Displaying items by tag: South Africa

The latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa have ignited the long-standing tensions between the country and Nigeria. These are captured in the retaliatory attacks on South African businesses in Nigeria and the diplomatic outrage by Nigerian authorities.

Nigeria also boycotted the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Cape Town. More critical was the temporary closure of South African missions in Abuja and Lagos and Nigeria’s decision to recall its ambassador.

But in the larger scheme of things, xenophobia is a distraction from the leadership role that Nigeria and South Africa should play on the continent on fundamental issues of immigration and economic integration.

A constant irritant

Accurate figures are hard to get. But Statistics South Africa put the number of Nigerian migrants at about 30,000 in 2016, far below Zimbabweans and Mozambicans.

Xenophobia has remained a constant irritant in Nigeria-South Africa relations since the major attacks on African migrants in poor neighbourhoods in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg in 2008 and 2015. But, contrary to popular perception, xenophobic attacks do not disproportionately target Nigerians. Nigerians often exaggerate the effect of violence on their citizens. That is probably because Nigeria has a better organised, savvy, and loud diaspora constituency in South Africa.

Unfortunately, the loudness of the Nigerian diaspora transforms victimhood into foreign policy, generating the reactions that have been witnessed recently. It also plays into the naïve narrative of the “liberation dividend”. This entails Nigerians seeking to be treated uniquely because of their contribution to the struggle for majority rule in South Africa. There were no such expectations from the other countries that supported South Africa’s liberation struggle.

This narrative has taken on an equally economic tinge. South African companies are heavily invested in Nigeria. So, they often become targets of Nigerian ire in times of xenophobia.

The accurate picture is that xenophobia affects all African migrants. These are mostly migrants from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and, increasingly Ethiopians, Kenyans and Somalis. Nigerians are affected. But they’re not on top of the list.

The Nigerian responses are understandable in light of the frequency of these attacks. But, it is important to probe the drivers of xenophobia to understand it more deeply.

What drives xenophobia?

First, some studies reveal that the intrusion of foreign migrants into vulnerable communities beset by joblessness and despair inevitability produces a tinderbox that sparks violence .

Migrants are easy targets. That’s because they are seen as being better off by the locals. They therefore become targets of people who feel their circumstances have not been addressed by government. It is no surprise that xenophobic attacks have typically occurred in poor neighbourhoods that have been affected by service delivery protests since the mid-2000s.

Second, xenophobia thrives on ineffective policing in South Africa. Barely two days after the Johannesburg attacks started, the national police spokesman admitted that the police were running out of resources to manage the violence. This prompted the Premier of Gauteng, the country’s economic hub, to threaten to also deploy the army if the violence continued.

Examples of the police’s inability to maintain order and respond to threats to property and livelihoods are legion. This, in part, forces people to take the law into their own hands.


Read more: How South Africa can turn the rising tide against vigilantism


But the police are sometimes complicit in stoking anti-foreign sentiments. The July 2019 raids on foreign-owned businesses in Johannesburg in apparent efforts to stamp out illicit goods added to the current climate of xenophobia. When some business owners retaliated against the police, some local leaders appropriated the language of “threats on South Africa’s sovereignty” to justify the police response.

Reforms are urgently needed to create a competent, less corrupt, better-resourced, and civic-minded police service.

Xenophobia is also an outcome of a rickety migration and border control regime. Efficient border controls are one of the hallmarks of sovereignty and the first line of defence against xenophobia. Broken borders breed criminality. These include human and drug trafficking. Human and drug trafficking feature prominently in the discourse on xenophobia in South Africa.

How, then, does xenophobia distract South Africa and Nigeria from what should be their leadership on core African issues?

Overreaction

The weighty issues of creating a humane and just society for South Africans and migrants alike will ultimately be led by the South African government. Outsiders can make some diplomatic noises and occasionally boycott South Africa. But these actions are unlikely to drive vital change.

In fact, the overreactions by Nigeria and other African countries simply undercut the South African constituencies that have a crucial stake in wide-ranging reforms that address the multiplicity of problems around xenophobia.

In the previous instances of xenophobic violence, Nigeria urged the African Union (AU) to force South Africa to take action. But such unhelpful statements only inflame passions and prevent civil diplomatic discourse.

Instead, the best policy would be for Nigeria to engage South Africa through their existing binational commission. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to visit South Africa next month.

Taking the lead

Rather than the perennial relapse into shouting matches and hardening of rhetoric, it is essential for Pretoria and Abuja to take decisive leadership at the continental level. The two nations must articulate immigration policies.

The newly-inaugurated AU Free Movement of Persons Protocol will not be implemented if South Africa and Nigeria do not join hands to make it a reality. More ominously, migration to South Africa as the premier African economy will only get worse in the coming years. This, as Europe and the United States tighten their borders against African migrants.

Also, without the leadership of its two major economies, Africa is not going to make any traction on the new treaty establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Ironically, the WEF meeting in Cape Town addressed ways to boost intra-African trade. Nigeria should not have boycotted it because of xenophobia.The Conversation

 

Gilbert M. Khadiagala, Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations and Director of the African Centre for the Study of the United States (ACSUS), University of the Witwatersrand

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

It started with a scary WhatsApp message. “Somalis are kidnapping children in schools,” the message said.

Worried parents rushed to schools to save their children from what was thought to be ongoing retaliatory attacks by foreigners, The Star, a South African newspaper, reported.

But this was not true. There were no retaliatory attacks and there were no Somalis kidnapping children.

At the end of it all, four students in a primary school in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, in Gauteng, South Africa, were nursing injuries after a stampede at their school.

This was the most recent episode of anxiety and anti-foreigner sentiments in South Africa, in the same week that seven people were confirmed dead in xenophobic attacks that are now slowly mutating into wanton looting of shops, including a car dealership outlet owned by a Nigerian that was burnt with 50 cars inside, according to media reports.

More than 189 people have been arrested, after which most of Johannesburg remains calm.

However, shops in affected areas are still closed for fear of repeat attacks.

LOOTING

Between 1994 and 2018, there were 529 xenophobic attacks in South Africa, resulting in 309 deaths, according to Xenowatch, a xenophobia monitoring tool developed by the University of Witwatersrand.

“These recent attacks seem to be well-organised, and not sporadic. The ones we are facing now are different from the ones in the townships, which we could attribute to high crime and high unemployment rates.

"These ones are well-organised, moving in minibuses, saying they are following the calls of some leaders that we (foreigners) are not law-abiding citizens,” Amir Sheikh of the African Diaspora Forum told journalists at Jeppestown.

South African police minister Bheki Cele visited Jeppestown following the looting of foreign-owned shops and killing of five foreigners. Speaking in isiZulu, the minister called for peace, promising another meeting with the locals today.

But for the angry Jeppestown residents, that promise just wasn’t good enough. In fact, it fuelled even more violence just after the minister left, with media reports saying sporadic looting went on into the night.

INEQUALITY

The statement – about the lack of jobs and its connection to foreigners – has been the common thread in the latest attacks that also rocked Rosettenville, Germiston, Tembisa, Turffontein, Boksburg, Malvern, Marabastad and Alexandria in Johannesburg.

South Africa, the Rainbow nation that became a democracy in 1994 after the fall of an oppressive apartheid regime, is ranked as the most unequal nation on earth, according to data from the World Bank.

More than half or in absolute numbers, 30.3 million, people live in poverty, earning less than $67.28 USD, in the current exchange rate, while a quarter of the population (13.8 million people) are experiencing food poverty.

In terms of races, the situation is even worse. While a white person in South Africa earns an average $828.40 per month, a black person goes home with three times less, an average of $229.30.

An Asian or Indian, according to the National Income Dynamics Study from 2008 to 2015, earns an average $807.10 and $327.86respectively.

UNEMPLOYMENT

The richest 10 per cent of the South African population held around 71 per cent of net wealth in 2015, while the bottom 60 per cent held just seven per cent.

With a youth unemployment rate of 54.7 per cent, and a general unemployment rate of 27 per cent, analysts say the situation for the continent’s second biggest economy, now growing at just 0.8 per cent, can only get worse.

“Xenophobia is a manifestation of South Africa’s real and enduring problems: inequality, insecurity, and institutional incapacity. Perhaps more importantly, it reveals a political class willing to adopt or endorse the language of street-level gangsters.

"It shows that our two main parties, ANC and DA, are out of ideas and seeking to deflect blame rather than deliver,” Prof Loren Landau of the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand told the Daily Maverick.

The Africa National Congress (ANC) is the ruling party, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, while the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the main opposition party, with 230 and 84 MPs, respectively.

FOREIGN NATIONALS

Xenophobia in South Africa, since the first wave in 2008, has turned to be a layered, multifaceted phenomenon, with no clear trigger; but with politicians making increasingly nationalistic statements and the rising inequality coupled with the unemployment being said to be the biggest contributing factors.

The number of foreigners in South Africa has been on a steady increase from 958,188 in 1996, 1.03 million in 2001 to 2.2 million in 2011, according to the censuses taken during those periods.

According to the Stats SA, there are four million foreigners living in South Africa now.

Between 2011 and 2016, South Africa has deported 400,000 foreigners, with nationals from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Lesotho making up 88 per cent of the deportations.

“With blood, we will defend our business. We will defend our property. We will defend our dignity and integrity. We are not here courtesy of South Africans. When South Africa needed assistance of Africa (during apartheid), they were all assisted,” Mr Sheikh, a Kenyan, told foreigners in Jeppestown after the attacks on Tuesday.

FALSE FIGURES

While not all foreigners are documented and hence not part of the statistics, politicians and public officials in South Africa have been accused of tinkering with this number for their selfish gains, making a bad situation even worse.

Last year, for example, national police commissioner Khehla Sitole said that there were 11 million immigrants in the country, a claim that was disputed heavily by fact-checkers and statisticians.

And it is not just the number of foreigners that has been the victim of exaggeration.

In 2017, in a clip that has resurfaced this week online, former police deputy minister Bongani Mkongi made the oft-quoted false statement that Hillbrow, in downtown Johannesburg, had 80 per cent of its population as foreigners.

Even President Cyril Ramaphosa has also been accused of making nationalistic statements.

“Everybody just arrives in our townships and rural areas and sets up business without licences and permits. We are going to bring this to an end. And those who are operating illegally, wherever they come from, must now know,” President Ramaphosa said during the May 2019 election campaigns.

INSTIGATORS

In the same campaigns, Democratic Alliance made immigration a main agenda, promising to “keep illegal immigrants out of the country”; including deploying the military to the borders.

“Governance in South Africa, particularly at the local and community level, facilitates the occurrence of xenophobic violence by providing instigators with an opportunity structure to act. This facilitation happens by direct involvement of local leaders, or by lowering the perpetrators’ costs for their violent actions,” Dr Jean Pierre Misago of the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand wrote in the Daily Maverick.

According to Prof Landau, while South Africa has a plan to address prejudices, including xenophobia, it does not get to the crux of the matter, including references to discrimination against foreigners in terms of access to education, housing and medical services.

“The action plan (against prejudices in South Africa) similarly fails to condemn the local, provincial, and national politicians who regularly blame foreigners for their own failures to deliver services as well as economic and physical security,” Prof Landau said.

Mr Lang’at is a KAS Scholar at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Credit: Daily Nation Kenya

Published in Economy

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the state-owned utility that supplies about 95% of South Africa’s power, rejected proposals by National Treasury that it sell some plants to reduce its debt mountain, a lawmaker said.

Eskom has turned to the government for bailouts to remain solvent as it confronts massive cost overruns at two partially completed coal-fired plants -- Medupi and Kusile -- and its other aging plants struggle to produce enough power to meet demand. The sale of the generating facilities could raise 450 billion rand ($29 billion), Treasury said in a policy paper published on Aug. 27. That’s 10 billion rand more than the utility owes.

“We have posed a question to Eskom on the sale of Kusile,” Mkhuleko Hlengwa, the chairman of parliament’s public accounts committee, told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday after the panel visited the two plants. “The responses that we have received is that they don’t believe, on the basis of the work that they have done, that the sale of Kusile or any of their assets would be the way to go.”

Kusile is expected to be completed by 2023 at a cost of 161 billion rand, and Medupi next year or in 2021 at a cost of 146 billion rand. When the projects were first announced in 2007, it was projected that Medupi would be finished in 2012 and Kusile two years later and the combined cost would be about 150 billion rand.

“The project from inception was not conceptualized properly,” Hlengwa said. “It is evident that corruption has taken place. There’s no running away from that if you look at the cost escalations, the contract management.”

 

- Bloomberg

Published in Engineering

Travellers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will from Thursday no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing or business meetings.

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi made the announcement during his budget speech on Thursday. These countries are four of seven Motsoaledi said would be granted visa-free status.

Motsoaledi said the department would implement visa waivers for Ghana, Cuba, and Sao Tome and Principe after negotiations with these countries had been concluded. He said the department was scheduled to complete these negotiations by the end of this month and the implementation would follow soon thereafter.

"We took this decision (to waive visa requirements) unilaterally but we are engaging these countries to see how they can relax entry requirements for our citizens. I am glad to say that Qatar has already waived visa requirements for South Africans and this will enable our people to attend Qatar's Fifa World Cup 2022 easier," Motsoaledi said.

He said the department was continuously reviewing its operations to contribute toward growing the economy, facilitating the creation of jobs and securing the country's borders.

"Home affairs has an important contribution to make in growing tourism and by extension growing the economy and creating jobs. We are constantly reviewing our operations to ensure that we relax entry requirements without compromising our responsibility towards the safety and security of our citizens," Motsoaledi said.

The country had already waived the visa requirement for 82 of the 193 countries who were members of the UN. Eighteen of the countries enjoying a visa-free status in South Africa were on the continent with all Southern African Development Community countries enjoying this status, except for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Motsoaledi said those countries enjoying the visa-free status were among the nations accounting for the majority of international tourists to SA from the continent, Europe and the Americas.

 

Credit: TimesLIVE

Published in Travel & Tourism

British authorities said on Wednesday South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd has agreed to pay the National Health Service (NHS) 8 million pounds to resolve concerns related to overpayment for a treatment.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the settlement follows an investigation into arrangements Aspen made with rival pharmaceutical firms in 2016, to keep them out of the market for the supply of Fludrocortisone 0.1 mg tablets.

The prescription-only treatment is paid for by the NHS in the UK, and the state-run health service had to pay higher prices for it because of Aspen's arrangements, the CMA said.

Fludrocortisone is mainly used to treat Addison's disease, in which the body's adrenal glands fail to produce sufficient hormones.

Britain's competition regulator said Aspen could also have to pay an additional 2.1 million pounds in fines as part of a wider package, if the investigation concludes that the company broke the law.

The regulator said it was also looking at two other companies that were involved in dealings with Aspen.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Aspen said it would dispose its right to ambient Fludrocortisone in the UK to an independent third party, and would reintroduce cold storage versions of the treatment into the country.

 

Published in Business

When Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded Jacob Zuma as South Africa’s president, he promised a “new dawn” after nine years of misrule that hobbled the economy.

Eighteen months later, hopes have dissipated that the former labor union leader can orchestrate a turnaround. The economy shrank the most in a decade in the first quarter of this year; 38% of the workforce can’t find jobs or have given up looking; and massive bailouts for the debt-stricken state power utility are draining the country’s coffers, putting South Africa at risk of losing its sole investment-grade credit rating.

Ramaphosa himself, a respected 66-year-old lawyer who led the negotiations that brought an end to white-minority rule in 1994, is stuck in a political quagmire. While he won control of the ruling African National Congress by a razor-thin margin in late 2017, members of an ANC faction loosely allied to Zuma remain entrenched in senior positions in the party and the state, undermining Ramaphosa’s authority and limiting his scope to tackle rampant graft and nepotism.

The president has axed several cabinet ministers with tainted reputations, replaced the chief prosecutor and head of the national tax agency, and revamped the boards and management of troubled state companies. His efforts to sweep the government clean helped steer the ANC to its sixth consecutive win in May elections. But his detractors in the party have continued to push back against his anticorruption crusade, which has eroded investor confidence. They’ve demanded changes to the central bank’s inflation-targeting mandate and advocated land seizures to address racially skewed ownership patterns dating to apartheid and colonial rule, when members of the black majority were largely deprived of the right to own property.

“A more forceful leader could have adopted a blitzkrieg strategy straight after the election victory and probably been victorious. But Cyril Ramaphosa is not such a leader,” says Robert Schrire, a politics professor at the University of Cape Town. By moving cautiously, the president may have ensured the stability of his government, but at the expense of his ability to effect change, Schrire says. “The opportunity has passed.”

relates to The Walls Are Closing In on Cyril Ramaphosa

The president’s political challenges extend beyond the ANC. Powerful labor unions that played a key role in bringing Ramaphosa to power appear intent on derailing efforts to turn around state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. They’ve rejected cuts to its bloated workforce and plans to break it into three operating units that would be easier to manage. The president has also been locked in legal battles with the nation’s antigraft ombudsman, who accuses him of failing to disclose a campaign donation.

Despondency over the stalemate is evident in the financial markets. The rand, which jumped to a three-year high after the ANC forced Zuma to quit and replaced him with Ramaphosa, has reversed all of its gains. Meanwhile, government bond yields have spiked over the past month as the cost of a three-year bailout for Eskom ballooned by $4 billion, to $8.6 billion. “The additional support to ease the company’s financial pressures would be credit negative for South Africa because it would be an additional drain on fiscal resources,” Moody’s Investors Service, the only major rating company that doesn’t classify the nation’s debt as junk, wrote in a July 24 report. “The lack of a strategy to return Eskom to a more stable financial situation that would reduce the need for government support exacerbates the problem.”

Morgan Stanley analyst Andrea Masia sees the budget deficit widening, to about 6.4% of gross domestic product in the current fiscal year and 6.6% in 2020-21, from 4.2% in the year ended March 2019, mainly because of the extra money being poured into the utility. Eskom lost a record $1.4 billion in the 12 months through March. The February budget projected a gap of 4.5% and 4.3% for the two years, respectively, though the country’s growth prospects have deteriorated since then.

The government has made mistakes and failed to implement coherent policies, Ramaphosa concedes, while unchecked graft has impaired its ability to fix the country’s problems. Zuma is standing trial for allegedly taking bribes from arms dealers almost two decades ago, but no other high-profile individuals have been indicted—despite a judicial panel having unearthed evidence that staggering amounts of money were looted from the state during Zuma’s administration.

Ramaphosa’s plans to boost the annual economic growth rate to 5% and halve the unemployment rate include luring $100 billion in investment and getting private companies to partner with the government to build infrastructure. He’s targeting a top 50 position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking within three years by reducing red tape and other hindrances to commerce. South Africa currently ranks 82nd out of 190 nations.

Adversaries in the ANC, including the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule, appear bent on scuppering Ramaphosa’s initiatives. They insist that priority should be given to securing the black majority a bigger share of the nation’s wealth by redistributing land and changing the central bank’s mandate so it plays a more proactive role in fostering growth and creating jobs. This they call “radical economic transformation”—a mantra popularized by Zuma. —With Nkululeko Ncana

BOTTOM LINE - Ramaphosa’s tenuous hold on the ruling party is making it difficult for him to eliminate graft and turn around the flagging South African economy.

 

Source: Bloomberg

Published in Economy

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is standing his ground in a deepening campaign funding scandal that threatens to scar his reputation and undermine his drive to tackle rampant graft, insisting that he has done nothing wrong.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the nation’s anti-graft ombudsman, said Ramaphosa misled lawmakers about a donation to his 2017 campaign to win control of the ruling party and instructed parliament to censure him for violating the constitution and the executive ethics code. While Ramaphosa said he was kept at arm’s length from his campaign fund-raising, Cape Town-based website News24 reported that it obtained verified copies of leaked emails from his camp disproving his assertion.

“This is smoke and mirrors,” Khusela Diko, Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman, said in an interview with Johannesburg-based broadcaster eNCA on Monday. “The president hasn’t committed any crime. None of those donations are coming from anybody whom, from the best of our knowledge, would have obtained that money illegally.”

Mkhwebane initiated an investigation into the president at the request of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, which questioned whether a 500,000 rand ($33,500) payment his campaign received from Gavin Watson, the chief executive officer of services company Bosasa, was above board. Testimony given to a judicial panel has implicated the company in paying bribes to senior government officials to win contracts.

Ramaphosa said he inadvertently failed to disclose the payment to lawmakers and rectified his mistake as soon as possible. He’s challenging Mkhwebane’s findings that he intentionally misled parliament and filed an urgent interdict to postpone any censure until the case is heard. A date for both hearings has yet to be set.

More than 120 people donated money to Ramaphosa’s campaign on the understanding that they should expect nothing in return, according to Diko.

“We stand by our statements that the president was not privy to the day-to-day running of the campaign,” and didn’t know about Watson’s donation, she said. “Yes, there were times where guidance may have been sought from him.”

 

Credit - Bloomberg

Published in Economy

Nedbank Group is in talks with about 1 500 employees over potential job cuts at the South African lender’s retail and business-banking division to cope with a struggling economy and increased competition.

The company forecasts that “between 50 and 100 employees are at risk of not being placed in a role,” Johannesburg-based Nedbank said in an emailed response to questions on Friday. “Unplaced employees will then be assisted by the bank to either secure available alternative positions within the bank, which is our first prize, or be equipped for opportunities outside the bank.”

South African lenders are battling to grow revenue faster than costs as they contend with an economy that has shrunk for three of the past five quarters. Consumers have been battered by rampant unemployment, rising taxes, fuel prices and utility bills, pushing them to explore cheaper banking alternatives or digital services. Companies aren’t investing amid uncertainty over electricity supply and surging government debt levels.

“Nedbank is being forced to reshape our operating models and businesses,” the company said. “In doing this, Nedbank actively makes use of natural attrition and a redeployment and reskilling pool. Non-voluntary retrenchments are always the last option.”

The company, which employs 30 577 people, has also been reducing the floor space used by its branches and increasing the use of automation to lower costs. Nedbank expects the process to be concluded after the final meeting with the labor union Sasbo at the end of this month, it said.

 

 

- Bloomberg

Published in Bank & Finance

Matshela Energy, which is fronted by South Africa’s power utility Eskom’s former chief executive officer, Engineer Matshela Koko, will invest US$250 million into a solar power plant in Gwanda, with project works set to begin next month.

The company was awarded the licence to set up the power plant by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) on July 17.

It is envisaged that the project, which will produce 100 megawatts, will become the single largest solar venture in the country and will create up to 1000 jobs.

The solar plant dovetails with the country’s renewed push to promote clean energy sources that are meant to protect the environment and reduce attendant consequences such as climate change.

Engineer Koko told The Sunday Mail that the project can be expected to feed into the national grid within the next 12 months.

“The board of Zera approved the issuance of the electricity generation licence to Matshela Energy for Phase 1. Total approximate investment for licensed generation facility: US$250 million.

“The project will create approximately 1 000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction and operation phases,” he said in e-mailed responses.

Eng Koko said he had assembled a “competent team” of energy experts and investors from different parts of the world to embark on the project.

He said the team will be in Harare next month to begin works.

“Our partners will be on site in August to complete the detailed design for the power plant. We believe our team is competent and second to none and will deliver the project without fail.”

“We anticipate first power 12 months from September 2019. Matshela Energy is fully funding the project through a robust financial structure and is expecting no upfront payment from the people of Zimbabwe.

The only expectation is for the Government of Zimbabwe to honour the power purchase agreement that has been signed.”

Engineer Koko said the company will not receive advance payment from the Government, but will use its own resources instead.

He insisted that despite being linked to corruption allegations at the South African power utility, he had a traceable track record of integrity.

“I have had a very successful career at Eskom spanning over 25 years. I have not been charged or found guilty of any corrupt activities and have no pending criminal charges against him. Mr (Wicknell) Chivayo was paid by the Government of Zimbabwe to build a 100 MW solar PV plant. The Government of Zimbabwe, through Zesa, took the risk for the project (and) Chivayo was paid to execute. However, Matshela Energy carries all the financial construction risk for its project and the Government of Zimbabwe takes no risk in this regard.”

New technology

The solar project, Eng Koko said, will also consist of an advanced battery energy storage system.

He said because renewable energy does not always coincide with electricity demand, surplus power will be directed towards research and imparting skills to university students.

“Matshela Energy has resolved to ringfence US$100 000 per annum for 20 years to put towards research and innovation in the field of advanced energy storage and renewable energy generation. This will be done in partnership with a local university. The university will be selected in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.”

In a notice published last week, Zera said Matshela Energy’s licence would be valid for 25 years.

“The generation licence is hereby granted to Matshela Energy Private Limited in terms of Section 42 of the Electricity Act to own, operate and maintain the 100 MW solar plant called the Matshela Energy-Gwanda Timber Farm Solar Plant at Gwanda Timber Farm, Gwanda, Matabelaland North province for the purpose of generation and supply of electricity.

“Subject to the Electricity Act and the terms and conditions of the licence, the licensee may supply electricity to any transmission, distribution or supply licensee who purchases electricity for resale and with the approval of the authority to any one or more consumers,” Zera said.

 

Source: Sunday Mail Zimbabwe

Published in Engineering

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he will seek an urgent judicial review of what he described as an irretrievably flawed report in which the country’s graft watchdog said he misled parliament over a campaign donation.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report followed an investigation by the watchdog into a 500,000 rand ($35,878.56) donation to Ramaphosa’s 2017 campaign for the leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) from the CEO of services company Bosasa.

Ramaphosa said the report’s findings were not rational, based in fact or arrived at through a fair and impartial process - assertions Mkhwebane refutes - and that he would seek a judicial review of the report, its conclusions and the remedial action it recommended.

“After careful study, I have concluded that the report is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed,” Ramaphosa told a media briefing, adding that it was therefore appropriate the courts make a final and impartial judgment on the matter.

A statement issued on Mkhwebane’s behalf said she welcomes the president’s decision but stands by the report and will seek to assist the courts in arriving at the “correct conclusion”.

“She has no doubt that she exercised her powers and performed her functions without fear, favor or prejudice, as is required by the constitution,” the statement said.

Mkhwebane, who began the investigation after a complaint from South Africa’s opposition, on Friday said that she found the president had “deliberately misled” parliament and violated the executive ethics code in regards to the donation.

The saga has proven a headache for Ramaphosa, who has staked his reputation on cleaning up deep-rooted corruption and reviving Africa’s most developed economy, providing ammunition for enemies including an ANC faction loyal to his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa initially told parliament that the money received by his son Andile was obtained for services he had provided, but he later corrected this by saying the payment was actually a donation towards his campaign.

The remedial actions Mkhwebane recommended included the speaker of the national assembly to demand publication, within 30 days of receiving the report, of all donations received by Ramaphosa.

She also instructed the chief prosecutor to investigate whether Ramaphosa’s campaign had laundered money in its handling of donations.

Ramaphosa’s supporters accuse her of acting as a proxy for Zuma’s faction, which she has denied.

 

(Reuters)

Published in Economy
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