Tag Archives: Jacob Zuma

South Africa slide to failed state

South Africa faces a precipitous economic and political collapse by 2030 unless it changes its economic model and implements growth-friendly policies, according to Eunomix Business & Economics Ltd. (Image above: courtesy UN photo).

Using a range of measures, the Johannesburg-based political and economic risk consultancy forecasts the country will rank near the bottom of a table of more than 180 countries in terms of security, similar to Nigeria and Ukraine, and have prosperity akin to Bangladesh or Cote d’Ivoire. This negative change means a significant decline from its current position, though it should fare better on governance and welfare measures.

“Bar a meaningful change of trajectory, South Africa will be a failed state by 2030,” Eunomix said in a report.

The consultancy blames a structure created during the White-minority apartheid era that was designed to exclude the Black majority, creating one of the world’s most unequal societies.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994, the ruling African National Congress perpetuated that situation by rejecting job-intensive growth policies and instead raising wages and subsidizing the poor through welfare, Eunomix said.

While less than a quarter of the population is in work, South Africa’s wage bill as a percentage of gross domestic product significantly exceeds that of countries such as India, Thailand and the Philippines.

Eunomix’s recommendation for South Africa’s government is to adopt a “dual-track” strategy of developing and maintaining high levels of social support and paying for it by adopting an aggressive special economic zone policy, which boosts growth and employment, albeit at lower wages.

The ANC’s strategy is “a dichotomy born of apartheid, resistance and crystallized by ideological puritanism and entrenched interests,” the consultancy said. “The country should not choose between imagined opposites. It should adopt a dual-track approach that reconciles them.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is “very clear” about the need for inclusive growth that addresses inequality, unemployment and poverty, his spokesman Tyrone Seale said.

“Government, business, labor and communities are currently working on an economic recovery plan,” he said. “As South Africa we are clear about our plan to reboot the economy and the need to involve all South Africans.”

Former President Jacob Zuma ushered in a decade of low growth when he focused on increasing the role of the state, instead of supporting a private-sector led recovery after the global economic crisis of 2008, Eunomix said. Prolonged policy uncertainty in areas ranging from mining to telecommunications compounded the slowdown.

The economic impact of recurrent power cuts, rising unemployment and the loss of the last investment-grade rating on South Africa’s debt have only been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.

“The pandemic is the last nail in the coffin of strategic fiasco,” Eunomix said. “The economy is unsustainably narrow and shallow. It rests on a small and declining working population burdened by very high debt and taxes.”

Zuma arrest warrant issued

A South African court has issued an arrest warrant for the former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear at hearing on the grounds of a medical treatment.

Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, presented a document from a “military hospital” to excuse his client absence, but the judge questioned whether the note was valid or even written by a doctor. Prosecutors said it was a criminal offence not to fully explain an absence on medical grounds. Jacob Zuma face charges in a corruption case that he has been avoiding for months, most recently by referring to health issues, preventing him to stand a trial.

“Zuma’s absence is disappointing … we want Mr Mantsha to tell us what the illness is and why Zuma can’t be here. It is a criminal offence for the accused not to be present if he has been warned in court,” said Billy Downer, representing South African the state.

According to former President lawyers, he had two operations in early January before going abroad. However the judge questioned the authenticity of a letter from a “military hospital” in the administrative capital, Pretoria, explaining Mr. Zuma’s absence.

Minister admits Zuma pressure to strike nuclear deal with Russia

South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said to a corruption inquiry that former President Jacob Zuma pressured him to agree to a massive nuclear power deal with Russian Federation to be delivered to President Vladimir Putin in 2015.

Nene refused to approve the construction of eight nuclear reactors, which would have the capacity to generate 9,600 megawatts of energy. The costs of the project, promoted by Zuma, would have been “astronomical,” he said in his statement.

Zuma to be charged with corruption

The South African chief prosecutor Shaun Abrahams announced the state will reinstate fraud and corruption charges against former President Jacob Zuma for the case relating to a 30 billion rand ($2.5 billion) arms deal in the late 1990s.

The decision follows the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal which set aside the 2009 decision to withdraw the case against the former President.

A team of five senior state prosecutors spent four weeks studying Zuma’s reasons if there are sufficient grounds to pursue him, after submitting the information at the end of January.

Abrahams announced two weeks ago that he had received a recommendation from the team and was ready to make the announcement, which is made public on 16th of March.

Cyril Ramaphosa presidency inspires hopes

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as South Africa’s President in a parliamentary vote on Thursday (15.02.2018) after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4% putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations, Reuters agency reports.

However the question remains how Cyril Ramaphosa – the closest ally of plagued with corruption accusations Jacob Zuma, – will change the existing practices and put and “drain the swamp” if he has been for a part of the system.

President Zuma reluctant to step down

South Africa President Jacob Zuma said to SABC news that he had offered to go after June, but objected to the way the issue has been handled, underlining that he was not defying the African National Congress (ANC) party, but he disagreed with its decision to ask him to resign.

“It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised,” Mr.Zuma said. “Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done.”

Mr Zuma’s decision to keep a grip on power has put him at odds with South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader and his expected successor.

Hawks police arrests Zuma’s allies

The raid by the Hawks police unit on the family home of the Guptas have been launched day after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ordered Zuma to step down as head of state after nine years in office dogged by scandal and a stagnant economy.

A dozen heavily armed tactical police blocked off a street leading to the Gupta home in Johannesburg. Police  regards the place as a “crime scene”.

Zuma and the Guptas – a family the Indian-born mogul – deny any wrongdoing. However a Gupta brother and a business associate have been arrested by the Hawks. Other family members have agreed to hand themselves over to police.

The Hawks arrested members of the family who they consider to be flight risks. According to different sources recently Atul Gupta became the seventh-wealthiest person in South Africa, with an estimated net worth of more than USD700 million.

President Zuma tries to win time

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign, according to senior party officials.

The decision to “recall” him “urgently” followed ANC marathon talks on the issue.

Mr Zuma, 75, agreed to step down, but only in the next three to six months, the official added, fueling a suspicion he is maneuvering in attempt to win time, postponing his departure.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, has been dogged by corruption allegations. Current crisis is not the first one in his long political career, until present Mr.Zuma has been able to overcome all of them, and stayed as the head of state. Life at brink became his modus vivendi, further degrading the situation in the country lacking genuine political leadership and vision of future.

African art auction in Cape Town

In a warehouse in Cape Town docks on Saturday 17 February the art world will enjoy a thrilling event of a contemporary African art auction, organised by

Art collectors, curators, critics and artists will stream to the Cruise Terminal at the V and A Waterfront to try their chance to acquire an African masterpiece. There will be well established names: as Ayanda Mabulu, whose pieces were bought by President Jacob Zuma, and many other artists, who has not reached zenith yet such as Patrick Bongoy from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Blessing Ngobeni and Mongezi Ncaphayi. Hopefully some of the artefacts will be purchased by Museums to remain in direct contact with general public. However, as art experts say, any remarkable private collection trend to become public if reaching a certain level of quality and amount of artefacts.

 

Resignation pressure on Zuma mounts

The six most heavy-weight officials in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) met President Jacob Zuma on Sunday,  February 4, a senior party leader said, amid growing pressure for President to step down.

The party’s “top-six” leadership team is due to meet Zuma later on Sunday, party secretary-general and top-six member Ace Magashule told local media including news channel eNCA and the City Press newspaper.

Magashule said that the removal of Zuma as President of the country was not on the agenda, differing with reports citing unnamed sources in the City Press and Sunday Times.

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