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By Jarryd Westerdale

Digital Journalist

Bills signed by Ramaphosa “loyalty to old partners” says political analyst

Professor Andre Duvenhage spoke to The Citizen about what may have motivated the President's recent bill signings

In the final week of his first term as President, Cyril Ramaphosa signed three more bills into law.

Two of the bills have ramifications for the transport industry, while the third allows municipalities to add fees to land development applications.

The three bills add to the long list of legislative actions by the President that may bring significant societal change, including the NHI, Bela and Cannabis for Private Purposes bills, among others.

President about to become ‘chairperson’

Political Analyst Professor Andre Duvenage suggested these signings were not just the finishing touches on the work done over the last five years, but weights that will give Ramaphosa leverage in his new position.

“It is a continuation of the work of the sixth administration but President Ramaphosa will be more like the Chairperson of the Government of National Unity,” Professor Duvenhage told The Citizen.

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When asked about the significance of the latest signings, Duvenhage added, “I am reading this as loyalty to his old partners in the taxi industry and the unions to keep them on board. It is not a recent pattern, but all through these final weeks and months the President has adopted populist policies.”

Three new bills

As per The Presidency, the National Land Transport Amendment Bill grants certain leeway for provinces and municipalities to conclude contracts for public transport services while giving the Minister of Transport added authority.

The Economic Regulation of Transport Bill grants a still-to-be-established regulatory body sweeping power to enforce compliance, pricing and economic regulations in the transport sector.

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The Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill was the third of the signings and gives municipalities added freedom to regulate land usage and development.  

‘[The MFPF amendment] establishes a system for the municipalities to impose levies for land development applications as a condition for granting or approval of such an application for persons to use or develop land in a municipality,” explains The Presidency.

Although there may be some efforts to overturn the amendments, Professor Duvenhage chimed, “Possession is 80% of the law, as they say.”

Incoming GNU

Ramaphosa will begin his second term aiming to solidify his legacy as the great unifying negotiator.

Professor Duvenhage labelled the GNU a “tentative agreement” that could prove difficult to maintain when allies push back against the bills passed in the first half of 2024.

Envisioning relative calm at first the Professor said, “There will be those sensitivities in a coalition and it will depend on the trust between the leadership groups and they must be shown to support each other in some way.”

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