SA Political Diary – Wednesday 13 July 2011

By Simon Williamson 13 July 2011

Baleka Mbete flays Floyd's F-word fun and then pledges help for South Sudan's new government. A second ANC official, S’bu Sibaya, has been killed in eThekwini in 2011 and Gauteng will throw money at problems it faces, namely municipal service delivery and education. The IFP doesn't believe nationalisation has any place in South Africa's political discourse. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

Baleka Mbete held a press conference yesterday in which she castigated elements within the ANC who use the word “fuck” to make a point in their official capacities – like Floyd Shivambu’s latest telephone tirade, this time directed at Media24 journalist Jacques Dommisse. Said Mbete: “I totally disagree with any bad language being used by anybody who is communicating on behalf of any part of the ANC.” Mbete also covered opportunities for South Africans in the newest African nation, the imaginatively named South Sudan, and claimed the ANC would assist the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to transform from revolutionary movement to government. She said, “That is the area we think we can be most helpful… when a party gets into government and forgets the party itself… it gets into problems.” If the ANC has one weakness (admittedly, it has many more than one) it is the chameleon-like, fuzzy line between party and government, so South Sudan may want some others’ help too. She also laid into the current metal worker and mining strikes saga, lamenting the violence of a few intimidatory participants (there is no proof that they are union members yet, and the unions deny that they are). “I mean we fought for the right to strike for workers, you know, we made sure that it is in the Constitution, but the last thing we thought was that the strikes would come with violence.”

Read more: Sapa

Regional secretary in eThekwini (Durban) S’bu Sibaya was shot dead in his driveway on Monday – specific details are hard to come by and no one has been arrested. Sibaya is the second ANC official murdered in the region this year – Wiseman Mshibe was killed in March. While some speculate the motive has to do with regional tensions within the ANC and the tripartite alliance, none of this is confirmed and no investigation has yet taken place. KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize praised Sibaya’s loyalty to the party and called him a unifier. eThekwini mayor James Mxumalo called it a “loss to the ANC family”. The IFP said it was disgusted by the act “which is devoid of all Ubuntu”.

Read more: Sapa, IOL

Gauteng finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe has declared the province will use its R1,54 billion budget to improve municipal service delivery and job creation. Nkomfe was satisfied with the province’s finance and the fact that national GDP contribution was steady at R645 billion, although he lamented that this had not translated into increased employment. Provincial government would assist municipal governments in collecting outstanding debt (good luck in City of Joburg) and education would be prioritised with 21,000 teachers trained, 700 classrooms built and meals provided to more than 800,000 scholars.


The IFP and the DA have both congratulated the Independent Complaints Directorate in KZN on the arrest of three police officers accused of killing a man at the Harburg police station in June by suffocating him with a plastic bag.

The IFP, post-NEC meeting, has declared itself firmly against nationalisation of South Africa’s mines and expressed disappointment at the lack of leadership from the ANC on the issue. That’s polite for “shutting Julius Malema up”.

Read more: Sapa

The Hawks have begun an investigation into Willie Hofmeyr who used to be chief of the Special Investigations Unit and, weirdly enough, is involved in a corruption-busting scandal at the moment. The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed it had received a docket from the Hawks.

Read more: The New Age

The DA has told government that tough decisions need to be made regarding South Africa’s employment crisis with the influence of unions of particular concern. The party said it supported the youth wage subsidy announced by finance minister Pravin Gordhan in this year’s budget speech, but was dismayed at its stalling after Cosatu voiced disapproval. The party said, “If the Zuma administration is serious about tackling this crisis, it needs to start providing decisive leadership and stand up to unrealistic union demands, enact the appropriate reforms to change our regulatory environment, and develop and implement labour market interventions that will help to incentivise increased employment.”

Minister of human settlements Tokyo Sexwale will travel to Harrismith, the scene of SA’s latest toilets scandal, where potential housing beneficiaries were told they would have to cough up extra dosh for a stand with a toilet. Sexwale condemned the practice and put it down to corruption, which he swore he would root out. Big words. We await action.

Read more: Politicsweb

Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said South Africa faced a crisis due to major inequality. While this is a drum he often, correctly, bangs, it is more impactful while violent strikes are taking place. Some of the numbers Vavi rolled out were 36% unemployment rate, 16% of workers earn less than R500 a month, 33% less than R1,000 a month and 60% of workers less than R2,500 a month. As eloquently described by Stephen Grootes in the Daily Maverick on Monday, the annual increases of management and executive pay make these numbers hard to swallow for many poor South Africans.

Provincial UDM leaders, including the province’s regional chief Mlami Sangqu, in Eastern Cape have defected to the ANC, presumably because they still want jobs.

Jeremy Cronin said government would not be able to ring-fence the fuel levy for road infrastructure upgrades, avoiding the tolls in Gauteng as it would be inefficient for government to deal with money in this manner. The fact that these taxes might prohibit people from using the road doesn’t seem inefficient at all.

Photo: Daily Maverick.



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"The soul is known by its acts" ~ Thomas Aquinas