Preview of the South African Elections

The South African general elections will be taking place 8 May 2019 and the election according to polls is widely expected to be dominated the current ruling party the African National Congress (ANC), with president Cyril Ramaphosa expected to get a new term with a new mandate.

The ANC in its manifesto promised its own land forms, capable honest government and a growing economy.Pledged with corruption allegations on multiple party members this year’s election may be toughest the party has had to face since 1994.

There are 3 other opposition parties which will be looking to cut the ANC voter share, those being the Democratic Alliance (DA) lead Mmusi Maimane which is also the official opposition party which has promise to stop corruption and bring good governance to South Africa.

Third in the running is the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) lead by Julius Malema which has pledged to bring land reform, job opportunities, prosperity and dignity for South Africans. The party is seen as the radical option for voters but is widely popular with South African youth.

The fourth main opposition party is the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) lead by Mangosuthu Buthelezi 90 year old and will be looking to maintain its long standing party position in parliament with its “Trust Us” campaign slogan. The IFP has promise to lower crime rates, create jobs and put education first.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Remembering Chris Hani| 26 years on

Today marks 26 years (10 April 1993) since the assassination of fierce apartheid opponent, Chris Hani. Born Martin Thembisile Hani, he was a leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress.

Hani is remembered as a hero with physical and moral bravery, compassion and the spirit of Ubuntu – humanity.

On this day the ‘popular hero’ as he returned to his home in Dawn Park (Boksburg), Johannesburg he was assassinated by an anti-Communist Polish refugee, Janusz Walus. With him was his daughter Nomakhwezi, who was then 15 – witnessed his death. This in the run-up of South Africa’s first democratic elections. Nomakhwezi died ‘mysteriously’ 7 years after her father’s passing.

The ‘people’s Hani’s’ death was the darkest time in South Africa. People of the Republic till to this day commemorate the anniversary passing Hani annually – the 10th of April is marked by several events in remembrance of struggle steward, Hani.

Here’s how Bricsjournal.com remembered Chris Hani in 2017: [PHOTO ESSAY] Remembering Chris Hani

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is today celebrating the struggle hero and has referred to Hani as the President South Africa never had.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

CAF 2019 African Cup of Nations

The 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be taking place this year on 21 June 2019 July hosted by Egypt. After Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the tournament by CAF, due to stadium construction delays, terrorist attacks by Boko Haram and the Anglophone Crisis.

READ:Breaking: Egypt bags AFCON hosting rights

The Cameroon national football team did manage to make through qualifiers and will still represent the country despite being stripped hosting. South Africa also managed to qualify to make it there first major tournament since the 2015 AFCON were they only got as far as the group stages.

There will be 24 teams competing to be the best footballing team in Africa, countries qualified for the 2019 AFCON:

 

 

 

 

Eskom’s move towards renewable

South Africa’s power utility, Eskom received a loan of USD 480 million from the BRICS New Development Bank for the Medupi Thermal Power Plant (TPP) on 2 April. NDB held the Fourth Annual Meeting of Governors on Monday, 1 April to 2 April in Cape Town, South Africa. 

 READ:South Africa to host the 4th Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank

“The loan will be used for financing of retrofitting flue-gas desulfurization to make Medupi TPP compliant with South Africa’s environmental standards coming into force, thus preventing suspension of its operation”, the NDB sad in a statement. 

Medupi TPP has a planned capacity of 4,800 MV – approximately 10% of the total generating capacity in South Africa. The construction of the power plant began about 12 years ago and was meant to bridge the gap as Eskom’s power plants were aging and breaking down constantly. The power utility implemented stage 4 load shedding last month. 

On the same date, the New Development Bank and Eskom Holdings SOC Limited signed the Loan Agreement for Renewable Energy Integration and Transmission Augmentation Project. The multilateral funding institution will provide a loan with a sovereign guarantee amounting to USD 180 million.  

“The project will integrate a total of 670 MV of renewable energy into Eskom’s grid”, said the NDB. 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

South Africa’s support for the Saharawi people may hurt Sanlam’s billion dollar deal in Morocco

South African insurance and investment company, Sanlam may have a problem pushing through a billion dollar deal in Morocco. Sanlam is in the process of trying to purchase Saham Finances SA, and it may come in to conflict with the South Africans government support of the Saharawi people.

According to fin24.com Moroccan billionaire Othman Benjelloun spoke out on the deal and said “Sanlam’s acquisition of insurer Saham Finances SA”. He further said that  South Africa has chosen the wrong side in a territorial dispute. The South African government last month hosted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of State meeting which was held to show the regions solidarity with the Saharawi.

Benjelloun is very influential and is the chairperson of Morocco’s BMCE Bank. He also called for South Africa to change strategies with regard to Morocco or the deal will receive no support.

 

Source: fin24.com

Egyptian ambassador calls for more bileteral trade with South Africa

­Sherif Eissa, Egyptian ambassador to South Africa has called for increased trade and investment  relations between South Africa and his country.

Eissa who was speaking at the recent South African Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Trade and Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa further called political cooperation.

South Africa and Egypt both have big economies, noted the ambassador. He questioned the small trade volume between the two countries. There has not been any close trade relations between the two countries. This has led to a minimal trade volume – amounted to just $300 million.

“Egypt is very strong in chemical industries, including fertilisers and petrochemicals,” said  FEI African Cooperation Commitee chairperson, Dr Sherif El Gabaly, who addressed the same forum.

Dr El Gabaly urged South African and Egyptian business communities to take advantage of the opportunities that could come with trade between the two countries.   

 

 

 

 

Source: Engineering News

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Edward Kieswetter as Head of the South African Revenue Service (SARS)

Former chief executive of Alexander Forbes, Edward Kieswetter has been appointed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the new commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Kieswetter will start his five-year term at the beginning of May.

Kieswetter has been tasked with the reestablishment of trust in the South Africa tax collection agency. According to dailymaverick.co.za the tax institution had been mismanaged and dismantled through alleged corrupt dealings.

Kieswetter having a good reputation, certainly looks to be a good choice, as well as him coming from the private sector – he will establish international standard working procedures and benchmarking. Kieswetter also has previous experience with SARS having worked as the deputy commissioner 2004-2009.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

The University of Johannesburg to award President Xi an honorary doctorate

The University of Johannesburg announced on Tuesday intentions to award Chinese President, Xi Jinping an honorary doctorate. The public university located in Johannesburg, South Africa will be the first university in the country to confer a doctorate to a Chinese leader. 

The honor will be awarded on the 11 April at the University and will be accepted by Chinese ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian, on President Xi’s behalf.

“What needs to be mentioned is that this is the first time for President Xi to accept an honorary doctorate degree given by a foreign university. South Africa is the only country in the world that President Xi has paid three state visits to. This event is of great and far-reaching significance to China-South Africa relations,” a UJ statement said.

 

Source: The Citizen

BRICS New Development Bank positive on Asian economies

Annual reports from the Boao Forum for Asia say that Asia remains competitive in creativity, tech innovation, and economic openness. Some are concerned whether Asia can keep its competitiveness in face of global volatility, but Leslie Maasdorp, vice president of the BRICS New Development Bank is bullish on the momentum of Asian economies.

“There is no question as the reports suggested. Asia right now is and will continue to be a significant growth engine in the world economy,” he told CGTN.

He mentioned that, in addition to traditional growth engines, the openness of the economy, application of new technology as well as innovation become the new sources of growth in Asia.

2018 witnessed some serious currency depreciation in emerging economies, between 10 and 40 percent against the U.S. dollar. Maasdorp said that it’s fundamentally because of a strong U.S. dollar, not a domestic problem.

“Emerging markets suffer from the direct impact of the movement in the U.S. interest rate. If the U.S. dollar rises, it directly leads to the reversing capital flows out of the emerging markets. So many of the emerging markets, like Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey, suffer from this,” he explained.

“Let’s take Turkey as an example. The impact of that significant depreciation in the Lira has taken huge and immediate effect on other emerging markets,” he added.

He noted that for Asian economies or any other emerging market, the key thing is to insulate from any extremeness of global volatility. “You can do this in a number of ways. One way is to have strong savings and investment rate, which is Asian economies have,” he said.

He also said that other emerging markets are not so fortunate as their investment flows are influenced by external volatility. And he thought commodity-based economies are more easily affected by external factors as they are pricing commodities in U.S. dollars.

As the U.S. Fed signals no rate hike for 2019, he believed that depreciation pressure would be absolutely eased. “A stable U.S. interest rate that is predictable for the future should provide a better environment for investment decision,” he stressed, projecting that emerging economies would develop in a more stable and predictable environment.

 

ISSUED BY: CGTN Global Business

 

SADC leaders attend Saharawi Solidarity Conference

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of State are in meeting at the South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) offices, in Pretoria. The leaders are in meeting to stand in solidarity with the Saharawi people of the Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa said that the aim of the conference is to build bridges, ending subjugation and dominance through force. This is also part of building an integrated, politically united Africa based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism, as well as ensuring a peaceful and secure Africa, he said.

The Conference noted that the Saharawi made their decision was clear in 1991, when they agreed to engage in a referendum for independence that’s been obstructed by Morocco for 27 years. The Africa Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and Morocco were also urged to expedite the referendum.

The Saharawi people are willing to engage with good faith with Morocco in a civil manner of dignity and respect. All that is need is for Morocco to sit at the same table and to implement decisions of AU, UN and international community at large.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka