Restitution, Land and INHERITANCE:

A philosophical and constitutional argument

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein  as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Date: 29 August 2017     

Time:  12h30 – 14h00 

Venues: Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town

Speaker:  Mr Jonathan Cogger, University of Cape Town

Chair: Prof Sharlene Swartz, Research Director, HSD

Inheritance needs an agenda in South Africa. As a result of past racial discrimination, we have inherited a legacy of unequally distributed land and access to socio-economic opportunity. While private property was subject to intense debate during the constitutional drafting process, inheritance was entirely ignored. Legally, there are few limitations on the type or value of property that can be disposed of on death. As a result there is little regulation on the passage of intergenerational wealth in post-apartheid South Africa, despite clear constitutional commitments towards historical redress and property reform. As a society plagued by the continuing poverty and inequality, we need a discourse on the nature and role of inheritance laws in perpetuating the legacy of inherited wealth.  The purpose of this seminar is to engage the constitutional and philosophical grounds for inheritance reform in South Africa. The speaker will argue that there are cogent reasons for a monetary limitation of what can be bequeathed of on death.
 
Jonathan Cogger is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town, an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and a legal researcher.
 
Sharlene Swartz is a research director at the HSRC, and an adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is the author of Another Country: Everyday social restitution.

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