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SA Political Diary – Monday 13 June

SA Political Diary – Monday 13 June

Throwing “How to be a Spokesman 101” out the window, Jimmy Manyi continues to hog the limelight, four new members have been appointed to the SABC board, rail workers have some damning allegations around safety, the Springbok emblem seems a little safer with its nemesis, Butana Kompela, off to an MEC’s spot in Free State and battle lines between tripartite alliance partners hit front and centre yet again. It's been another busy weekend in politics. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

In a leaked document to be presented by Cosatu to its members and the public later this month, the union federation has lambasted the ANC, claiming South Africa will turn into a banana republic if the ANCYL succeeds in removing Gwede Mantashe as the secretary general of the ANC. The document has a lot more controversial goods in it and the potential to cause ripples aplenty, and Stephen Grootes does an excellent job explaining so.

Read more: TimesLive

ANC offices in the Moses Mabhida region of Pietermaritzburg burnt down on Saturday, resulting in hundreds of thousands of rands in damage. The ANC in the region is convinced of arson, and KZN police are currently questioning a man found in possession of an unlicensed firearm in the area, but he has not yet been charged. Cosatu’s provincial secretary, Zet Luzipho, said that although he did not want to speculate, he was not surprised the incident had happened because of rage at corruption. However, he did condemn the act.

Read more: SowetanLive

Helen Zille again denied taking two salaries – one as DA leader and one as Premier of Western Cape – after she was asked in provincial parliament by the ANC’s Patrick McKenzie. However, Zille did admit that it was “tradition” for the DA to pay its leader a stipend to cover certain costs which included compensation for DA-related cellphone calls, life insurance and an extra domestic worker. She claimed this was less than R10,000, was not funded by the taxpayer and was all declared in Parliament.

Read more: iAfrica

The proposed Free Trade Area – spanning 26 African countries allowing trade without import quotas or tariffs – requires better transport infrastructure and strategies to reduce poverty, said President Jacob Zuma. The Free Trade Area is due to integrate three existing trade blocs: the Southern African Development Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community.

Read more: Business Day
Archenemy of the Springbok emblem, Butana Komphela, will be leaving the national sport portfolio to take a job in Free State as MEC for police, roads and transport. According to the Sunday Times, Komphela is being removed because of his handling of the Chuene-ASA-Semenya debacle.

Read more: TimesLive

Durban city manager Mike Sutcliffe will leave his post in July when his contract expires. ANC leaders will meet as soon as Tuesday to find his replacement. Every official within a kilometre of a microphone, including Sutcliffe, has refrained from passing a comment on the matter, although IOL reports that an unnamed source said Sutcliffe could be put on a month-to-month contract until October to train his successor. We fully expect a road to be named after him.

Read more: IOL

The ANC welcomed a report from the National Planning Commission which identified the problems in South Africa today: Not enough work, low standard of education, ailing public health system etc. If anyone in government didn’t know these problems beforehand then they are being severely sheltered.

The ACDP challenged the government’s use of the word “African” as a racial classification in the aforementioned NPC report. Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said: “If white people born in Africa are not Africans, then who are they? What about coloureds? Are they Africans or not?”

The DA called on KZN MEC for co-operative governance to investigate allegations in The Mercury on Friday that eThekwini municipality speaker Logie Naidoo was appointed to his role due to money changing hands. The paper alleged that R1.5 million was “donated” to the ANC to secure Naidoo’s position. At the time the ANC was unavailable for comment.

The DA in KZN also lambasted minister of basic education Angie Motshekga after it claimed she admitted, along with education MEC Senzo Mchunu, that more than 4,000 teachers in the province were unqualified.

Zuma appointed four new non-executive directors to the board of the SABC, replacing those who resigned last year. The new faces are Sethe Patricia Makhesha, John Sembie Danana, Cawekazi Benedicta Mahlati and Lumko Caesario Mtimde.

The United Transport and Allied Workers Union on Friday said it would not become scapegoats for Metrorail’s system failures. In a statement, Utatu’s general secretary, Chris de Vos, said: “Even though they are made to battle daily with unsafe trains and unreliable signalling systems, Utatu’s Metrorail train drivers are prepared to walk that extra mile to co-operate with management to make Metrorail’s train services safer.” To my ears that sounds like a pretty serious accusation levelled at Metrorail, and I hope someone follows up on it. Utatu was arguing against a ruling by Metrorail who fired one of the union’s members after he drove a train into another at a cost of R12 million in damage.

The DA has climbed into Jimmy Manyi’s plan to abuse government’s media advertising budget to try to receive more favourable press. Natasha Michael, shadow communications minister said, “Plans announced to this effect by, Jimmy Manyi, are clearly aimed at turning the free media into a propaganda outlet for the government.”

Read more: The Daily Maverick

Cosatu called on the minister of public enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, to suspend the appointments of new members to the Eskom board to allow a proper process of consultation with all members who might be affected. “It is absolutely unacceptable that the minister of public enterprises should unilaterally make appointments to such an important public utility, without consulting the main stakeholders, including the NUM, other trade unions within Eskom and Cosatu itself,” a NUM statement, ratified by Cosatu, read. DM


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