Special reports on confederalism

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Date
1993
Authors
South Africa. Negotiating Council of the Multi-Party Negotiating Process. Technical Committee on Constitutional Issues.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
CODESA
Abstract
The Technical Committee on Constitutional Issues drafted two reports, in which it dealt with the submissions received from the Conservative Party and the Government of Bophuthatswana concerning the issue of confederalism. The Conservative Party requested an Afrikaner state, separate from the rest of South Africa. The Party provided details of the governance and legal system of the state it envisaged. However, the Committee was of the view that no state could exist in vacuo. While the Committee did not contest the right of the Afrikaner people to self determination, it was of the opinion that as a minority group they could be protected in the South African state within the ambit of the constitutional principles, which were being debated in the Negotiating Council. The issue of citizenship was also problematic, because all non-Afrikaners residing in the state would be disenfranchised. They would be regarded as aliens. This was not acceptable to the Committee. The government of Bophutatswana requested a confederation of states, i.e. a voluntary association of separate independent TBVC states. The Committee pointed out that the TBVC states were not recognized as independent states by the international community. Another problem was that the TBVC states were interspersed between existing regions and provinces of South Africa. They were to all intents and purposes part of South Africa. Furthermore, the inhabitants of the TBVC states were South African by birth, before these states became independent. There were strong indications that they and their descendants wished to regain this status. Finally, the demographics, economic systems, financial viability and the politics of the TBVC states were intrinsically linked to those of South Africa. Thus a semi-confederal or hegemonic state system for South Africa and the TBVC states was not possible.
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Keywords
Confederalism , Federal government, South Africa , Conservative Party of South Africa , Constitutional law , TBVC states
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