Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chinese Envoy Meets President Mugabe
December 1, 2017
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

The Chinese delegation led by special envoy Mr Chen Xiaodong, which has been in the country to deliver a special message to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, also paid a courtesy call on former President Robert Mugabe.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha, who also attended the meeting, confirmed the meeting yesterday.

“Yes, he (Mr Chen) met Cde Mugabe,” said Ambassador Bimha.

“He has come with a special message from President Xi Jinping to the new President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“They (Mr Chen and Cde Mugabe) discussed a range of bilateral issues, including a review of projects submitted to China by Zimbabwe.”

Mr Chen on Wednesday addressed journalists soon after meeting President Mnangagwa.

In his address, Mr Chen said: “In our talk, President Mnangagwa and I agreed that, going forward, our two sides will continue to maintain high-level exchanges, deepen communication, enhance mutual political trust and carry our traditional friendship forward.

“The second point is: we are going to enhance the development strategy alignment between our two countries to ensure our practical cooperation will go deeper and broader, so as to inject more impetus to economic development and the people of Zimbabwe’s livelihood improvement.

“Thirdly, we will enhance solidarity and coordination in dealing with international affairs and jointly uphold the common interest of developing countries.

“We both have confidence in the future development of our bilateral relations.”

Mr Chen, who is also China’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister, said his visit was meant to show his country’s support for Zimbabwe’s new administration.

“My mission is to convey the message of Chinese President Xi Jinping to His Excellency President Mnangagwa to demonstrate China’s support for the people and the new administration of Zimbabwe, to exchange views on deepening our traditional friendship and enhancing our cooperation in various fields,” he said.

President Xi, Mr Chen said, emphasised that Zimbabwe and China enjoyed strong bilateral relations.

“President Xi Jinping congratulates President Mnangagwa on assumption of office in his message,” he said.

“The President emphasises that China and Zimbabwe are good friends, good partners and good brothers who have understood and supported each other over the years, and our relations have withstood the test of time, as well as changes in international situations.”

Mr Chen said China believed that Zimbabweans had the capacity to manage their own internal affairs.

“China firmly supports Zimbabwe in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions and believes that the Government and people of Zimbabwe have the wisdom and capability to manage their internal affairs well,” he said.

President Mnangagwa was also invited to visit China at a time convenient to both countries.
Zimbabwe New Cabinet Appointed . . . Ministerial Portfolios Reduced to 22 . . . Only 6 Deputy Ministers Appointed
December 1, 2017
Felex Share Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appointed a 22-member Cabinet in a move that saw some line ministries with functional duplications being merged.

He also brought in some new faces into Government.

Six new deputy ministers and 10 Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs were also appointed.

The Cabinet that was announced after the 2013 harmonised elections had 33 members, who were later trimmed to 26.

The appointments, announced by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, were made in terms of Section 104 (1) of the Constitution.

Cde Patrick Chinamasa is now the substantive Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, while Cde Obert Mpofu was appointed Minister of Home Affairs and Culture.

Cde Mpofu was Home Affairs Minister in the last Cabinet.

Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri is the new Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, while Dr Lazarus Dokora remains in charge of the Primary and Secondary Education portfolio.

Dr David Parirenyatwa remains Health and Child Care Minister.

Mr Kembo Mohadi is the new Minister of Defence, Security and War Veterans.

Cde Sydney Sekeramayi, the last Defence Minister, was dropped.

Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi takes over the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs from former Central Intelligence Organisation director-general Major-General (Retired) Happyton Bonyongwe, who superintended over the portfolio for less than two months.

Maj-Gen Bonyongwe was appointed a Cabinet minister in a reshuffle by former President Robert Mugabe in October.

Major-General Sibusiso Moyo is the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, with Cde Kazembe Kazembe coming in as the Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation.

Cde Kazembe Kazembe takes over from Cde Makhosini Hlongwane.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) chairperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa is now the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.

Dr Mike Bimha is the new Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, while Cde July Moyo comes in as the new Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

Cde Sithembiso Nyoni is the new Minister of Women and Youth Affairs.

Head of the University of Zimbabwe Geography and Environmental Science department Professor Amon Murwira replaces Professor Jonathan Moyo as the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development.

Cde Supa Mandiwanzira retained his portfolio which has been merged with cyber security. He is now the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security.

Former National University of Science and Technology (NUST) pro-vice chancellor Professor Clever Nyathi is the new Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, and Dr Joram Gumbo remains Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister.

Mimosa Mining Company executive chairman Mr Winston Chitando is the new Minister of Mines and Mining Development, while Cde Simon Khaya Moyo now heads to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri was appointed Environment, Water and Climate Minister.

Cde Prisca Mupfumira, who was dropped in the last Cabinet reshuffle, bounced back as Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister.

Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi is the new Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring of Government Programmes.

The six deputy ministers appointed by President Mnangagwa are: Cdes Terrence Mukupe (Finance and Economic Development), David Marapira (Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement), Paul Mavima (Primary and Secondary Education), Victor Matemadanda (War Veterans), Pupurai Togarepi (Youth Affairs) and Joshua Malinga (Social Welfare).

Cdes Miriam Chikukwa (Harare), Martin Dinha (Mashonaland Central), Webster Shamu (Mashonaland West) have retained their positions as Provincial Affairs Ministers.

The new Provincial Affairs Minister for Bulawayo is Cde Angeline Masuku; Manicaland will be headed by Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, while Cde David Musabayana will be in charge of Mashonaland East.

Cde Cain Mathema heads back to Matabeleland North as Provincial Affairs Minister, while Cde Josiah Hungwe replaces Cde Paul Chimedza in Masvingo.

Cde Owen Ncube replaces Cde Jason Machaya as Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister.

Cde Abednico Ncube will superintend over Matabeleland South province.

Dr Mushohwe, a long-serving director of the Presidential Scholarship Programme, remains the Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the President’s Office.
Zimbabwe Government Amends Indigenization Law
December 1, 2017
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Government is amending the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to reflect its policy position that the 51-49 percent requirement only applies to natural resource-based investments. In this investment area, which is classified as the natural resources sector, foreign investors are required to have 49 percent shareholding, while Zimbabweans own 51 percent.

The policy position is contained in a Presidential statement that was issued by former President Cde Robert Mugabe on April 11, 2016, where he clarified conflicting positions on the interpretation of the empowerment law. Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba told The Herald that the new President Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa instructed the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, yesterday that the law be urgently amended to reflect Government policy. In doing so, Mr Charamba said, President Mnangagwa emphasised that speed and urgency were of essence.

“One talking point especially on the investors world has always been related to the indigenisation law and we found ourselves in an invidious position where the law, as presently constructed, promised empowerment for the indigenes without delivering it on the other hand, while creating discomfort or even suspicion to would-be investors on the other,” he said.

“Either way, we remained with the paradox of a promise which could not be fulfilled and a need which could not be filled and this difficult situation did not arise from a lack of policy clarity on the part of the leadership. If anything, that clarity was spelt out in black and white by the previous President, except that statement well-intentioned though it was, was not translated into law, which means on our statutes we still had the law unchanged.

“Thankfully, this morning, the new President instructed the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Dr Sibanda) to ensure that the Indigenisation Law is amended to reflect the correct position spelt out in the policy as agreed to by Cabinet, and he emphasised that time and speed are of essence. The Cabinet Office is close to unveiling a new investment framework, which will be clear cut in terms of what’s on offer to both domestic and foreign investors.’’

Mr Charamba said the policy also sought to accommodate Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. In this regard, Mr Charamba said President Mnangagwa appreciated the value of Zimbabweans in many respects.

“The President appreciates their four-fold value,” he said.

“One, they wield skills that are critical to economic recovery. Secondly, they may have made some savings which if pooled together will make a difference. Thirdly, they may have struck partnerships with well-resourced foreigners who might want to consider Zimbabwe as an investment destination. Finally, they can vouch for their homeland as a good and safe destination for investment – in other words, they can play an ambassadorial role.”

In his Presidential statement clarifying Government position on the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, former President Cde Mugabe said implementation of the law would be done in three distinct sectors; namely: natural resource sector, non-resource sector and reserved sector.Said Cde Mugabe: “Pertaining to the natural resource sector, it should be emphasised that Government attaches great importance to the indigenisation of this sector. Business in this sector deal with the exploitation of our natural and depleting resources, such as minerals.

“Government has, therefore, a sacrosanct duty to ensure that such resources are exploited in a manner that safeguards the best interests of the country’s current and future generations. As such, in terms of policy, Government and/or its designated entities, will hold a 51 percent stake in businesses in natural resources sector, with the remaining 49 percent belonging to the partnering investor(s).

“The need for investors in this sector to comply with the prescribed indigenisation obligations is therefore non-negotiable. For existing businesses where Government does not have 51 percent ownership, compliance with the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment policy should be through ensuring that the local content retained in Zimbabwe by such businesses is not less than 75 percent of gross value of the exploited resources. Local content here refers to the value retained in Zimbabwe in the form of wages, salaries, taxation, community ownership schemes and other activities such as procurement and linkage programmes.”

The non-resource sector covered beneficiation of raw materials, transfer of appropriate technology to Zimbabwe for the purposes of enhancing productivity, creation of employment and imparting of new skills to Zimbabweans, granting of ownership and/or employee share ownership for value to indigenous Zimbabweans, as may be agreed between an investor and indigenous Zimbabwean partner(s), and developing and creating linkage programmes, enterprise development, value chain and any other desirable objectives as may be defined by the responsible line ministers for the purposes of attracting foreign direct investment into Zimbabwe.

Businesses under the reserved sector are reserved for Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, except for existing businesses and where a special dispensation is granted by the relevant line Minister. Such businesses include retail and wholesale trade, transportation (passenger buses, taxis and car hire services), estate agencies, grain milling, bakeries, tobacco processing, advertising agencies, valet services, employment agencies and provision of local arts and crafts and marketing and distribution of the same.
Zimbabwe Government Warns Informal Housing Settlements
November 30, 2017

Housing shortages have resulted in many unplanned settlements in Harare

Lovemore Meya
Herald Correspondent

Government has strongly warned unruly elements reportedly taking the law into their own hands by illegally occupying State land, saying the offenders will be dealt with accordingly.

In a statement yesterday, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement Ambassador Grace Mutandiro rapped the occupation of State land without lawful authority.

“The ministry is receiving disturbing reports of some people taking the law into their own hands and moving on to occupy State land without lawful authority, and, in some cases, land already properly allocated to other beneficiaries,” said Ambassador Mutandiro.

“Accordingly, the ministry wishes to inform the general public, in particular those residing in resettlement areas, that any disregard to the above directive will be dealt with strongly in terms of the law and the precepts of Operation Restore Legacy.

“Those who are beneficiaries of the land reform risk losing their allocated pieces of land if found to be party to illegal occupation of other people’s properties in their neighbourhood or elsewhere.

“Land beneficiaries holding on to offer letters, but not yet in occupation of allocated land should follow due process in consultation with the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement. The Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act Chapter (20:28), Section 3 (1) criminalises the occupation of State land without lawful authority. Lawful authority is defined as offer letter, permit or lease.”

Ambassador Mutandiro urged the public to maintain peace and order.

“The ministry is, therefore, urging members of the public to maintain the peace that has been prevailing since the onset of Operation Restore Legacy,” she said. “All Provincial Resettlement Officers and the general public are urged to report incidents of self-help that may occur so that appropriate action is taken immediately.”

In his inauguration speech on Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa exhorted people to readily embrace each other in defining a new destiny, stating that the task at hand was of rebuilding the country.

Ambassador Mutandiro said: “Regarding the Land Reform Programme, he (President Mnangagwa) highlighted that ‘ownership and management of this key resource is central to national stability and to sustained economic recovery.

“We do not prevaricate on this issue. Beneficiaries of the land reform programme are called upon to demonstrate commitment to the utilisation of the land for national food security and for the recovery of our economy.”
Germany Congratulates Zimbabwe President
December 1, 2017
Abigail Mawonde
Herald Correspondent

Germany has joined other world powers in congratulating President Emmerson Mnangagwa following his inauguration last Friday as Zimbabwe’s Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

President Mnangagwa becomes the country’s second Executive President since independence in 1980.

He took over from President Mugabe, who resigned after being in charge for 37 years.

Other world powers such as Russia, China and the United States have sent their congratulatory messages.

In her congratulatory message, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to support Zimbabwe as it opened “a new chapter.”

“Please accept my sincere congratulations on taking office as the new President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” she said in a letter to President Mnangagwa.

“Germany will support you as a partner in your endeavours to start a new chapter in the history of Zimbabwe — one characterised by democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

Dr Merkel said the joy exhibited by Zimbabweans last week was an indication that they had high hopes.

“The images of the people in Zimbabwe, who have responded with great joy and relief to the events of the past days are a clear reflection of the hopes and expectations in this area,” she said.

“I wish you strength, perseverance and every success for the great challenges ahead of you.”

The Indigenous Business Development Centre (IBDC) — a black economic empowerment organisation — also congratulated President Mnangagwa.

“The national IBDC leadership and all members of the indigenous business community would like to congratulate Cde E D Mnangagwa on your appointment as the President and the First Secretary of the revolutionary party Zanu-PF and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” read their congratulatory message.

IBDC said it was happy with President Mnangagwa’s pledge to fight corruption.

The organisation said an end to corruption would see more investors flocking into the country.

“We would also like to congratulate you on your inauguration and on your inauguration speech where you promised to fight corruption, which issue we raised in 2013 at the Zanu-PF National People’s Conference in Chinhoyi and nothing was done about it,” IBDC said.

“This will open the doors for foreign investment which will lead to the opening of once closed industries and the creation of employment for the thousands of jobless people in our society.”

“As IBDC and knowing you as we do as a man of action we are confident that the promises that you have made will be achieved. Corruption kills the economy and must be tackled with vigour.”

IBDC added: “We as the indigenous businesspeople are greatly honoured that at last we have someone with the aspirations of the black person at heart. We wish you all the best as you embark on your journey of steering the Zimbabwe ship to economic prosperity.”
AU-EU Summit Ends
December 1, 2017

Abidjan. — A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close yesterday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3 800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700 000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery.

The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch. But it was largely overshadowed by shock TV footage of black Africans sold as slaves in Libya, prompting protests in many countries and demands for action.

In a final address, AU commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat said those stranded in Libya wanted to get out “as swiftly as possible,” warning that there were between “400 000 and 700 000” people there and at least 42 migrant camps.

“We must urgently save those who are in this (dire) situation, and then together, Libya, the EU, AU and UN, we must think about devising longer-term solutions for the migration issue.” Hosting the summit, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara agreed there was an urgent need for action.

“The inhumane treatment of migrants challenges us, requiring responses which match our condemnation,” he said. He called on humanitarian aid to go hand-in-hand with action to root out human trafficking and solutions for the poverty that prompted so many young Africans to take the risk of trekking to Europe in search of a better life.

In a meeting late on Wednesday, the leaders of Libya, France, Germany, Chad, Niger and four other countries agreed on a plan to allow migrants facing abuse in Libyan detention camps to be evacuated within days or weeks, mostly to their home countries. They agreed on “an extreme emergency operation to evacuate from Libya those who want to be,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

“Libya restated its agreement to identify the camps where scenes of barbarism have been identified . . . President (Fayez) al-Sarraj, has given his agreement for ensuring access,” Macron said, referring to the embattled head of the unity government in Libya. They also offered increased support for the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) “to help with the return of the Africans who want it, to their home countries,” said the French leader who called the emergency meeting.

— AFP.
Zuma Slams Modern-day Slavery
December 1, 2017

Johannesburg. — President Jacob Zuma has condemned the “scourge of modern-day slavery” in Libya and has called on other world leaders to do the same.

“We need to act decisively and support the Libyan Government of National Accord to address this human tragedy and eradicate the scourge of modern-day slavery, exploitation and forced labour, currently unfolding in front of our eyes.” Zuma was speaking at the 5th African Union-European Union Summit before a large contingent of world leaders yesterday.

“As we gather here, we are also haunted by images of many of our continent’s citizens plunged in the watery grave of the Mediterranean and the scenes of a slave trade continuing on this very continent.”

Zuma said that, to address the “human tragedy” in Libya, a number of factors, including environmental degradation, insecurity and instability and the lack of economic opportunities had to be examined. He said that migrants were also often ransomed, forced to work, and eventually executed or left to starve until ransoms were paid.

— News24.
Metsimaholo Free State By-election Results May Favor DA-EFF Alliance at Expense of ANC
Vukani Mde, Amy Musgrave
30 Nov 2017 18:18

 The most significant result of the day was the SACP’s showing. The preliminary results showed the ANC’s rebelling allies managed to secure three PR seats. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

The ANC’s electoral misery looks set to continue after a bruising by-election in the Free State has showed that the ruling party is continuing to bleed support amongst urban voters.

The Metsimaholo results indicate that the party’s support among the township dwellers who make up the majority of the electorate in the municipality has collapsed since the last local polls, only 16 months ago.

Preliminary results showed the ANC had retained 15 of the 16 wards it won in the 2016 local government elections. It won two fewer proportional representation (PR) seats, taking its total seat allocation down to 17 from the 19 it won last year.

However, the ANC said its numbers could still climb, with one ward still outstanding due to a dispute over the voting process in one district in Metsimaholo’s Ward 1. It is understood the IEC will rerun the voting in Ward 1 next Wednesday. The results of that rerun could affect the allocation of seats, giving the ANC one more seat should it win the ward. But it is unlikely to hand the party a governing majority.

At the time of writing, the DA had won 13 seats, up by one from its 2016 allocation. The party also retained all its five wards, winning one more seat based on the PR calculation.

The EFF retained the eight PR seats it won last year, and the FF+ got one PR seat.

The most significant result of the day was the SACP’s showing. The preliminary results showed the ANC’s rebelling allies managed to secure three PR seats.

Voter turnout was especially low, at around 40%, indicating that the pattern of disillusioned residents staying away from the polls continues. In past elections, this has hurt the ANC in urban areas, reducing the party’s PR seat allocation even in wards that it has won.

The results mean the ANC is unlikely to form any part of the new municipal administration. Emboldened opposition parties have all vowed not to work with the ANC in the absence of a clear majority for any one party.

The likeliest scenario now for Metsimaholo is a DA-led coalition, supported by the EFF and the FF+. With 22 seats between them, the three parties can form a majority.

The Metsimaholo results will cause a shockwave at Luthuli House. They confirm the ruling party’s declining electoral fortunes just 18 months before the country goes to the polls.

It will also shock the ANC in Gauteng, given the province’s unique demographic profile as exclusively urban. The ANC in Gauteng is most vulnerable to the urban and particularly township stay away phenomenon that has hurt the ANC in the past.

Also cause for concern will be the SACP’s showing. Given that the party only decided last month to contest the by-election, the ANC will be alarmed by having lost some voters to its alliance partner.

SACP first deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila said the result would “inform” whether the party continues to run its own election campaigns independently of the ANC.

“This was a curious environment in which we contested this election. We entered the fray late and weren’t as well prepared. We didn’t run the kind of working class campaign we should. So this election should not be seen as representing our general posture.”

He said the SACP would not rush into any coalition talks with the other parties, and would rather go back to its voters to hear from them how the party should use its votes in the council. This reticence would apply to the ANC as well as the other parties, despite the formal alliance between the two parties.

ANC Free State spokesperson Thabo Meeko said the party was still open to working with its alliance partner.

“We were disappointed the SACP decided to contest, but that doesn’t make us enemies. Depending on the final results, we will attempt to find possibilities for working together.”

Vukani Mde and Amy Musgrave are founding partners at LEFTHOOK, a Johannesburg-based research and strategy consultancy
EFF Blocs Again With Racist DA to Save Right-wing Johannesburg Mayor  
Govan Whittles 30 Nov 2017 21:41

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has survived a motion of no confidence, after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) grudgingly gave its vote to the Democratic Alliance (DA) again, in the city council on Thursday.

The ANC brought the motion against Mashaba and the council speaker Vasco Da Gama, arguing that there was a “barrage of reasons” why they have both failed. The motion against Mashaba was defeated with 121 for and 140 votes against, while the motion against Da Gama also failed by 122 votes for and 140 against.

The EFF held the balance of power with its 30 seats.

The EFF and DA hold directly opposing ideologies and economic roadmaps for South Africa. Their cooperation in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay has been described as a ‘technical agreement’ within their ranks, and a ‘sell-out coalition’ by their rivals.

Last Friday, the party’s president Julius Malema told the Business Day the EFF made a mistake backing Mashaba as the metro’s mayor in 2016, but they had chosen the lesser of the two evils between the ANC and DA.

EFF councillors in Johannesburg similarly said they had decided to pick the man who sold hair products instead of a “corrupt” ANC.

On Thursday, the EFF would be expected defend Mashaba against the ANC’s bid to unseat him.

The motion was preceded by an counter petition online: #HandsOffMashaba. It received 92 227 signatures and trended on social media throughout the day. Hours before the motion was tabled, DA leader Mmusi Maimane also led a march by hundreds of people towards the council.

The DA leader said the ANC’s corrupt leaders feared former Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya, who Mashaba hired to investigate corruption in the city.

Back in the Braamfontein council chambers, the motion of no confidence proceeded with tense exchanges between councillors, and the EFF’s reluctant support of the DA.

The ANC presented its “barrage of reasons” why Mashaba and Da Gama had failed.

“The mayor decided to hide the state of the finances of the city from the people, by withdrawing the reports from the council,” ANC councillor Jodilee Matongo said when tabling the motion.

Three council meetings have already collapsed under Da Gama’s watch, the council held special meetings to “primarily pursue Mashaba’s agenda of getting rid of senior managers”. The cost of these meetings was not explained to the council by Da Gama, Matongo said.

But it was the EFF that held the only real power.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We are not operating under normal circumstances,” EFF councillor Silumko Mabona began in a sombre tone, his hands gripping the podium.

“I agree with councillor Matongo, you must discharge your responsibility with integrity and in an impartial way,” Mabona told Da Gama.

Mabona explained that the EFF believes Da Gama is failing at being speaker.

“A speaker of council is the political head of the legislature and must give direction… but speaker, you seem to be Alice in Wonderland. You cannot resolve executive/political dynamics administratively. It seems you wanted to be mayor,” he lamented.

But a subtle hint the EFF would remain loyal to its opposing class soon surfaced.

“Don’t play with power and let the executive confuse you… We have as the EFF a coalition with the poor people of Johannesburg and we have a duty to delivery quality services. That begins with you speaker,” he said.

Then finally, the concession that it would side with the DA despite it’s concerns about Da Gama.

“As the EFF we want to state it unapologetically that we reject this motion and we will vote against it,” Mabona said.

The chamber erupted into song, with DA councillors clapping hands and cheering.
South Africa and Morocco Set to Re-establish Diplomatic Relations
Carien du Plessis
30 Nov 2017 10:54

President Jacob Zuma met Moroccan King Mohammed VI on the sidelines of the African Union-European Union summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Wednesday night. (North Africa Post)

South Africa and Morocco look set to re-establish diplomatic relations after 13 years of giving each other the cold shoulder.

President Jacob Zuma, international relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South African ambassador to the AU Ndumiso Ntshinga, as well as Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley, met Moroccan King Mohammed VI on the sidelines of the African Union-European Union summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Wednesday night.

A Moroccan publication, which is partial to the king, gushed that the meeting was a “master stroke” and “warm”. The two heads of state “agreed to work together for a promising future, especially as Morocco and South Africa are two important poles of political stability and economic development, respectively in the extreme north and the extreme south of the continent,” the publication reported.

There were also economic incentives at play as the two countries “agreed to maintain direct contact and to launch a fruitful economic and political partnership in order to build strong, lasting and stable relations and go beyond the situation that had characterised bilateral relations for decades,” Maghreb Arab Press reported.

A South African official said the meeting signalled the strengthening of diplomatic relations between the countries after Morocco withdrew its ambassador from Pretoria in 2004 when South Africa recognised the independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, also known as the Western Sahara.

“After their admission into the AU it becomes diplomatically unsustainable not to allow them to establish a diplomatic mission in Pretoria,” the official said.

South Africa wanted Morocco’s recognition of Western Sahara as a precondition to it being readmitted into the AU in January, but that didn’t happen.

The issue of Western Sahara almost disrupted the two-day summit, which is set to end on Thursday. The Ivory Coast, which is hosting the gathering, initially did not invite Western Sahara, but after other AU member states threatened to move the summit back to the continental body’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Western Sahara was invited.

The official claimed South Africa played an important role behind the scenes to make the summit happen. “We’re trying to prevail on [Morocco] to go easy on Western Sahara,” he said. “Our intervention ensured they were invited to this summit. Morocco had lobbied France and the host not to invite them. We put our foot down to say if this is an AU-EU Summit, all AU member states must be invited and participate.”

Only three months ago an unpleasant physical altercation between the Moroccan and Saharawi took place at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Maputo.

According to a senior South African diplomat who was present at the meeting, the Moroccans tried to block the Saharawi delegation from having access to the conference room. A member of the delegation was pushed and fell to the floor.

The official said it was easier to prevail on Morocco to tolerate Western Sahara’s presence this time because the EU was worried about the inroads other world powers, like China and Russia, were making into the continent, and therefore put pressure on Morocco to “behave”.

South Africa regards Morocco’s non-recognition of this territory’s independence as the last vestiges of colonialism on the continent. 
Congress Declaration of the SACP Moses Kotane 08th Provincial Congress
17-19 November 2017 at Ngwenya Hotel, Stilfontein (Matlosana)

It is not the consciousness of humankind that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness - Karl Marx

We, the 598 revolutionary and militant communist delegates drawn from our four SACP Districts, the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA), the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), the Revolutionary Alliance and our international fraternal allies wish to declare that we have convened under the theme: Defend, Advance, Deepen the National Democratic Revolution; The Vanguard Role of the SACP.

Our Provincial Congress takes place in the context of the global commemoration of the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution which gave birth to the first ever Workers` State. We remain inspired by this Socialist Revolution and the continued relevance of the clarion call by Karl Marx - Workers of the World Unite!

Our Provincial Congress takes place just over three months after the historic 14th National Congress of our Party and we are cognisant of our huge responsibility to take forward the key tasks emanating from our national congress. Our Congress was also attended by the SACP Central Committee. We received the keynote address from our General Secretary on behalf of the Central Committee, an address which coincided squarely with the theme of the congress.

We are deeply encouraged by tremendous growth in SACP membership in the province, from 16 000 to 21 965. In line with our programme, the South African Road to Socialism, we seek to build a large, but vanguard Party. A large party is not necessarily a mass party, as the size of the Party is not a fixed number of members, but is determined by the tasks at hand. This clearly imposes obligations to step up our ideological development program to ensure the readiness of SACP membership to increasingly propel state and popular power.

International balance of forces

We are proud of the revolutionary role played by the icons of our revolutionary movement namely, Chris Hani, Moses Kotane, J.B Marks, O.R Tambo, Joe Slovo, Dora Tamana, to mention but a few, who waged relentless struggles to emancipate our people from national oppression and class exploitation.

The congress was graced by the delegation from the Palestinian Embassy, Communist Party of Swaziland, Botswana National Front (BNF) and other progressive formations.

We note the current spate of activities taking place in neighbouring Zimbabwe where the soldiers have embarked on a politico-military intervention. In seeking to resolve the current impasse, we strongly believe that the interests of the toiling masses should never be compromised. We fully support the initiative by our Central Committee to broadly engage progressive forces in pursuit of finding an amicable solution to the political quagmire in Zimbabwe.

We note the situation confronting the people of Swaziland under the viciously oppressive Mswati regime. The congress further notes and condemns the ongoing blatant abuse of young women by the Swazi king as demonstrated by amongst others the recent forced- marriage of a young school girl. We further recommit to strengthen our Revolutionary relations with progressive forces in that country in particular the Communist Party of Swaziland.

We have noted with utter dismay, and condemn, the acts of brutality perpetrated by the Zionist state of Israel against the people of Palestine and the material support they are receiving from the United States and its allies. The congress remains opposed to the sanctions imposed on Palestine and its people.

We resolved to further intensify our historical ties and solidarity with the People of Cuba, Venezuela, China as well as other progressive organisations notably the Botswana National Front and the Communist Party of Lesotho amongst others.

Organised workers

Congress is inspired by progress made in solidifying our strategic and working relations with organised workers in the province in particular Cosatu, its affiliates as well as other trade unions outside Cosatu.

We, however, note the current challenges facing unions, in particular the retrenchments in the various sectors of our economy. Such retrenchments when carried through will not only affect the workers but also many of their dependents.

Congress calls on State Institutions and communities to work together to find a lasting solution to the incessant attacks on the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) by rival reactionary unions. We reaffirm our commitment to defend the NUM as well as other progressive unions that are victims of similar attacks.

Unity of the Alliance

Congress noted the appalling state of the Alliance in the province and expressed discontent with this state of affairs. We reaffirm the centrality of the Alliance in pursuing the National Democratic Revolution. Attempts to undermine the Alliance are in fact efforts to disregard the Revolution. We condemn attempts by the leader of the Alliance to treat the rest of the members of the Alliance as junior partners. This was demonstrated by the manner in which the Provincial Secretary of the SACP was released from the Provincial Executive, an act which was mainly aimed at embarrassing and undermining the Party. We will not tolerate any further unilateral taking of decisions. In most cases these decisions are being made by an individual or a faction whilst reducing other partners to side-line political observers.

We remain committed to build the Revolutionary Alliance. However, it is evident that the Alliance in its current form has been reduced to electoral machinery of the ANC. The significantly marginalised consensus-seeking consultation on major policy and deployment decisions further impacts on the Alliance. Congress reaffirms the 14th National Congress decision on an urgent reconfiguration of the Alliance.

State and popular power

We noted with great appreciation our 14th National Congress resolutions to actively contest elections and an organisational commitment to a process to develop a Road Map in this regard. We note with concern and condemn in the strongest possible terms the deliberate efforts by some within our movement in the province to distort and misrepresent our national congress resolution on this matter. We regard such efforts as uninvited pure meddling in the internal affairs of the SACP as an independent organisation. We call upon all those who have an interest in understanding our resolutions to read the resolutions as they are already available on the website of the SACP and also engage the Party`s leadership rather than engage in a counter-revolutionary misinformation campaign.

Our Congress has resolved that the current arrangement of contesting elections through the ANC-led Alliance electoral platform is outdated and needs to be reviewed urgently. We have therefore resolved that in preparation for the SACP Special National Congress in 2018, we will submit that the only practical way of engaging in the elections is through a reconfigured Alliance. The Alliance must be a strategic political centre. In the absence of an Alliance agreement on this matter, we will be left with no option but to contest the elections independent of the ANC - this the SACP should engage directly and through building a strong and properly co-ordinated popular left front. We call upon the SACP Central Committee to study the Botswana Opposition Parties` electoral Alliance through the Umbrella for Democratic Change.

We shall also intensify our work to build both a broad patriotic front to protect our country and democratic sovereignty, as well as a popular left front to defend, deepen and advance the National Democratic Revolution towards Socialism.

Congress draws inspiration from the decision of the Central Committee to give approval for the SACP to contest the 29 November 2017 by-elections in Metsimaholo, Free State Province. We will be making our own contribution as a province to ensure successful contest in Metsimaholo.

Fight against gender-based violence

The delegates to Congress noted the glaring violence against women and children across all levels of society.

We will initiate formidable campaigns to name and shame perpetrators of such shameful acts. In our endeavour to invigorate our campaigns, we will empower women to fight side-by-side with progressive revolutionary forces in order to find programmatic solutions to this scourge. We re-affirm our commitment to take forward this work in the coming months within the context of our 2017-18 Red October Campaign.

Our Campaign to confront the scourge of violence against women and children coincides with Comrade Julius Nyerere`s assertion that "when the people stand-up, imperialism trembles". Indeed there will be no successful revolution without the masses.

We will further continue to lobby government support for our campaign through amongst others the Ministry for Women based in the Presidency.

Provision of equitable health care

Congress is emboldened by the progress made at the pilot site for the rollout of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHI) to ensure people gain access to affordable health care. Whilst we appreciate the intentions and benefits of the NHI, we are aware of the neo-liberal offensive that stands opposed to NHI and wants to continue with the further privatisation of health services. We will defend the comprehensive implementation of NHI by our democratic government.

Congress remains resolute in defending and advancing the interests of the working class. We have generated resolutions to inform programs on the SACP and the workplace, the economy, the battle of ideas, gender & social transformation as well as Party Building and Organisational Renewal. We will further intensify ideological development through regular Party classes and other political education programmes.

We emerge from our 8th Provincial Congress much stronger, united and focussed on building a powerful Vanguard Party geared towards tackling the challenges facing the working class and poor across the length and breadth of our province. Congress has positioned the Party in the Province to be at the forefront of major class battles in the current conjuncture.

We therefore declare that we will: Defend, Advance and Deepen the National Democratic Revolution!

Socialism is the Future; Build it Now!

The SACP Moses Kotane 08th Provincial Congress unanimously elected the following members to serve as the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC);

PEC Officials:

Provincial Secretary: Madoda Sambatha
Provincial Chairperson: Smuts Matshe
Provincial Treasurer: Washington Ntozini
Deputy Provincial Chairperson: Tebogo Modise
01st Deputy Provincial Secretary: Nick Maphelle
02nd Deputy Provincial Secretary: Thabo Mashomo

Members of the PEC:

Seitebaleng Dikole
Francis Ratlhaga
Khaya Ndincede
Masello Senne
Shadrak Mvula
Motlalepula Lekoma
Deliwe Zethi
Mpho Motlhabane
Pabatso Ntsoti
Lesego Lejaka
Louis Diremelo
Letticia Basson
Puleng Mohoase
Mmoloki Cwaile
Magome Masike
COSATU Central Executive Committee Statement 27-29th November 2017
30 November 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions held a scheduled meeting of its Central Executive Committee from 27-29 November 2017 to discuss organisational, political, international and socio-economic issues affecting the workers and the working class in the country and around the world.

The meeting paid tribute to the late former President of the African National Congress (ANC), Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo, whose unparalleled leadership kept the ANC intact and the struggle for liberation alive during the dark days of apartheid. The year 2017 also marks the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution that was spearheaded by the revolutionary theoretician Vladimir Lenin.

The federation noted the political changes in Zimbabwe that led to the removal of President Robert Mugabe from power. We remain hopeful that these changes will herald the beginning of a new era of democratic stability and economic recovery for the benefit the working class of Zimbabwe.

We also reiterate our solidarity and support to the people of Palestine, who were betrayed by the British colonisers hundreds years ago, when they signed over their land to the Zionists to create the apartheid state of Israel, through the so called Balfour Declaration.

Our CEC also took place under a dark cloud of increased cases of violence directed at women and children. During the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against abuse of Women and Children, we call on government to give more resources to the court system so that prosecutions can be speeded up and carried out more efficiently.

The CEC congratulated SACCAWU for a successful national congress and COSATU Second Deputy President Zingiswa Losi, who was elected as the first Woman President of Southern African Trade Unions Coordination Council (SATUCC). She joins a number of COSATU leaders, who have been recognised by the international trade union movement and entrusted with the responsibility of leading at an international level. The CEC deeply condemned the slave trade that is happening in Libya and we call on the African Union to provide the necessary leadership to stem this barbarism.


The meeting expressed deep gratitude towards COSATU members and workers in general for coming in their numbers on the 27th September 2017 during the state capture and corruption strike. It appreciated the mobilisation and leadership demonstrated by all the structures of the federation on the 27th September 2017.The struggle against state capture and corruption continues. The September 27th Action was not just a once off event, we are currently gathering evidence and are opening criminal cases against those implicated in corruption and the February 2018 CEC will evaluate the progress made and announce new activities. This is a battle that we have to win.

The CEC commended the National Office Bearers of COSATU and the relevant task teams for their sterling work in intervening in some of our affiliated unions that are currently experiencing internal challenges. We congratulate COSATU members who despite the difficulties they experience at the hands of their leaders at a union level have shown remarkable commitment to take control of their organisations and remind everyone that they are the real owners of these organisations.

The CEC felt that the progress that has been made in strengthening the machinery of some of these affiliates in order to ensure that they place their members at the centre of all that they do is laudable and all the efforts are starting to bear fruits. There is already progress in unions like Satawu and many members have responded positively to the process of fixing some shortcomings and challenges that still remain to be overcome in their respective unions.

To continue the process of building and strengthening the engines of the federation, we plan to act decisively against corruption, not only in society more broadly but also within our own ranks. We shall eradicate the creeping phenomenon of some shop stewards selling out to management, abuse of union funds and business unionism in general. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the unity of the federation is restored and that cooperation between leaders of the Federation and affiliated unions is enhanced. The Central Committee resolved that the federation should intervene without fear or favour and that is what the federation is currently doing.

The CEC meeting also resolved to continue to visit, engage and listen to workers from their places of work and prioritise campaigns that are aimed at reducing wage inequality, improving workers retirement benefits and also ensuring that they receive better skills. This is anchored by the Back to Basics Campaign resolution which includes the following:

Work Place Meetings
Listening Campaign
Recruitment, Service to members and Retention of membership

Uniting the workers beyond union loyalties will remain a key feature of our work going forward, considering that we live in a world in which the rich 10% owns 90% of global wealth and where the unemployment globally is forecast to surpass 200 million by the end of this year, growing by 3.4 million this year. The message is clear for us, if we do not support each other on the picket line, we will meet each other on the unemployment line.

This means that as unions, we need to work together to organise the millions of unorganised workers; grapple with the increasing use of ICT and automation instead of workers. The new technology is being introduced into the market at a faster rate displacing current jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector and retail sectors.

We shall also work together to intensify our Living Wage Campaign, starting with fight to combat unfairness in the workplace and pushing for the speedy implementation of the adopted National Minimum Wage

Now that we have a court ruling clarifying the issue of labour brokers, we shall work to collectively campaign towards a final push for the total banning of Labour brokers and eradication of casualisation.

We remain committed to the fight against corruption both in the private and public sectors, with a special focus on the collusive behaviour and price fixing in the private sector. Our fight against state capture will be escalated in the first quarter of next year and this will include our demand for all key state institutions to be led by people with integrity and who are not tainted. This also speaks to the frequent cabinet reshuffles and the high turnover of senior managers in both government departments and State Owned Entities that has unfortunately done nothing to create stability and continuity. The latest reports show that since 2009, there have been about 12 cabinet reshuffles at a national level and 216 Directors- General suspended or removed in 32 departments.

We also plan to take up the fight for better wages and improved benefits to the employers in a disciplined and fearless way. The CEC has instructed all COSATU unions to go out there and fight strong and hard for decent wage increases that will bring about meaningful change to the lives of the workers.

The CEC has received a number of applications from many unions that have applied to be affiliated to COSATU and has so far resolved to only approve and accept the application from the South African Emergency Personnel Union {SAEPU}.The other applications will be processed by the upcoming meetings and ultimately next congress.


The CEC reflected on the worsening economic situation that is currently compounded by deepening corruption and dreadful mismanagement of the country’s resources. It is alarming to note that more than half of the South African population live in poverty and according to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), South Africans are poorer than they were in 2014, in per capita terms.

Despite this gloomy picture, the Auditor General’s report shows that irregular expenditure in the public sector has increased by more than half from R29, 4bn in 2015/16 to more than R45, 6bn in 2016/17.

Our deteriorating economy and the downgrading of the economy by the ratings agencies will have a severe impact on the socio-economic conditions of workers and society at large. It is therefore troubling to see the lack of fresh and innovative ideas from the National Treasury and government at large. In Minister Malusi Gigaba’s new Economic Growth Action Plan and his Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement, he continues to advocate for more Neoliberal prescriptions in the form of privatisation of the so-called no-core assets, reduction of the public service wage bill, etc.

The National Treasury needs to come up with a broad range of policy interventions in order to put us on a new growth path, broaden our industrial base, promote productive investment, and build our domestic economic capacity. This should be complemented by a supportive macro-economic environment to ensure the success of these interventions. The one fundamental way to achieve this is for a reduction in real interest rates, and introduction of concessional finance for productive investment.

We remain adamant that a Job Summit that puts together all social partners is still very much necessary. This will help us to have a meaningful conversation that will be different from the current call for a social compact in which workers are expected to accede to a wage freeze and allow for the erosion of their rights. The federation rejects the idea of a wage freeze and we believe that the first step in addressing our economic ills is to deal with the cancer of corruption and also the review of the economic sections of the NDP.

As COSATU, we continue to argue that the NDP does not represent the necessary radical economic shift that will help the country towards a new growth trajectory. It has become obvious now that the NDP has not only failed to advance a radical economic shift, but is actually threatening to reverse certain progressive advances that have been made by the ANC and government.

Public Investment Corporation

The CEC resolved to rollout a solid and decisive campaign to take control of the worker’s retirement savings starting with the PIC. We demand proper representation in these pension and provident funds and this includes influencing the investment strategies of these organisations. We do not want to see workers retirement savings being invested in private education and private health sector institutions that are widening the gap between the rich and the poor. We also do not want to see our money invested in companies that are doing business with the apartheid state of Israeli. We want to see the PIC investing in affordable housing to address the plight of the 900 000 public servants, who currently do not have houses. We shall also be applying for the Section 77 Notice focusing on the PIC. The PIC cannot continue to just invest millions and billions of workers monies and not use its financial muscle to push for meaningful transformation that will allow the previously disadvantaged groups to be part of the mainstream economy.

Taxation of Bargaining Councils

The CEC expressed deep concern about Treasury’s proposed taxation of collective bargaining councils. These are non-profit organisations and not profit seeking companies. Their funds are workers’ hard earned meagre wages that are meant to serve workers to supplement their poverty wages, pensions and education funds. Government needs to stop this shocking tendency to constantly attempt to raid workers’ pockets: e.g provident funds, UIF, PIC funds and now collective bargaining councils to plug the ever growing holes in the national budget. The solution to the state’s revenue shortfall is simple, stop looting and wasteful expenditure. Workers’ monies are not there to bail out corrupt and ineffectual politicians and parastatals. If government wants to address SARS’ underperformance and revenue shortfalls then it must remove the leadership of SARS that has underperformed and created those revenue shortfalls. COSATU and its affiliates will be assembling a team of tax and legal experts and take this fight to Treasury.

Violence in the mining sector

The CEC condemned the ongoing violence in the mining sector that has left many workers dead or injured. The federation is calling for calm in the mining sector and we are disturbed by the failure of the law enforcement agencies to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators. COSATU remains committed to peace amongst workers and strongly support the principle of Freedom of Association, especially for the working class. We welcome the arrest of two AMCU members in Mpumalanga for killing NUM members. It is about time that AMCU is exposed for what it is ,a vigilante union that is the source of violence and mayhem in the mining sector.


The CEC resolved to intensify its support and lobbying for the current ANC Deputy President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected as the next ANC President in the upcoming December Conference. We remain unconvinced by the superficial talk and mechanical solutions in the name of unity in the build up to the 54th Conference. We wish the ANC well in its upcoming Conference and hope that the conference will help mend the deepening factional battles within the ANC. What divides the ANC is not ideological contestations but leadership contestations and we believe that the solution is to adopt a principle that says the deputy president should succeed the president. It is also not too late to endorse that principle as a way of uniting the ANC.

We urge all participants to work hard to ensure that the integrity and legitimacy of the conference is not compromised and that the ANC emerges stronger and more united after the conference. These factional battles combined with the relative weaknesses of all formations of the Alliance have given birth to the growing mass discontent and have also emboldened counter-revolutionary forces in our midst.

We are looking forward to the adoption of many progressive policy conference recommendations by the 54th Conference; including the broadening of the mandate of the reserve bank to include economic growth and employment creation, free education for the poor, review of the NDP, the Post Bank to distribute social grants, NHI, job creation, etc.

On the Metsimaholo local elections, the CEC clarified the issue by saying; we have a resolution coming from the 12th National Congress of COSATU to support the ANC during elections and that decision can only be reviewed by the next 13th National Congress in 2018.


All alliance partners still believe that the alliance is still relevant and all efforts should be made to salvage it and make it work. There is convergence between SACP, COSATU and SANCO on the need for a fundamental change in the nature of the Alliance. We all are agree that while the ANC has played an exceptional role in unifying the key components of the National Democratic Revolution, it is not the sole custodian of the NDR and its leadership role is not a natural incident but an artificial construct that can and should be reviewed and changed where necessary.

While we welcome the recent convening of the Alliance National Political Council; it is clear that the ANC in its current state and class orientation is no longer capable of uniting and spearheading the struggles of the broader masses of our people, of which the working class is the primary motive force.

Our view is that it is not only up to the ANC or its different factions to give permission as to what should happen to the alliance and its future. It is up to all the independent formations of the Alliance to determine as to what kind of political alliance they want to participate in, in order to advance their own programme and interests.

We shall therefore work to reconfigure the alliance from below and make sure that it regains its mass based character and bias towards the poor. We will also work harder to ensure unity between the working class axis within the tripartite Alliance and between all components of the Alliance. We shall ensure that the unity of the organs of people’s power is enhanced in particular by pursuing the struggle for radical economic transformation, as the main content of this phase of our transition.

32nd Anniversary

The CEC meeting took place few days before the 32nd anniversary of COSATU. In all these three decades, South African workers have proven time and again that COSATU is their only home and the only relevant trade union federation with the capacity to improve their working conditions. We are proud of the resilience that has been demonstrated by this giant workers organisation, despite so many attempts to liquidate it. It was thirty years ago that the then two year old COSATU experienced the wrath of the apartheid regime, when COSATU House was bombed. We are happy that thirty two years after the formation of this giant federation, workers continue to deeply cherish its discipline, class orientation, principles of democratic centralism and worker control. The meeting committed itself to work to preserve the unity of the federation. The ultimate goal for the CEC is to bequeath to the next generation a united, growing, militant, independent and fighting federation that will continue to be a major factor in the political and economic life of our country.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794
ANCYL Statement on Allegations the Rating Agencies`Politically Motivated Grading
25 November 2017

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has noted without being surprised the alleged resolutions of the rating agencies caucus uttered by Cde Pravin Gordhan. His utterances about rating agencies confirms ANCYL`s long held view that the rating agencies are not apolitical and there are people within and outside the African National Congress (ANC) that are lobbying the rating agencies to support their own narrow political agenda.

When delivering his speech at Daily Maverick`s The Gathering in Sandton, Cde Pravin allegedly said that if Cde Cyril Ramaphosa is supported there will be no downgrades. Whilst the ANCYL respects Cde Pravin`s rights to freedom of expression which includes freedom to impart ideas, it is suspicious that he can be so confident that there will be no downgrades if Cde Ramaphosa is supported. His confidence in uttering those words could only mean that he is well briefed on the rating agencies decisions after the 54th ANC National conference or he is lobbying the rating agencies to take a particular position if Cde Ramaphosa is not elected.

It will be unfortunate that instead of communicating their decisions with Minister of Finance Cde Malusi Gigaba, the rating agencies communicated their decision to Cde Pravin. Unless he acts as a shadow Minister of Finance and that gives rating agencies impression that he is still a finance Minister. ANCYL demands that the rating agencies distance themselves from the utterances of Cde Pravin or else that will be a confirmation that his utterances represent their decision.

African National Congress (ANC) has a guiding constitution that compels the organisation to have national elective conference in every 5yrs to elect it`s leadership. It is no one else but ANC members who decides on who must be in the national executive committee of the organisation. ANC branches are currently in the process of finalising their nomination process and people in particular senior ANC leaders should desist from issuing threats that if certain candidate does not emerge as a leader of the ANC, the country will be downgraded. All ANC members must persuade each other using " Through the eye of the needle" not character assassination or using threats of the country being downgraded if their preferred candidate is not elected.

ANCYL calls all ANC members in particular leadership to commit in accepting the outcomes of the 54th ANC National Conference. The decision of the branches must be respected by all within the ranks and files of the ANC and people/institution outside the organization.

Mlondi Mkhize
National Spokesperson
African National Congress Youth League
Deadline Looms for South Africa's Zuma Over Revived Graft Charges
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Lawyers for Jacob Zuma have until midnight to file papers outlining why nearly 800 corruption charges shelved before he became South African president eight years ago but recently reinstated by the courts should not be brought against him.

The revival of the charges could increase pressure on Zuma to step down before his term ends in 2019 and diminish his influence over who succeeds him when the ruling African National Congress (ANC) chooses a new leader in December.

The 75-year-old president has faced and denied numerous other corruption allegations since taking office in 2009.

The 783 charges, which relate to a 30 billion rand ($2.2 billion) government arms deal arranged in the late 1990s, were filed but then dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) shortly before he ran for the presidency.

South Africa’s High Court reinstated the charges last year and the Supreme Court upheld that decision in October, rejecting an appeal by Zuma and describing the NPA’s decision to set aside the charges as “irrational”.

The NPA said then that Zuma had until Nov. 30 to make submissions before it decided whether to pursue the charges.

Spokesmen for the NPA and Zuma were not available for comment on Thursday.

Last month’s Supreme Court ruling lifted the rand currency against the dollar as investors bet that Zuma’s removal may be inching closer.

The president is unpopular with many investors after sacking respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan in March, a move that hit South African financial assets and helped tip the country’s credit ratings into “junk” territory.

Infighting within the ruling ANC ahead of next month’s conference to elect a successor to Zuma as party chief has also sapped confidence among the investors upon whom South Africa relies to finance its hefty budget and current account deficits.

One of South Africa’s leading universities, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, said on Thursday that it had appointed Gordhan as a visiting professor.

He will join other ANC heavyweights who have ended up at the Wits after being sidelined by Zuma, among them another respected and ousted finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene, and former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni.

Widely seen as a competent and honest technocrat, Gordhan has become an unlikely poster boy for public anger at the president, whose administration has been marred by missteps and allegations of corruption. Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

($1 = 13.6794 rand)
South Africa Should Prepare for the Worst Case Scenario: Seeking Help From the IMF
November 30, 2017 12.02pm EST
Author Danny Bradlow

SARCHI Professor of International Development Law and African Economic Relations, University of Pretoria. University of Pretoria provides funding as a partner of The Conversation AFRICA.

Prudence teaches that societies experiencing difficult and uncertain times should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

South Africa should take this lesson seriously. It is facing a serious crisis. South Africa’s economy is growing too slowly to address its profound challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Social tensions are rising. Business is not transforming quickly enough. The governance and solvency of key state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are collapsing. Government finances are deteriorating. Credit downgrades may limit government access to finance. The institutions of governance are decaying. The complex political situation is paralysing policymaking.

Countries facing analogous crises of confidence like Nigeria, Poland and Turkey have had to seek IMF support.

South Africa can hope that the situation will improve. But it should also plan for the possibility that it will not and that confidence in the government’s ability to manage its deteriorating financial situation will evaporate. This will lead to both higher borrowing costs and reduced access to financing for the government and state owned enterprises. It could also lead to state owned enterprises defaulting on their debts and their creditors calling in their government guarantees. As government loses the ability to fund its operations, it will be forced to turn to the IMF. It is the one organisation that can help it regain access to financing – on condition that South Africa agrees to implement an IMF approved set of reforms.

No-one wants an IMF programme for South Africa. First, it means the government accepting an outsider, dominated by rich countries, overseeing its economic policies. Second, IMF support will be conditioned on the country agreeing to painful reforms such as:

Reducing the government’s budget deficit and the current account deficit so that it can meet its financial obligations

Deregulation and labour market reforms designed to encourage investment.

But if South Africa begins preparing for this possibility it may be able to mitigate its worst effects and be ready to exploit whatever opportunities it creates.

Negotiating with the IMF

The South African government has considerable experience dealing with the IMF, which regularly visits each of its member states to consult about the state of its economy— the most recent IMF mission visited South Africa in early November. However, it is over 20 years since South Africa negotiated a financing arrangement with the IMF.

Unless challenged, the IMF is likely to condition its financial support on a standard recipe of reforms. However, over time the IMF has become more amenable to supporting the programmes proposed by its member states. It has learned that, while there are similarities between macro-economic crises in different countries, there is more than one strategy for resolving such crises. In fact, the optimal solution depends on each country’s institutional arrangements, history, and particular economic, social, environmental and political characteristics. It also depends on the impact of macro-economic policies on such social factors as gender, equity and environmental and social sustainability.

Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister, reports in his book on his experiences negotiating with Greece’s creditors that countries like Poland, through careful planning and shrewd negotiations, were able to convince the IMF to follow their plan rather than the IMF’s standard approach. His book also shows that the cost of failing to prepare adequately for negotiations like these can be very high indeed.

So what should South Africa do to ensure that it gets the best possible deal?

First, South Africa must establish clear and realistic objectives for the plan that it wants the IMF to support. Second, it must get its diplomatic ducks in a row so that it can strike the best possible deal.

Fixing the budget

As a priority South Africa should focus on restoring a sustainable budget situation. This will require government to make some painful policy choices about levels of expenditures as well as the purposes for which funds are allocated.

The government can build confidence in these choices if it can show that:

the benefits exceed the costs and that the costs are being equitably shared.

Policy choices are based on both the human rights imperatives stipulated in the South African Constitution and on promoting growth.

it’s serious about addressing the governance problems in state owned enterprises and government departments.

it is complying with the legal procedures applicable to government finances and the open budgeting processes that it used in the past.

Finally, government must encourage other social actors – such as business and labour who have contributed to the crisis – to help mitigate the pain. A demonstration of broad support would help convince the IMF to support the government’s strategy.


As Varoufakis’ experience shows, the cost of under-estimating the impact of international economic diplomacy on the outcomes of complex international financial negotiations can be unacceptably high.

The South African government must therefore prepare to sell its programme to the IMF. This requires it to appoint negotiators who have a good understanding of both the IMF as an institution and global financial diplomacy. They can make the South African case in the way that is most likely to convince the IMF staff and Board of Executive Directors to support the South African programme.

These negotiators should also seek to exploit all the benefits that South Africa can harvest from its membership in the institutions of global economic governance. For example, they can tap the experience and expertise of groups like the G24, a lobby group for the interests of IMF developing member states in which South Africa participates, to help it prepare for these negotiations.

They can also draw on the stores of information in international organisations like the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank that have had extensive experience dealing with developing countries facing macro-economic crises. Access to this information should be a benefit of membership. The executive directors that represent South Africa at these institutions can help the government gain access to this information and, if appropriate, identify the relevant experts to consult.
South Africa's Rand Firmer After Trade Data, Stocks Slide
Reuters Staff

* South Africa recorded trade surplus in October

* Renewed hopes of economic reform supports rand

* Naspers sheds more than 3 percent (Updates levels)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 30 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed on Thursday, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar and data showing the country recorded a trade surplus for the ninth consecutive month in October.

Stocks were weaker as bourse heavyweight Naspers weighed.

At 1702 GMT, the rand traded at 13.5700 per dollar, 0.59 percent firmer than its New York close on Wednesday.

The currency has been volatile over the past month, slumping to its weakest level in 12 months against the dollar in late October following a gloomy budget speech that revealed a gaping revenue gap and public debt soaring to 60 percent of GDP.

But the currency has recovered in the past week on renewed hopes of economic reform despite a decision last Friday by S&P Global Ratings to push the country’s debt deeper into “junk”.

The revenue service said on Thursday South Africa’s trade surplus widened to 4.56 billion rand ($335 million) in October, thanks to a weaker rand and subdued demand for imports.

“Export growth continues to be supported by a moderate recovery in South Africa’s major trading partners as well as higher commodity prices, whereas the sluggish local economy is still keeping a lid on import growth,” said Elize Kruger at NKC African Economics.

“Both developments favourably impact on the trade balance, the current account balance and subsequently, also provide support for the rand exchange rate.”

In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was up 3 basis points to 9.32 percent.

On the stock market, the benchmark Top-40 index was down 1.3 percent at 53,270 points, while the broader All-share index shed 1.1 percent to 59,773 points.

E-commerce and media firm Naspers, which owns a third of China’s Tencent, retreated 3.2 percent to 3,687.71 rand.

Naspers shares have doubled this year as the value of Tencent soared - the stock mostly follows the movements of its Chinese investment, which was down more than 3 percent on the day.

Private hospital group Mediclinic was the biggest gainer among the blue-chips after investment banking firm Jefferies upgraded the company to “buy” from “underperform”.

Shares in Mediclinic rose 2.6 percent to 101.60 rand.

$1 = 13.6050 rand Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and TJ Strydom; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng
South African Rand Surges as Traders Cheer Respite From Moody's
By Dana El Baltaji  and Colleen Goko
November 27, 2017, 9:26 AM EST

Ratings company leaves investment grade intact for now
Zuma vows to cut spending, raise taxes to spur revenue
Kganyago Says Rand, Oil Prices Main Risks to Inflation
Kganyago Says Rand, Oil Prices Main Risks to Inflation

South Africa’s rand is living up to its reputation as the world’s most volatile currency.

Having been dealt what should have been a crippling blow by S&P Global Ratings on Friday, sparking a 2 percent slump, the currency advanced as much as 3.3 percent on Monday, on track for its best day since December 2015, after Moody’s Investors Service retained its investment-grade rating on the nation’s local-currency debt.

The reprieve by Moody’s meant South Africa retains its position in Citigroup Inc.’s World Government Bond Index for now, even though the company said it may cut the assessment after the February budget. An exit from the index would spark forced selling of local bonds by investors that track the gauge, leading to outflows of much as $10 billion, according to Societe Generale SA.

“I’m really surprised” by the rand’s gains, said Arnaud Masset, a market analyst at Swissquote Bank SA. “Moody’s decision to hold fire offset, somehow, the negative signal sent by S&P.”

Options traders pruned their short-term pessimism on the South African unit as it rebounded. The rand’s expected swings against the dollar, based on one-week and two-week contracts, fell by the most since 2006. It was heading for the first close stronger than its 50-day moving average since Oct. 13.

The rand was also buoyed by news that President Jacob Zuma had committed to fiscal responsibility, vowing to cut spending and raise taxes to plug a 40 billion-rand ($2.9 billion) budget gap.

The currency strengthened 3.2 percent to 13.7140 per dollar as of 3:52 p.m. in Johannesburg. Local-currency bonds due December 2026 gained, with the yield falling 12 basis points to 9.22 percent, after increasing as much as eight basis points earlier.

“I think this reaction is very much in line with our predictions, in the event of one agency cutting the ratings,” said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging-markets research at the Toronto-Dominion Bank. “Although, I must admit, it’s even faster than I would have expected.”

S&P’s Cut

S&P lowered South Africa’s local-currency rating one step to BB+, one level below investment grade, and placed it on a stable outlook. Its assessment on the foreign-currency debt, which it already considered speculative, was taken down one notch to BB. Moody’s opted to keep both readings on Baa3, its lowest investment grade, but put them on review for a possible downgrade.

The currency has been on a roller-coaster ride this year as political infighting curbed efforts to boost Africa’s most industrialized economy. Since Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was fired in March, the nation’s foreign-credit grade was cut to junk by two ratings companies and economic growth stalled.
Tribute to Fidel, Today in Villa Clara
Fidel's re-encounter with the people of Villa Clara, when he praised their ability to overcome difficulties and obstacles; his stay in Che's camp; and visits with comrades in the city, will be recalled this morning during a commemoration of the first anniversary of the Comandante en Jefe's death

Author: Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera |
November 30, 2017 09:11:18

SANTA CLARA.– Fidel's re-encounter with the people of Villa Clara, when he praised their ability to overcome obstacles; his stay in Che's camp; and visits with comrades in the city, will be recalled today during a commemoration of the first anniversary of the Comandante en Jefe's death and the passage of his funeral caravan through the province, last year, on its way to Santiago de Cuba.

Students, workers, veterans, all who value Fidel's legacy, are to depart from the city's Leoncio Vidal Park in a procession to the Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara, Sculptural Complex, where a vigil will take place led by artists, including the trio Trovarroco, Ernestina Trimiño, Quinteto Criollo, Ensemble Vocal Musas, Abu Ache, Conjunto Danzario Baila Cuba, and singer Gustavo Felipe Remedios, reported Eliot Porta, master of ceremonies.

The Alejandro Sánchez orchestra will join a student choir to perform "Cabalgando con Fidel," as images of key moments in the Comandante's life are projected on a giant screen.