Tito Mboweni appointment will calm markets,  ACDP

There was mixed reaction to his appointment this week.


The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) said that the appointment of former reserve bank governer Tito Mboweni will “no doubt” calm markets.

The party said the man’s appointment will also provide confidence to foreign investors because of his previous investor-friendly role as a cabinet minister and central bank governor.

“He will no doubt adhere to strict fiscal consolidation measures required to stabilise state finances,” the ACDP said.

“And will inspire investor confidence in the economy,” the party said.

It urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to follow through on his commitment to good and clean governance by considering removing other “far more contentious ministers” than Nene.

The rand strengthened as news of Mboweni’s appointment spread.

Ramaphosa announced Mboweni as the new finance minister after Nhlanhla Nene resigned over allegations of his link with the Gupta family.

“This moment calls for strong, capable and steady leadership that will unlock new opportunities as we grow and transform our economy. I am confident that Mr Mboweni will provide that leadership,” Ramaphosa said on Tuesday evening.

The DAexpressed concerns over Twitter posts that Mboweni made several months ago where he called on the state to own 40% of mining companies.“What is not clear is whether this was a flirtation with “radical economic transformation”, or a conversion to ‘radical economic transformation,” DA shadow minister of finance David Maynier said.

“We now need to know whether the minister actually supports extending state-ownership in the mining sector, establishing a state-owned bank and creating a sovereign Wealth Fund, which may have major implications for investment and job creation in South Africa,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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Mabuza says it’s not recession but SA economy is “refusing to grow”

He spoke in Parliament this week Wednesday.


Deputy President DD Mabuza has suggested that we are currently not in a technical recession but rather the problem is the SA economy refusing to grow.

He was answering oral questions this week Wednesday in the National Assembly.

He said those who were saying the country was in recession didn’t take “a very comprehensive picture”.

Sats SA a week ago said the economy had entered its first technical recession in nine years and GDP went down by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2018, meaning from April to June.

“As a country‚ we’ve noticed the current decline,” he told MPs on Wednesday afternoon.

“And I don’t probably agree with those who are saying we are in technical recession‚” said Mabuza.

He said as government they have taken a “comprehensive picture” and were taking it quarter by quarter and they were seeing an economy that was refusing to grow‚ not that it had entered recession.

“We’ve not taken the overall statistics over a period. But I’m confident that as government we’re going to reverse this tide and I am sure President Cyril Ramaphosa will make a few announcements on how governments wants to intervene in this current situation because it’s our responsibility to respond to this situation,” the deputy president said.

He also rejected suggestions from Cope and DA MPs that we were like this because of the issue surrounding land expropriation without compensation.

“I want to dismiss the fact that land expropriation accounts for this situation,” he said.

“Or that it is scaring investors. I don’t agree,” Mabuza said.

“And we’ve said again and again that land expropriation is going to happen in a very responsible way.

“We’re not intending to disrupt our agricultural production… I don’t think we should be pessimists and run away from the facts we should address.”

RELATED: Agri-Mpumalanga leader believes land expropriation will affect food security

(edited by MLM)

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Land expropriation key for SA inclusive growth, writes Ramaphosa

The President pens an article to explain some of the issues around the “most devastating” South African economic inequalities created by the skewed land ownership.


CYRIL RAMAPHOSA


It is nearly 25 years since SA became a democracy, yet the promise of that historic achievement has not yet been fully realised by the millions of people who are unemployed and live in poverty.

Despite significant progress, many of the economic disparities of the apartheid era persist. After a decade of slow growth, the South African government has embarked on a big investment drive to stimulate economic growth and create new jobs.

It has begun to tackle the obstacles to growth by working towards greater policy certainty, shifting resources towards infrastructure investment, reducing bureaucratic inefficiency and stabilising public finances.

Among the greatest obstacles to growth is the severe inequality between black and white South Africans. For the South African economy to reach its full potential, it is therefore necessary to significantly narrow gaps in income, skills, assets and opportunities.

One of the areas where this disparity is most devastating is in the ownership and access to land. As the World Bank has observed, “SA’s historical, highly skewed distribution of land and productive assets is a source of inequality and social fragility.”

It argues that, after skills, current distribution of land is the second-biggest constraint to poverty reduction and shared prosperity. In order for SA to secure the future, and to ensure equitable and just human development opportunities as envisioned by our first democratic president, Nelson Mandela, reform of patterns of land ownership in SA is a critical issue.

That is why the government has embarked on a process of accelerated land reform and why South Africans are currently engaged in an intense debate over the prospect of expropriation of land without compensation as one among several measures to achieve this reform. Unfortunately, several commentators have confined their engagement on this matter to soundbites and not to the substance.

The “land question” goes back more than a century to the 1913 Natives Land Act, which provided legislative form to a process of dispossession that had been under way since colonial times. It confined the country’s African population to slightly more than 10 per cent of the land, reserving the rest for the white minority. These laws alienated the majority of our citizens from their places of birth and burial, stripped them of their assets and deprived them of their livelihoods.

Even now, the dispossession of land continues to determine the prospects of millions of South Africans, and it holds back the country’s economic development. By restricting the ownership of land to a small minority, the apartheid regime ensured that one of the country’s most valuable economic resources would be severely underutilised.

During this year the department of rural development and land reform released results of a land audit to establish land ownership patterns. Among other insights forthcoming from the land audit, it emerged that:

Individuals, companies and trusts own 90 per cent of land in SA, and the state 10 per cent

Of this 90%, individuals own 39%, trusts 31%, companies 25% and community-based organisations 4%, with co-ownership at 1%.

In terms of farms and agricultural holdings, 97% of the total agricultural holdings are owned by 7% of landowners

Agricultural land ownership by race: 72% of farms and agricultural holdings are owned by whites, 15% by coloured citizens, 5% by Indians, and 4% by Africans

For decades, the country’s assets — its land, its minerals, its human resources, its enterprises — have been owned, controlled and managed in a way that has prevented the extraction of their full value. Our intention is to unlock the economic potential of land. Without the recognition of the property rights of all our people, we will not overcome inequality, and without giving the poor the means to productively farm the land, we will not defeat poverty.

In promoting accelerated land reform, the ruling ANC, recently resolved to propose a constitutional amendment that would make explicit the conditions under which land could justifiably be expropriated without compensation. While the current clause in the constitution dealing with property rights does not necessarily prohibit such a measure, the ANC’s view is that an amendment would provide certainty and clarity.

The proposed amendment would need to reinforce the fundamental principles of the property clause, which, among other things, prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of property and holds that expropriation is possible in the public interest subject to just and equitable compensation. It also says that no provision can impede the process of land reform to redress the results of past racial discrimination.

While a parliamentary committee is at present wrapping up public hearings on this issue and still needs to give consideration to any possible constitutional amendment, there have been several suggestions on when expropriation without compensation may be justified. These include, for instance, unused land, derelict buildings, purely speculative land holdings, or circumstances where occupiers have strong historical rights and title holders do not occupy or use their land, such as labour tenancy, informal settlements and abandoned inner-city buildings.

This is no land grab; nor is it an assault on the private ownership of property. The ANC has been clear that its land reform programme should not undermine future investment in the economy or damage agricultural production and food security. The proposals will not erode property rights, but will instead ensure that the rights of all South Africans, and not just those who currently own land, are strengthened. SA has learnt from the experiences of other countries, both from what has worked and what has not, and will not make the same mistakes that others have made.

The proposal on expropriation without compensation is one element of a broader programme of land reform that seeks to ensure that all citizens can have their land rights recognised, whether they live in communal areas, informal settlements or on commercial farms. It includes the release of well-located urban land for low-cost housing so that the poor can own property and live close to economic opportunities.

For land reform to succeed, it is essential that support is given to beneficiaries of land redistribution through financing, training, market access, irrigation and the provision of seeds, fertiliser and equipment, all of which contribute to the sustainability of emerging agricultural enterprises.

Land reform in SA is a moral, social and economic imperative. By bringing more land into productive use, by giving more South Africans assets and opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, the country is creating conditions for greater, more inclusive and more meaningful growth.

First published by theFinancial Times

Researchers find Ramaphosa has more Mpumalanga support than DD Mabuza

The survey was released on Friday last week and shows the businessman is gaining too much of people’s confidence.


A survey has showed that ANC deputy leader DD Mabuza has less support in the Mpumalanga province than leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos South Africa and was released on 17 August 2018.

3 600 people were interviewed across the country between May and June 2018 and showed that only 46% of the people interviewed agreed that the future of the ANC was bright and 54% said it was bleak.

Ramaphosa has less ratings in the Western Cape, a stronghold for the DA, in the Eastern Cape, the province that supported him as well as in KZN but has high rating in the other provinces.

In Mpumalanga, the President tops Mabuza – his stronghold province, scoring 8.5 out of 10 and Mabuza 6.1 (10 means full support and 0 no support).

“As can be expected, larger proportions of supporters of the main opposition parties (the DA and the EFF) agree that the ANC has an uncertain future, but it is interesting to note that over half (52%) of ANC supporters also agree. Only one in every five South Africans (20%) feel certain about the future of the party,” the researchers said.

Researchers find Ramaphosa has more Mpumalanga support than DD Mabuza

ALSO RELATED: Jobs, unity in year of Nelson Mandela

Ramaphosa’s current national rating is at 7.3 from 5.1 in November 2014 when he was still battling the negative image brought by the killing of workers in Marikana.

In the Eastern Cape, Ramaphosa’s rating was 6.5, and in KwaZulu-Natal 6.3 and another 6.3 in the Western Cape.

In the Western Cape, DA leader Mmusi Maimane received a 5.7, while Ramaphosa is rated 6.3.

The Ipsos poll also found that supporters of the DA and of the EFF rated Ramaphosa’s performance higher, above 5.

SEE ALSO: Researchers find Ramaphosa is favourite in Mpumalanga ahead of 54th congress

(edited by ZK)

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“Ramaphosa signed a deal with the devil”

Ramaphosa’s efforts to fight corruption is hampered by the background of his deputy, the analyst says.


North West University’s political and policy specialist Theo Venter has described the deputising of President Cyril Ramaphosa by David Mabuza as “demeaning” for South Africa as a nation.

“Ramaphosa had to make a deal with the devil, with no doubt Mabuza being one of the compromises he had to make,” Venter said, referring to the Mpumalanga strongman.

“Having him as a deputy president is demeaning for South Africa. People are talking and writing about him worldwide, how will the country sustain itself?” Venter said.

He said it would be hard for Mabuza to be the President as the ANC is currently “divided”.

“Look at the ANC right now, it is divided so much that they won’t be able to elect anyone as President,” he told the Citizen newspaper.

“It was a very positive thing for South Africans to have Ramaphosa as President and to have gotten rid of Jacob Zuma, then to have Mabuza as deputy president has made some South Africans start losing hope. The people are disappointed that Ramaphosa is not dealing with corruption,” says the analyst.

Mabuza is currently wading off attacks from detractors, who are accusing him of being a corrupt leader.

On 4 August 2018, the New York Times ran a damning report on its front page charging Mabuza was undermining Ramaphosa’s efforts to end corruption and maladministration because of his questionable past as leader of the ANC and government in Mpumalanga.

During the time he was education MEC, Mabuza was involved in a matric results scandal and investigation into it never materialised.

"Ramaphosa signed a deal with the devil"

ALSO RELATED: Mabuza formed PRET as his mass weapon

He is also accused of being behind a spade of assassinations of opponents in the province over a period of 20 years but the ANC in the province believes this is a revised version of old attacks on the leader and have vowed to defend him.

“The people who are making allegations against him were told to lay charges against him and no one has submitted any evidence,” Mpumalanga ANC spokesman Sibusiso Themba said.

ALSO RELATED: Refilwe Mtsweni is DD Mabuza’s girlfriend 

“These are stories that are being written, we have seen them and heard them before, but they have never added the evidence,” said Themba.

Of the New York Times article, Mabuza’s spokesman Thami Ngwenya said it is “rejected with the contempt it deserves”.

“The article is viewed in the same way as previous attempts of political smearing against the name of the deputy president,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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