We live in a world without trust. Bombarded by stories of lies and deceit every day, ordinary people no longer have faith in the institutions that used to be the bedrocks of our society. In this new “post-trust” environment, investors are understandably concerned about the protection of their wealth. The good news is that despite (or perhaps because of) this “implosion” of trust, the political scenario in our country is shifting fundamentally, with potentially significant consequences for our economy as a whole. By DANIËL KRIEL, CEO of SANLAM PRIVATE WEALTH
Less than a month stands between sometimes chaotic branch meetings, a rising number of disputes, a consultative gathering by angry party veterans, and the ANC’s much-anticipated elective conference that starts at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on 16 December. Still, so tight is the race that no party insider in the know would dare to bet on a front runner. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
Parliament faces a bill of R550-million for work on what it calls its Prestige Programme, which falls under the Department of Public Works. But in a belt-tightening environment, is it necessary, for example, to build a huge dome roof for the Good Hope Building and revamp Tuynhuys at a combined cost of more than R55.2-million, or a braai facility for a minister at more than R675,000? By MOIRA LEVY.
HSBC will continue to review the bank’s exposure to alleged money laundering of the proceeds of State Capture in South Africa by the Gupta family. This follows Lord Hain’s questions to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority pointing out that employees at the South African branch of the global banking giant had flagged suspicious transactions. By MARIANNE THAMM.
It was business as usual on the streets of Harare on Thursday as people walked to and from work, seemingly unaffected by the events of recent days. The only signs of the political turmoil that’s playing out in the upper echelons of power are the standard infantry in APCs stationed outside key buildings such as Parliament, the High Court and the airport, while the Presidential Guard was stationed outside the Zanu-PF headquarters. Military helicopters were seen occasionally, flying overhead. All photos by SHAUN SWINGLER.
When AfriForum announced that it was setting up a private prosecutions unit to take on cases that the state declined to prosecute, there was much scepticism. There still is – but there’s no doubt that the group is really going for it. On Thursday, AfriForum revealed that the latest target in its sights is former acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba, less than a month after stating that President Zuma’s son Duduzane is being pursued. Whether these attempts are successful or not, the fact that it’s come to this is a depressing benchmark of the state of our criminal justice system. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The low electricity price increase granted by the regulator, NERSA, for the 2016/17 financial year, coupled with declining sales volumes, rising costs and debtor payment challenges, are all working to put Eskom’s revenue, cash flow and bottom line under severe pressure. By CHRIS YELLAND and YOLANDI GROENEWALD.
Parliament’s audit committee report that laid the basis for disciplinary proceedings against Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana will not be made public. But how the report would be handled sparked heated debates on Thursday in the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament. A vote settled the matter, for now: all parliamentarians could have access under supervision and confidentiality. But the DA is writing a letter of demand to Speaker Baleka Mbete for the committee members to each get a copy. It might all sound esoteric but it goes to the heart of the interplay of politics, governance and administration. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Cape Town’s dams are sitting at just over 36%. With the last 10% of water unsuitable for drinking, the city could be forced to turn off the taps next year if water consumption is not drastically reduced. In this worst-case scenario, projected to be reached on 13 May, residents could be forced to collect water at distribution points around the city. Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille announced the City’s disaster management plans in the event of “Day Zero” – the day the dams run dry. By LEILA DOUGAN & AYANDA CHARLIE for CHRONICLE.
As at October 2017 Sisulu has been on the NEC for 24 years uninterruptedly and in Parliament for the same period uninterruptedly. Since 2001, she has held Cabinet portfolios for five ministries in less than 24 years. Not once in all that time did she express public disagreement with a decision of the NEC or the ANC in Parliament that was immoral, illegal or repugnant. By SARA GON.
In a country consumed by current political contest of the ANC kind, another long-term race that could have long-term implications will climax this weekend. It is sometimes forgotten that there is such a thing as provincial politics in the DA, partly because it has never been particularly important. However, such is the terrible recent record of governance in Gauteng by the provincial ANC that there is now finally something to play for. It is looking more and more likely that the ANC will lose Gauteng in 2019, almost no matter what happens in that other contest in December. Should that happen, it will only have itself to blame. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Following HSBC's closure of bank accounts held by companies fronting for the Gupta family, Labour Lord Peter Hain has revealed to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority that HSBC South Africa had alerted the bank's London headquarters to illegal banking activity amounting to R5-billion over two years and relating to the Transnet deal with South China Rail. HSBC in London had simply ignored the red flags. By MARIANNE THAMM.
When in a tight corner, call in the lawyers and go on the attack, singling out an individual for intimidation. The State Attorney, at the behest of Public Enterprises, has threatened to report Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara to the General Council of the Bar for his conduct as evidence leader of Parliament’s public enterprises committee inquiry into State Capture. That lawyer’s letter followed two earlier ones by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown also questioning the timing, rationale and processes of the public hearings. However, alongside the minister comparing the parliamentary inquiry to a “kangaroo court”, it was a move which backfired. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
The African National Congress (ANC) had to defend two safe seats in the by-election held on 15 November. The seats were in the metros of the City of Cape Town and Ekurhuleni. While there was still a wide margin between the ANC and the rest of the pack in both wards at the end of the night, the ANC lost ground in both by-elections. By WAYNE SUSSMAN.
This is the 16th article in the series, Declassified: Apartheid Profits. While researching the recently published book Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit, Open Secrets collected approximately 40,000 archival documents from 25 archives in seven countries. This treasure trove contains damning details of the individuals and corporations that propped up apartheid and profited in return. Many of these documents were kept secret until now. OPEN SECRETS believes that it is vital to allow the public to scrutinise the primary evidence. In this article we explore the military and intelligence ties between apartheid South Africa and West Germany, and how they bled into arms dealing in democratic South Africa.
A cautiously optimistic Patricia de Lille told Daily Maverick this week that the City of Cape Town’s disaster management plan had managed to stave off the projected March 2018 date of Day Zero for the city’s water supply. The new date is now May 13, the city announced on Thursday. But structural and bureaucratic challenges still stand in the way of bringing augmentation initiatives online, and officials are working overtime to make up for lost time to avoid running out of water. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
South Africa’s most prestigious university is in danger of losing its undergraduate law degree. In a move described as "unprecedented", the Council for Higher Education has served the University of Cape Town with notice of the withdrawal of accreditation for its LLB programme unless certain conditions focusing on transformation are met. Without this accreditation, universities are not permitted to offer the degree in question. By REBECCA DAVIS.
On Monday 13 November, The Children’s Monologues played on three different stages – Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg and at a Rammulotsi community hall in the Free State – at the same time, all in the name of charity. For those who attended the three shows, the experience was spellbinding. By NKATEKO MABASO.
President Jacob Zuma has sent envoys to Zimbabwe to intervene in the military coup – though the coup leaders are not calling it that – which has effectively toppled President Robert Mugabe. Zuma’s office announced that, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) he was sending Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Minister of State Security Bongani Bongo to Zimbabwe to meet Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force generals who have seized control of the country. By PETER FABRICIUS.
Zimbabweans have woken up to find the national broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), President Robert Mugabe's Harare offices and the Police Support Unit under military control. This follows an early morning statement by Army Chief of Staff Major General SB Moyo that the army's intention was to return to a dispensation that allowed investment, progress and development. By SALLY NYAKANYANGA, PETER FABRICIUS and AFP.
ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa spent a significant part of the party’s press conference, which followed the weekend meeting of its leadership, dousing rumours that Mantashe is under fire. With just over 30 days to go until the party’s hotly contested elective conference, the fake news mill is grinding at great steam. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
A week after a high-ranking posse of SAPS members from North West mounted a shakedown of the Garsfontein offices of IPID’s attorneys, Robert McBride lodged a motion of notice with the Pretoria High Court seeking an urgent interdict to prevent SAPS members implicated in IPID investigations from investigating IPID investigators. McBride’s accompanying affidavit paints a damning picture of deliberate lawlessness on the part of the North West unit which appears to have been deployed as private bodyguards to protect former acting National Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane from the law itself. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Militarisation in response to high levels of crime has largely failed in South America with countries like Brazil, Columbia and Mexico witnessing increased levels of violence and larger networks of corruption including law enforcement who, in fact, work with gangs. The SANDF cannot become the solution in response to the largely ineffective, politicised, corrupt and mismanaged police apparatus in South Africa. By JODI WILLIAMS.
A study by four university academics has found that on average the Malawi's 12,000 prisoners receive just 17% of the recommended daily food provision and that 89% of them are severely food insecure. A prominent prison rights activists has blamed erratic government funding for the scandal, saying that it has made approved foodstuff suppliers reluctant to enter supply contracts with the prisons. By Thokozani Chenjezi, Centre for Investigative Journalism Malawi, for AMABHUNGANE.
After one of the most hotly contested awards in the competition’s history, due to the extraordinary variety and calibre of entries, the winners of the 2017 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards were announced this evening. The theme for the awards was ‘Your Word’ and this year over 1 000 entries were received from all over the country across the twelve categories.
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday took issue after being described as “captured” before Parliament’s inquiry into Eskom State Capture. The power utility’s board spokesperson Khulani Qoma, a reputation manager, argued that only the minister’s “captured-ness” could explain why she appointed board members and executives, who had been caught publicly lying and whose track record was littered with claims of dodgy behaviour. Brown’s response was to question the inquiry, saying that without distinguishing between hearsay and fact, “the inquiry takes the form of a kangaroo court intent on reaching pre-determined outcomes”. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
On Monday, President Jacob Zuma finally released the so-called Fees Report – the Heher Commission’s report into funding of higher education. The 752-page report is detailed, thorough and reasonable. It concludes that fee-free education is not possible, as did a report released by the Davis Tax Commission on Monday. Is it conceivable that government could ignore this expert consensus and strong-arm into action a half-baked plan for free education cooked up by a Zuma family friend now revealed to have been a state spy? By REBECCA DAVIS.
South Africa’s Somali community is a community of self-sufficient, law-abiding citizens. These people have learned the consequences of non-tolerant radicalised societies and their moderation continues to hold true despite being victims of xenophobic and criminal attacks resulting in about 40 deaths to date in 2017 alone. By DAVID BAX.
A final draft report from Eskom to its shareholders for the second quarter of 2017 ending 30 September 2017 paints an alarming picture of funding difficulties and declining liquidity (cash and cash equivalents plus investments in securities), primarily driven by perceptions of poor governance. By CHRIS YELLAND and YOLANDI GROENEWALD.
The enormity of the scandals that engulf the Jacob Zuma Presidency means that our focus tends to be on what is covered by the media at any particular moment. At this time, and correctly, a great deal of attention is devoted to the question of State Capture. But should it be possible to remove Zuma it is important that all the components of this anti-democratic period are eradicated. Consequently, we should not forget, amongst other factors, the intensely violent character of Zumaism. We need to re-commit ourselves to entrenching the principle of non-violence as the basis for our relations between the inhabitants of the country. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
President Jacob Zuma opened up about his legacy and future in a rare interview on Tuesday night. He also used the friendly ANN7 platform to send a message to those who want to see him gone after the ANC’s national conference in December when, he said, he would “still be president of the country”. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
South Africa is living through a series of political shocks that are changing some of the fundamentals of our politics. But despite all of these tremors, many have taken succour from the fact that the ANC’s conference is drawing near, and much of the current political tension should then, in theory, be released. However, there are now questions around whether the conference will occur at all, and whether it will reach a clear outcome where one person is elected as leader, and with a clear mandate. As developments become less predictable, so it may be prudent to prepare for a situation in which the tension is not actually released, but that the ANC’s conference ends in a disputed outcome, or does not happen at all. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Severely mentally ill patients are more likely to suffer from diabetes, be obese and have a higher risk of dying young than the general population. Research is increasingly linking diet to mental health. And, reports Amy Green for HEALTH-E NEWS on the eve of World Diabetes Day, sugar is a potent but much-overlooked culprit.
Who determines our societal norms and standards? And why is it that our norms and standards are still dominated by those who benefit from the imperial mission? Why is it that select few possess the power to think and create knowledge and subsequently recreate history? These are all questions that remain central to the decolonisation project. Questions that we must urgently address to free our consciousness and reclaim our history. By JODI WILLIAMS.
Fierce debates raged in the ANC’s national working committee meeting over the weekend as the camps supporting ANC MP Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa vied for control ahead of the party’s national elective conference in just over a month’s time. Meanwhile, on the ground in the “Premier League” provinces, an interesting story unfolds. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
With the ANC leadership battle now entering its final stretch, it is becoming apparent that it is going to be a nail-biter. For the moment, it is still impossible to predict a winner. While there is a public perception, in many urban areas at least, that Cyril Ramaphosa is currently in the lead, those who watch our politics carefully are getting increasingly concerned about President Jacob Zuma’s next move. As we seem to be getting closer to finding out what that move could be, there is still plenty of reason to fear that it could all end up greatly affecting the outcome of the conference, and South Africa, not to mention whether it is held at all. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
At a renaming ceremony in his name of the international airport in Harare on Thursday, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe said: “It is indeed a great honour for me and I’m humbled by this gesture.” The renaming came amid a week of political activity, with Mugabe wielding the axe against his right-hand man, Emmerson Mnagagwa, and the ruling party paving the way for his wife Grace to replace him. By SALLY NYAKANYANGA.
It would be foolish to think that the state capture feeding frenzy has escaped the Airports Company of South Africa. Its beleaguered CEO, Bongani Maseko, through a PR campaign, indicated as much when it was claimed that the Guptas were behind efforts to have him ejected from Acsa. But, however important it is to unravel the extent of corrupt or conflicting commercial agendas and the impact thereof on running the state-owned company, its first order of business must be clearing up the allegations of wrongdoing against Maseko. By JESSICA BEZUIDENHOUT for SCORPIO.
One of the great ironies pertaining to human society is the following: when huge institutions implode, comedy is the principal byproduct. Sure, there will also be loads of death, mayhem, misery, and hastily silk-screened t-shirts. But for the most part, there’s the yuks. Only with this in mind is it possible to understand the motivations behind the State Security Agency laying charges against journalist Jacques Pauw, for revelations contained in his new book, the bestselling ‘The President’s Keepers’. By RICHARD POPLAK.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of his preferred leadership slate, should he become president, didn’t only draw criticism from within the ANC. It also had his campaign team split in two in a debate about the old versus the new, exposing tension about principles within his camp. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
It has taken the intervention of the Constitutional Court, a panel of experts, an inter-ministerial committee, treasury, opposition parties, civil society, parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts, as well as the portfolio committee on social development, to force Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini and senior SASSA officials to fulfill their constitutional duty of taking the payment of social grants to 17 million South Africans in-house by March next year. Dlamini and SASSA officials have been exposed as willfully derelict and devious in their attempts at derailing the process. The upside is that parliamentary oversight has played a crucial role in reining in the minister and SASSA officials. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Parliament’s investigation into state capture of Eskom has spilled over into the public domain. And it’s not the shocking revelations before the Committee on Public Enterprises alone that are grabbing attention. NGO Unite Behind has launched its own Eskom Monitoring Project, which is keeping track of this sordid story, which began in 2010 when former minister Barbara Hogan first raised a red flag about President’s Zuma’s interference in the boards of state-owned enterprises. By MOIRA LEVY.
South Africa has a barrage of legislation and conventions to promote gender equality, and by and large industry knows it is no longer business as usual. Except the mining sector, it seems. You don’t have to be a burly man wielding a drill to take up a position in the boardroom, but the Commission of Gender Equality told Parliament this week that the industry seems determinedly resistant to change. By MOIRA LEVY.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grant payment contract controversy is receiving attention. The Heher Commission of Inquiry report on fee-free tertiary education is being processed. As President Jacob Zuma on Thursday sidestepped pressing public interest issues in his address to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), he indirectly answered critics by calling for unity and patriotism – and an end to “bad-mouthing” South Africa, while again mocking opposition parties for having dololo (nothing) to contribute. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
The words “Parliament” and “students” together don’t have a happy track record in recent South African history. In 2015 stun grenades were fired in the parliamentary precinct for the first time in history – at protesting students. This Thursday, however, saw Parliament visit the students rather than the other way around, when the portfolio committee on education took itself to the University of Cape Town to check in on ongoing disruptions at that institution. Spoiler alert: no faeces were thrown at MPs. By REBECCA DAVIS.