party’s electoral mandate.

The changes to the Cabinet have been met with widespread public and political outcry and condemnation for the manner in which it was executed. This includes for reasons relating to the removal of well-performing cabinet ministers such as the Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance and the retaining of under-performing and controversial Ministers.

Opposition political parties have resorted to the Courts in search of a remedy and called for Parliament to vote on a Motion of No Confidence in the President.

Upon the news of the imminent Cabinet reshuffle and the potential the South Africa Rand had already weakened around 4% to the US Dollar. By the end of the week, the Rand was calculated to have weakened 8% against the US Dollar – the biggest weekly drop since 2015 when the then Minister of Finance, Mr. Nhlanhla Nene was summarily removed from his position by President Jacob Zuma.

The ETHICORE Political Lobbying team is pleased our first glimpse to the Cabinet changes and its implications.

Here’s all you need to know. Click here to download: 20 Changes to South Africa’s Cabinet – all you need to know

ELECTIONS UPDATE: South African Local Government Election 2016 – Beyond The Numbers

indexETHICORE Political Lobbying – South Africa’s pioneering and leading government affairs across all spheres of Government and key policy areas, is supporting and advising clients all across industries and sectors to re-evaluate and recalibrate government affairs, advocacy and lobbying strategies in post-elections political environment.

Download the full update here: SA Local Govt Elections Update Beyond The Numbers_15Aug2016

On Wednesday 3 August 2016, South Africans took to the polls and cast their ballots to elect their public representatives in metropolitan councils and rural district municipalities for the next five-year municipal term.

In the end, it was a fiercely contested election across the board, with the impact being most pronounced in South Africa’s major metropolitan councils of Johannesburg, Tshwane (formerly Pretoria) and Nelson Mandela Bay.

In these three cities, the opposition Democratic Alliance emerged as the leading party, ahead of the African National Congress, which had been the dominant governing party in these cities with an outright majority since 2000.

These political shifts manifested itself in 27 hung councils across South Africa, which now require the formation of coalition governments to constitute a government in each council.

Following the announcement of the official election results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Saturday 6th August 2016, political parties have 14 days therefrom to constitute the first meeting of municipal councils in accordance with the Municipal Systems Act.

If within this period political parties fail to form a government to govern any municipal council, the Constitution provides for both the National and Provincial sphere of Government an authority to intervene to overcome the deadlock and ensure municipalities are able to function.

The period up until then is already being characterised by intense negotiations and coalition talks between all political parties, large and small, irrespective of political ideology and policy positions. With the only exceptions at this stage being that the DA has stated that it will not enter into a coalition with the ANC to form a Government as part of its call for an opportunity to govern where it believes the ANC has failed.

These negotiations and coalition talks and what they will ultimately result in, not only shapes the landscape of municipal government and politics for the next five years.

The basis and conditions for the establishment of coalitions are already beginning to redefine South Africa’s broader national political landscape. This is starting to be reflected in the concessions and guarantees that negotiating political parties offer and seek in exchange for the support and participation in a coalition. These have already emerged in the form of exchanges and binding agreements for political cooperation as it relates to power sharing, leadership positions and policy trade-offs.

The implications of these are that once the dust has settled, the impact of negotiated agreements and coalitions formed, will reverberate across the political spectrum, including:

  • Parliamentary politics between all of the political parties affected and their national mandate on key legislative, regulatory, policy and executive oversight issues.
  • Intergovernmental relations between the three spheres of Government, especially where there is political divergence between any two spheres.
  • Policy review and formulation processes of political parties.
  • Party leadership and succession.
  • The road towards the 2019 national and provincial elections.

Beyond the numbers, individual companies, industries and sectors will benefit from understanding the tangible and material impact of the outcomes of these negotiations on their strategic policy, legislative and regulatory priorities. These will be affected by the spheres of Government concerned in each case and the ability to engage in constructive and effective advocacy and government relations.

Affected companies, industries and sectors need to re-evaluate and appropriately recalibrate their government affairs, advocacy and lobbying strategies to determine how best to interpret, navigate and interact with coalition governments and their ripple-effect throughout the political system.

As South Africa’s pioneering government affairs firm, ETHICORE Political Lobbying is uniquely placed to assist clients in unscrambling this political rubix cube and it many moving parts.

Our team of experienced experts and professionals all across spheres of Government and key policy areas, are supporting and advising clients to appropriately integrate these considerations within their government affairs strategies and approaches.

Our offering is geared towards supporting our clients – past, present and future, as well as our international partners, with the customised precision required to translate in-depth political intelligence and analysis into targeted instruments for impactful policy-relevant engagement and government relations.

Abdul Waheed Patel
Managing Director

Celebrating 5 Years. Looking Ahead.

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I am elated to share with you that today marks 5 years since ETHICORE was established as the first niche professional political consultancy in Southern Africa.

The boom of African democracy and institutions in the face of pressing socio-economic and development imperatives gives rise to unprecedented demands and opportunities.

From public policy and assessing political risk, to legislation, regulation and many more, public decision-making authorities and affected parties require ever more sophisticated tools and discerning approaches for engaging in constructive and impactful dialogue which contribute to informed choices.

Within this context, since 2010 we have been driven by our founding mission to become a market leader and pioneer of our industry on the African continent. In this pursuit, we have committed ourselves to the development of a holistic suite of ethically focused professional services, standards and practices to excel in the following fields of expertise, namely:

  • Advocacy and lobbying
  • Government relations
  • Stakeholder management
  • Public policy and political research and analysis
  • Strategic communications and media

Through the commitment and support of our clients, partners and stakeholders we are forging ahead in our quest.

To maintain this trajectory and remain at the forefront of our profession on the African continent, it is my privilege to announce our renewed strategic direction for the 5-year period leading up to 2020.

Our Vision:
To be the undisputed African global benchmark and partner in professional political lobbying.

Our Purpose:
To influence, inform and participate in the process of democratic decision-making, through enabling constructive political dialogue and engagement.

Our Values:
Professionalism, Innovation and Partnership

High-level Strategic Objectives:

  1. A Commanding Regional Presence: Develop and maintain the most extensive footprint in our industry on the African continent, through a combined network of owned, representative and associate offices.
  1. The Global Strategic African Partner: To be the preferred African partner to global industry peers and networks in key political and economic capitals.
  1. Industry Leadership and Development: Lead in the establishment of professional recognition, standards and governance for the lobbying industry in Africa.
  1. Bespoke Client Diversification: Increase and diversify our portfolio of bespoke clients within our key industry sectors and across multiple priority African and global jurisdictions.
  1. Sustainable Commercial Development: Realise our growth, expansion, competitiveness and sustainability, through strategically reinvesting in our capacity, infrastructure, enterprise and business development.
  1. Exemplary Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility: Commit a meaningful portion of our time, know-how and resources to selective social initiatives that derive value for society, within our areas of expertise.

ethicore_logo and bc2We have sharpened and refreshed the elements that constitute our corporate identity and branding to mark our 5-year milestone and to reflect the configuration of this strategic direction. We will be introducing and announcing a number of well advanced and planned initiatives and activities to mark this occasion and give impetus to our strategic trajectory.

Amongst other, these include:

  • Our new Code of Practice
  • Our 5 -Year Review
  • Appointing our inaugural Advisory Board
  • Establishing a professional body for the lobbying industry in South Africa
  • Concluding strategic regional and global partnerships

I would like to express my personal gratitude and appreciation to you, for your support, recognition and trust in our expertise and capability.

It has been an honour sharing the journey of the past five years with you. I welcome you to join in our continued success.

Warm regards.

Yours sincerely,
Abdul Waheed Patel
Managing Director

ETHICORE supports the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to appoint an Independent Advisory Panel

As a responsible corporate citizen, ETHICORE is proud to announce that as part of its social responsibility and commitment to society the company will be providing project and technical support to the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in respect of the MJC’s strategic initiative to establish an Independent Advisory Panel.

ETHICORE Managing Director, Abdul Waheed Patel has agreed to serve as the Convenor of an independent Nominations Committee that will oversee and managed the process for nominating, identifying, screening, interviewing and recommending to the MJC suitable and capable nominees. ETHICORE will also support the media, communications, stakeholder and public relations requirements of the Nominations Committee.


Read more here:

Media Statement_MJC_11Nov2014_DELIVERED

TOR_MJC Nominations Committee_11Nov2014