Tag Archives: Zuma

South Africa – banks forecast political distractions but better economic performance in 2017

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Political distractions no impediment to growth in SA in 2017, bank forecasts

Peter Attard Montalto. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES
Peter Attard Montalto. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES

Politics will be a big distraction for SA in 2017, but the country’s economic growth should still be better than in 2016, Japanese investment bank Nomura said in an outlook for the coming year released on Thursday

SA’s economic growth will accelerate slightly to about 1% in 2017 from 0.5% in 2016, Nomura head of emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa economics Peter Attard Montalto forecasts.

“The key narrative remains negative per capita income growth,” he wrote in a research note.

The good news is that inflation will fall back under government’s 6% ceiling to average 5.6%, and that the Reserve Bank is likely to hold the repo rate flat at 7% over 2017.

The bad news is that SA will get downgraded to junk status, and that the ANC’s “tenderpreneur faction” will place Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as presidential candidate for 2019, if Attard Montalto’s predictions are correct.

Some key events to watch are the ANC’s January 8 anniversary celebrations, the monthly national executive committee (NEC) meetings, the state of the nation address at the start of February, and the budget at the end of February. The ANC’s policy conference and one-day ‘consultative’ conference at the start of July will also be key.

“But the real action will be below the surface as campaigning occurs at branch level. Investors need to be cautious on public pronouncements of support and be aware that the winner will be the person with the most branch delegates voting for them,” Attard Montalto said.

“As such the restructuring, closure and opening of branches and shifts in membership numbers is a crucial, ‘dirty’, part of the campaign and this is why we ultimately believe the tenderpreneur faction behind President Jacob Zuma can win with its likely candidate in Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She will represent the status quo for the party, though the coalitions she forms may be able to shift policy either to a better or worse place.

“Ultimately, her main rival Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa does not have the grass roots support or the ability to run a dirty campaign in the same way in our view. Therefore, we think a key event in the second quarter will be the transition of power from Zuma to his successor as president of the country to allow them to campaign to victory in the 2019 national elections.

“We believe a Cabinet reshuffle is likely in the new year as Zuma purges those that stood up to him in the NEC in 2016. He is weakened by that event, but not weak. There is some risk to him from rebel ANC members of Parliament, and we believe he does not have the political capital to remove Financial Minister Pravin Gordhan because of a pro-patronage anti-Zuma key faction in the NEC that is sticking with him for now. Ultimately, we think Zuma’s fate rests in their hands. Politics will be a big distraction from reforms and policy.”

Attard Montalto expects SA to be downgraded to junk status by the ratings agencies in the coming year.

“The National Treasury remains hopeful that a recovery in per capita income growth will aid fiscal sustainability, but we do not see this and so we expect fiscal consolidation and debt stabilisation to stall.

“February’s budget will be closely watched for details on higher taxes but we expect a scatter-gun approach. We see the National Treasury having political room to undertake difficult fiscal policy moves and some scope to be involved in parastatals, but not wider control over structural reform policy,” he wrote.

“A 2016 rating reprieve shows agencies unable to decide the direction of growth and reforms and so allowing the benefit of the doubt. This should eventually run out – possibly in 2017 – and result in downgrades. Parastatal risk, especially from Eskom and its nuclear ambitions, will likely be a key component.”

South Africa and Zuma – Happy Christmas: gird the loins for a traumatic start to the New Year


Dec 23 2016 09:18

Alec Hogg

London – Take some deep breaths between eating all that traditional turkey because if my “usually reliable source” is right, the New Year will bring fresh challenges. Starting early.

I was dubious, but after belligerent addresses to the ANC Youth League this week by President Jacob Zuma and his acolyte Collen Maine now not too much. The national wrecking ball’s war talk is positioning loyalists for another Nenegate-type blunder.

READ: #NeneGate, according to Zuma

My insider paints it like this: When ANC bigwigs meet in the first week of January, Zuma will push for and get an “accelerated radical transformation” mandate. He’ll share his road map to Zimbabwe in the ANC’s New Year statement on January 8, setting up a major cabinet reshuffle soon after Davos ends on January 20.

READ: ‘We want the rand to fall so that when it rises, we will control the economy’ – Maine

That will usher in a new Finance Minister with Pravin Gordhan ejected along with other cabinet members (Hanekom, Motsoaledi, etc) who put the Constitution above party loyalty. It will ensure Zuma’s ex-wife takes over as the next ANC leader – and keeps him out of jail.

READ: Black people still don’t control the economy – Zuma

My source is adamant this is how things will play out. Even if he’s half right, 2017 promises to be another interesting year for South Africa. Unfortunately.

South Africa – Zuma survives NEC meeting but top six may decide his fate

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Zuma survives NEC meeting — now his fate may rest with ANC top six

The move at a dramatic three-day meeting to unseat the president failed and a compromise was proposed

29 November 2016 – 08:34 AM Natasha Marrian
Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED
Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED

President Jacob Zuma has survived an attempt to remove him from office after a dramatic three-day ANC national executive committee meeting.

The ANC will announce the outcome of the meeting at a media briefing on Tuesday after Zuma departed to Havanna, for the funeral of former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

Sources in the NEC said on Tuesday that the motion to remove Zuma was rejected and a “settlement” was reached.

The ANC NEC was divided on Zuma’s future, with both his detractors and supporters pushing to win the day, after his recall as state president was raised at the meeting on Saturday.

In an unprecedented debate, which most analysts see as the waning of Zuma’s political clout, some members called for him to step down and those close to him came to his defence.

The NEC meeting was supposed to have ended on Sunday but was extended to yesterday as both sides failed to agree on a way forward for the president.

During the meeting, the stalemate prompted ANC Northern Cape secretary Zemani Saul to propose a compromise.

He suggested that the top six leaders of the party should wrangle over the issue and report back to the NEC and for the discussion to be taken to a consultative conference to take place next year.

The ANC will announce whether this is the course of action it will take at its media briefing at 2pm.

South Africa – Zuma plans cabinet fightback as NEC gets resignation motion

Mail and Guardian

Zuma to launch fight back as ANC NEC present motion for the president to step down

Staff Reporter 27 Nov 2016 11:02

Zuma’s fight to discredit the public protector’s report into his relationship with the Guptas and the family’s undue benefits from state resources as a result of the friendship has already begun. (Reuters)
President Zuma is preparing to sideline those ANC members who oppose him in a cabinet re-shuffle. The president has also begun the process of charging former public protector Thuli Madonsela. The fight back comes as members of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) reportedly tabled a motion for Zuma to step down.
Zuma loyalists have been sent into a panic, City Press newspaper reported on Sunday, after Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom tabled a motion for the president to step down in the ANC NEC meeting on Saturday. It is unclear if or when a vote will take place for Zuma to be reomved.
“Late last [Saturday] night, the meeting had been adjourned with the discussion around a vote deferred to today, the last day of the NEC sitting,” City Press reported.
Throughout the year, the ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said that the issue of recalling the president was never discussed in NEC meetings, despite pressure from civil society and ANC stalwarts.
The public protector’s State of Capture report, City Press says, has given Zuma’s critics a reason to ask for the president to step down.
Criminal charges against Madonsela
Zuma’s fight to discredit the public protector’s report into his relationship with the Guptas and the family’s undue benefits from state resources as a result of the friendship has already begun.
Madonsela released audio recordings of her interview with President Zuma to news channel eNCA, but the presidency said she did not have permission from the current public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to do so.
The Sunday Times newspaper reports that on November 11, Mkhwebane opened a case with the police, alleging that Madonsela had contavened the Public Protector Act. The newspaper said that Mkhwebane confirmed she had laid charges after receiving complaints from Zuma, the national assembly, and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
“A case has been opened with the Brooklyn police station because there is an investigation that needs to happen whether the leakage happened in violation of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act because any information which is relevant to the investigation can only be made public with the permission of the public protector,” Mkhwebane said to the Sunday Times.
Zuma also announced on Friday that he would take the state capture report under judicial review.
Charges are said to be part of Zuma’s campaign to retaliate against Madonsela after her reports on Nkandla and the state capture have led to increased calls for Zuma to step down
Cabinet re-shuffle to oust Zuma critics
Zuma has, according to the Sunday Times, spoken to provincial ANC leaders about a cabinet reshuffle and the removal of Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha and the Eastern Cape’s Phumulo Masualle.
The Sunday Times says that with a possible re-shuffle looming, the presidency has been warned to avoid the embarassment that they incurred when Des Van Rooyen was appointed finance minister. The presidency will now have to appoint people who are well-known and experienced in the re-shuffle.
City Press meanwhile, has reported that the cabinet re-shuffle would be a means to force Zuma naysayers out of their positions.
The ANC NEC is set to meet again this week to discuss the party’s leadership succession. 

Zuma also announced on Friday that he would take the state capture report under judicial review.
Charges are said to be part of Zuma’s campaign to retaliate against Madonsela after her reports on Nkandla and the state capture have led to increased calls for Zuma to step down

South Africa – “abused” Zuma to face grilling in parliament


‘President Jacob Zuma. (Netwerk24)

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma will face a tough grilling during his last question-and-answer session for the year in the National Assembly.
Zuma will answer questions in Parliament on Wednesday, his first appearance since he blasted the Speaker for not “protecting him” during his sessions in the National Assembly.
The president, who has not had an easy year in Parliament, will answer questions on ministers Mosebenzi Zwane and Des Van Rooyen’s bids to stop the release of the State of Capture report.
“Whether he and/or his legal team instructed Zwane and/or van Rooyen, to lodge applications to interdict the release of the Public Protector’s report, entitled State of Capture, due to the specified persons’ alleged relationships with the Gupta family; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the reasons in each case?” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane wants to know.
Zwane will again be in the spotlight with the president also expected to answer questions on the closure of Oakbay Investments’ accounts by major banks.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa asks if Zuma applied his mind to the proposal of the inter-ministerial committee on the closure of the accounts, and what his decision in this regard was.
University fees, ratings agencies
Zwane announced that Cabinet had recommended a judicial inquiry into the closure of the bank accounts, but Zuma later distanced Cabinet from the statement.
The president will also be grilled on whether government had reached an agreement with the students regarding 2017 higher education fees and the government’s position on calls for free education.
Other questions on the agenda include one on whether he has found that sufficient steps have been taken by the government to satisfy the concerns expressed by ratings agencies earlier in the year.
He will also give input on how government characterised its strategy going forward in the diplomatic, trade and security arenas, with reference to the annual South African Heads of Mission Conference that was held in October 2016.
During his last appearance in the National Assembly, Zuma said he was always subjected to abuse by opposition MPs.
This followed the Economic Freedom Fighters’ refusal to let him speak on the grounds that they did not recognise him as the country’s president.

South Africa – chief justice will wait on Zuma before starting state capture investigation


2016-11-17 18:05

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Johannesburg – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will only get involved in a judicial commission of inquiry into “state capture” if President Jacob Zuma asks him to do so.

In a carefully worded statement from his office, Mogoeng said he does not have a constitutional obligation to initiate the process of appointing a judicial commission of inquiry.

“No remedial action has been taken against the chief justice. He is thus not obliged to initiate the process of appointing the judicial commission of inquiry,” wrote his spokesperson Nathi Mncube.

He said the remedial action put forward by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela only applied to the president.

“Only on him does section 84(1) (f) of the supreme law impose the obligation to appoint a commission of inquiry,” said Mncube.

The chief justice’s office said the president can either decide to comply with the remedial action as set out by Madonsela or challenge it on review.

30-day deadline

“If he decides to comply with the remedial action or to challenge it on review but courts return an outcome that is unfavourable to him, he would, in compliance with the remedial action, be expected to appoint the commission in terms of his constitutional powers, as directed.”

Mncube said the president can then approach the chief justice for a name of a judge expected to chair the inquiry.

“Only then may the chief justice get involved in the commission-appointment process, consistent with the Constitution and the law,” he said.

Madonsela in her State of Capture report recommended that Zuma appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days, headed by a judge selected by the chief justice “who shall provide one name to the president”.

The judge will then be given power to appoint his or her own staff and investigate all the issues using the record of Madonsela’s report as a starting point.

Critics of the report have argued that the Public Protector overstepped her powers in her recommended remedial action – taking away the president’s powers to appoint a commission of inquiry.

‘Giving the power back to the president’

Director for the Centre for Constitutional Studies Phephelaphi Dube said although on the one hand it is the president’s prerogative to appoint such commissions it needs to be noted that the State of Capture report is one that comes with overwhelming public interest and the president himself is a person of interest in the matter.

“If he appoints a judge, that already casts aspersions on the impartiality of the commission and it should never be viewed as compromised,” she told News24.

She also said she felt the chief justice’s response to media queries regarding his views on the report was careful, but rightly so given the political nature of the matter.

“He is not running away from the remedial recommendations, but at the same time he is giving the power back to the president to do as is his prerogative,” Dube said.

South Africa – Eskom chief Brian Molefe’s decision to resign widely welcomed

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Eskom CEO Brian Molefe
Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Political parties and civil society groups have welcomed the resignation of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, and called on the board to resign too.

The EFF said on Friday that Molefe’s resignation was a step forward in cleaning up state institutions. It called on Eskom’s board to follow his example and resign.

“If they do not, EFF will make sure that parliament dissolves them as soon as possible,” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement headed “The EFF welcomes the resignation of the Gupta appointee Brain Molefe as CEO of Eskom.”

The EFF accused Molefe of lying to parliament when he was asked about his relationship with the Gupta family, and reiterated that the power utility’s board was not legitimately constituted.

Corruption Watch said Molefe’s resignation was in the best interests of Eskom. Eskom’s prominence as a major state-owned enterprise required the public to have confidence in its operations and functioning.

“The allegations against Molefe, both in the media and the State of Capture report, must however continue to be the subject of inquiry by the pending judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, and should also be investigated by the relevant law enforcement authorities,” the anticorruption group said.

Corruption Watch also said Molefe’s alleged “irregular or criminal conduct” would not have been possible without the board. It urged the board to consider its continued leadership at Eskom.

Earlier in the day, Molefe announced his pending departure from Eskom “in the interests of the utility and the public doing on my part. It is rather what I feel to be the correct thing to do on the interests of the company and good corporate governance,” he said.

Molefe is to leave Eskom on January 1, 2017.

Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane said Molefe’s resignation was regrettable, but understandable.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has expressed regret about Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe’s resignation‚ but says she respects his decision to do so.


“Mr Molefe has been instrumental in developing Eskom’s turnaround strategy‚ which is beginning to yield positive results and it is disappointing that he will not be present to see it to complete fruition‚” Brown said in a statement.

She said‚ as a shareholder representative‚ she would work closely with the Eskom board to ensure that the company remained stable.

“I am confident that Mr Molefe leaves a strong executive team in place to continue to deliver on Eskom’s mandate and implementation of the turnaround strategy.

The DA says it will lay criminal charges against Molefe following his resignation.

“It is suspicious that he has resigned after we began the process of getting him to come clean under oath in parliament,” DA MP Natasha Mazzone said.

“We furthermore see Molefe’s resignation as the first step in recovering Eskom’s damaged integrity – an important step in the right direction before the sovereign ratings decision at the end of the year.”

Molefe said he was resigning in the best interest of the public and Eskom however the DA believed this was an admission of guilt.

“We… hope that if Molefe hosts his farewell party at the Saxonwold Shebeen, he could reveal where its mysterious location lies,” Mazonne said.