This article reviews the land use control framework for formal and informal settlements in South Africa. The development of overriding legislation capable of providing a single procedure for land development was imperative. The Development Facilitation Act 67 of 1995 was consequently implemented. Existing legislation continued to operate alongside the DFA which provided a speedier procedure. Other unique characteristics of this Act are, for example, the provision of ownership in phases, the possibility of removing a title deed restriction simultaneously with a development application, and the provision of 'non-statutory development' - of specific importance to the issue of land availability. Although the DFA is an Act of national application, it envisages that provincial legislatures can formulate their own legislation within the guideline framework it creates. Many problems are currently being experienced with the application of the Act. Research into long-term solutions in other developing countries is necessary to find a way towards redressing spatial inequalities on a sustainable developmental basis.
The article considers legal cooperation within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) , a regional organisation within the region. The fourteen SADC member states show considerable legal diversity. There are domicile and nationality countries; common law, Belgian-, and Portuguese-orientated legal systems; some with a Roman-Dutch law heritage; and finally, countries which have followed socialist law reforms and those that have not. Thers are a limited number of recent multinational and bi-national agreements between SADC member states on cooperation and mutual assistance in the field of crime combating. The very modest status of formal international cooperation in the region thus far reveals the vast disparities in the levels of development and actual performance capacity of the various national legal systems. In both Angola and Mozambique, the independence of the judiciary is still a matter for serious concern and an impediment to the development of closer forms of legal cooperarion, a pre-condition for the success of economic recovery programmes, foreign investment incentives and many other infrastructural reforms.
Current debt collection practices in South Africa face a number of problems. They cannot be solved by forcing debtors to pay what they owe. These problems did not arise from the abolition of the imprisonment sanction, but, rather, from the rise in the number of debtors, and from the majority of them being unable to meet their financial obligations. This enormous increase has impacted badly on court efficiency. Also, whether this increase in litigation has been of any value to the creditors concerned is debatable: many cases instituted were not completed, and the amounts actually recovered by the creditors did not bear much relation to the amounts for which they had sued. The second problem is that a vast number of debtors own very little, and are either unemployed or employed in the informal sector. If a person has no assets that can be sold, and no salary that can be subject to an emoluments attachment order, the debt-collection procedure becomes irrelevant. This article proposes improved control of the microlending industry.
Towards the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1993, an ominous work by the World Bank indicated that sixty-four per cent of the benefits of the round would accrue to developed countries, against only thirty-six per cent to developing nations. In fact, during the last two years of the negotiations, developing countries practically ceased demanding concessions from their developed trade partners and proceeded with a frenzy of unilateral liberalisation in the name of globalisation. Developed countries, with justified glee, reaped the profits. They had secured major tariff reductions from the developing countries, as well as the liberalisation of the services' sectors, which was a major strategic objective, together with the inclusion of new treaties regulating matters such as investments and intellectual property. The author explains how, during the six years of operation, the dispute resolution system of the WTO has become a travesty of justice and an effective means of subjugation of developing countries, against whom the system has proved to be directed.
This article is part of a wider project that considers issues of transition, transformation, memory, truth and justice. The author makes a few preliminary remarks on the concept of transition before referring briefly to the extent to which a society's transitions (legal, political, cultural and other) influence its processes of transformation. The author reflects on how a society's processes of transition may affect its future. The South African process of remembering, forgetting and imagining as reflected by the Truth and Reconciliatin Commission (TRC) and the responses to it serve as an example.
Although most universities established by African governments are based on western models, African states in general have experienced a crisis of democracy. Political leaders have paid lip service to freedom and democracy, but Africa has, in general, been characterised by authoritarian regimes and lack of freedom. Despite the shift by many African states from one-party systems to multi-party democracy, on the whole a culture of democracy and freedom cannot be said to have developed. This article presents a comparative analysis of universities in some African states.
After the withdrawal of colonial powers in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the first African environmental convention was drafted in 1968. Although regional environmental development escalated, environmental issues did not seem to capture the interest of scholars and jurists on the continent or elsewhere. This article analyses various environmental responses from an African perspective, their characteristics, and their potential values.