Green Energy in Focus as AU – EU Celebrates 10 Years of Partnership

Investing in off-grid solutions using renewable energies would save US$35,000 per kilometer for transmission lines, COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya told delegates attending the 10th Anniversary of the Africa – European Union Energy Partnership in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, last week.

He said that financing and business models for off-grid electrification, through green energy technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, should include the community owned mini-grid management. He proposed for further exploration of the utility-based model, private sector-led mini-grids, and also hybrid models which would try to combine different approaches.

“Energy linkages to other sectors, in particular, renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal small hydro power, etc., could be used to support public uses such as lighting and vocational teaching in schools, sterilization, refrigeration and other usages in health clinics, public water systems, and street lighting,” Mr. Ngwenya said.

“The low population density in Africa would require massive investment to increase the access to energy,” the Secretary General stated. “The productive uses of electricity in agro-industries could be significant and these benefits could be related to the expansions in output and the existence of a market for the output, as well as employment expansion.”

Mr. Ngwenya stressed the need to ensure that Africa takes the advantage of the different financing windows available such as the one trillion dollars from climate change to leapfrog to increase access to electricity.

On Africa-EU Energy Partnership Perspectives, the Secretary General indicated that over the 10 years of Africa-EU Energy Partnership, substantial progress between Africa and Europe has been realized. This range from political declarations and agreements to technical assistance and actual projects in the African countries.

The AEEP’s objective is to improve access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy for both continents, with a special focus on increasing investment in energy infrastructure in Africa. The AEEP Steering Group is comprised of the European Commission, the African Union Commission, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Egypt, Germany and Italy.

The Secretary General assured of COMESA’s willingness to continue supporting the Africa EU Energy Partnership in the development of legal and institutional frameworks for public private sector partnerships.  This he noted, would increase the private sector participation in infrastructure development and especially in the energy sector.

The African perspective on the way forward in this partnership was to pursue the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Other speakers included Mr. Stefano Manservisi, Director General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), European commission; Ambassador Sergio Mercuri, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy and Mr. Cheikh Bedda, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission.

The AEEP event at the EU-Africa Business Forum was attended by representatives of the private sector who are engaged in the Partnership’s work, as well as other stakeholder’s central to the achievement of the AEEP 2020 Targets. The key messages and conclusions of the AEEP event, together with those of other sessions at the EU-Africa Business Forum, will feed into the AU-EU Summit.

HOME AFFAIRS BORDER PLANS FOR THE 2017/18 FESTIVE SEASON

The Department of Home Affairs has announced the 2017/18 festive season plans for the South African border environment. This is for smooth facilitation and enhanced management of movement of people and goods in and out of South Africa during this peak period.

Traveller numbers are cyclically influenced by reasons for travelling, with increases over the festive season, Easter and school holidays. Travelling is usually for tourism, cross border employment, business, academic and educational purposes.

During the 2015/16 festive period, a total of 5 303 555 movements was captured, comprising arrivals and departures of citizens and foreigners. Of these movements, 3 814 402 were for foreigners. In the 2016/17 festive period, the number rose to 5 504 022 – which is an increase of 200 467 or 3.78%. For 2016/17, movements for foreigners recorded reached 3 944 788.

Learning from past experience, sound planning is critical as we are likely to experience an increase in traveller movements, which exerts additional strain on available resources at ports of entry while posing security risks and dynamics for South Africa and countries with which it shares borders. This makes it necessary to plan for and mitigate against illegal movements and other transgressions.

Integrated port operations

The border environment is made vulnerable by civilians and officials who facilitate illegal and unauthorised movement, especially in peak periods. Invariably, this happens where border officials are corrupt, accepting bribes, or where border systems and business processes are manipulated.

Types of threats and risks identified for peak periods include:

·       Fraudulent RSA travel documents, used by illegal migrants, such as passports and visas,

·       Fraudulent Affidavits, used by travellers of foreign origin to cross the border with South African registered vehicles,

·       Fraudulent or illegal stamping of travel documents, usually from those who have overstayed, are in possession of fraudulent documents or are fugitives from justice,

·       Undocumented travellers, entering the country illegally or with expired visas,

·       Pedestrians, cyclists and equine riders, who are not subjected to thorough inspections, and

·       Borderline challenges, especially where the fence has been cut, and therefore allowing for illegal migration and smuggling activities.

Government departments and agencies with a border control mandate are taking a joint approach for the festive season operation, informed by the need for collaboration and integrated port operations.

Accordingly, the Department of Home Affairs, in consultation with and support from the SA Police Service, will effect enhanced border coordination institutional arrangements, to ensure that the border environment is well managed.

The National Border Management Coordination Committee will assess border control processes at ports of entry over this period and provide situational awareness reports to all relevant stakeholders. Represented on this Coordination Committee are departments and state agencies with a border control mandate – Border Management Authority Project Management Office, SA Police Service, Department of Agriculture, Department of Home Affairs, SARS and the State Security Agency.

The Department of Home Affairs will inspect travel documents, log and refer asylum-seekers to reception centres, facilitate deportations and prevent human trafficking. The SA Police Service will focus on patrols, inspection of vehicles, searches and seizures, profiling, access control at land ports, crowd management, response to crime hits and investigations.

The SA Revenue Services will respond to inspection requests in its area, quarantine or confiscate goods as necessary, handover impounded goods and confirm if goods have been correctly declared. The Department of Transport will focus on inspections of cross-border permits, traffic control and adherence to transport regulations.

The Department of Health will handle surveillance or screening measures for communicable diseases, inspections on conveyances at ports of entry, quarantine procedures, compliance with import permits and travel health services.    

Extended hours and additional staff for festive period

Operational hours will be extended for busy ports of entry, covering pre-festive season movements, the festive season period and the re-opening of schools, that is, from 6 December 2017 to 16 January 2018. A table showing extended hours is provided below.

To ensure reasonable turnaround times and to avoid congestion associated with peak periods, the Department of Home Affairs has deployed additional staff at targeted ports of entry. These are: Lebombo (from 147 to 222), Beitbridge (125 to 215), Maseru Bridge (62 to 107), Ficksburg (34 to 64), Oshoek (38 to 63), OR Tambo International Airport (345 to 370), Groblersbridge (14 to 22), Mahamba (10 to 20), Kopfontein (31 to 34), Ramathlabama (20 to 22), Skilpadshek (15 to 18), Caledonspoort (11 to 17), Van Rooyenshek (12 to 20), Tellebridge (4 to 9) Qachasnek (4 to 8), Kosibay (5 to 10) and Cape Town International Airport (from 68 to 75).

As citizens and travellers, we will have a safe and memorable festive season to the extent that we work together to ensure only legitimate people and goods are allowed to enter into or depart from our beloved Republic.

EXTENDED HOURS AT PORTS OF ENTRY

FROM 06 DECEMBER 2017 – 16 JANUARY 2018

Province

Port of Entry

Current Hours

Extended Hours

Increased Hours

Mpumalanga

Lebombo

06:00 – 00:00

24 hrs

6hrs (13 Dec 2017 – 08 Jan 2018)

 

Mananga

07:00 – 18:00

07:00 – 20:00

2hrs (19-23 Dec 2017)

 

Jeppes Reef

07:00 – 20:00

07:00 – 22:00

2hrs (21-14 Dec 2017)

 

Oshoek

06:00 – 00:00

24 hrs

6hrs (21-25 Dec 2017)

 

Mahamba

07:00 – 22:00

07:00 – 00:00

2hrs (22 Dec 2017)

Eastern Cape

Qacha’s Nek

07:00 – 20:00

06:00 – 22:00

3hrs (21-24 Dec 2017)

 

Qacha’s Nek

07:00 – 20:00

06:00 – 20:00

1hrs (25 Dec 2017)

 

Tellebridge

06:00 – 22:00

05:00 – 23:00

2 hrs (15 Dec 2017) &

2 hrs (22-26 Dec 2017)

KwaZulu-Natal

Kosi Bay

08:00 – 17:00

07:00 – 18:00

2hrs (15 Dec 2017 – 10 Jan 2018)

Free State

Van Rooyenshek

06:00 – 22:00

06:00 – 00:00

2hrs (15 Dec 2017)

 

Van Rooyenshek

06:00 – 22:00

24 hrs

8hrs (22-23 Dec 2017)

 

Caledonspoort

06:00 – 22:00

24 hrs

8hrs (22 Dec 2017)

 

Caledonspoort

06:00 – 22:00

06:00 – 00:00

2hrs (23 Dec 2017)

 

Caledonspoort

06:00 – 22:00

06:00 – 00:00

2hrs (02 Jan 2018

 

Monontsha Pass

08:00 – 16:00

08:00 – 18:00

2hrs  (15 Dec 2017)

2 hrs (22-23 Dec 2017)

2 hrs (1-3 Jan 2018)

 

 

Thabo Mbeki

ADDRESS OF THE PATRON OF THE TMF, THABO MBEKI, AT THE SUPER RETURN AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA ­ LIVING UP TO ITS PROMISE

Chairperson of Conference,
Distinguished participants:

More than a decade ago, we were honoured as the South African government to host for a few days a leading representative of the then government of Austria.

At that moment our democracy was less than ten years old and continued to attract considerable attention throughout the world. Accordingly we had to engage our Austrian guest in a detailed discussion about ourprogrammes to respond to our national challenges.

Our guest left us with an observation which many of us never forgot. Simply he said that in the international context ­ South Africa is a pilot project!

In this regard he picked out two matters. These were first what we were doing to build a truly non-racial society and therefore successfully manage a diverse society, and secondly what we were doing to eradicate poverty and in that context reduce the gross racial and gender
socio-economic inequalities which our democracy had inherited.

Our guest insisted that even Austria faced similar challenges of managing
a diverse society and reducing socio-economic inequalities, obviously on
a much smaller degree than South Africa.

He therefore informed us that because of this the broad Austrian
leadership was doing its best to watch how our country was responding to
these challenges and was greatly encouraged that we were successfully serving as a pilot project even for his country!

I have told you this story because of the subject I have been asked to address, which is, South Africa ­ Living up to its promise¹.

I have read this to mean that certainly the organisers of this important
Conference believe that South Africa has not lived up to its promise!

In this regard let e hasten to say that I fully agree with this
sentiment, that indeed democratic South Africa has not fully lived up to
its promise!

And what were the elements of that promise?

Our Austrian guest was correct when he said that our country held out the
promise of the successful management of a racially diverse society,
leading to the building of a truly non-racial society.

Related to this was the promise that it would entrench democracy in our
country in a manner which would ensure the building of the necessary
institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Our country also held out the promise of radically reducing poverty in
our country and reducing the yawning racial and gender inequalities in
terms of the distribution of wealth and income, thus to accomplish the
goal of a better life for all.

In this context it held out the promise that it would build an economy
which would grow and develop at significant rates, sufficient for it to
generate the new wealth on a sustainable basis which is required to
achieve the progressive socio-economic objectives I have mentioned.

With the strongest and most developed economy on our Continent and the
value system that historically characterised our national liberation
movement, certainly as represented by the governing party, the ANC, our
country held out the promise that it would also serve as a living example
which would contribute to dissipate the then prevalent Afro-pessimism and
thus help other countries on our Continent to address their challenges in
a manner which would make a positive impact on the lives of the billion
Africans.

This would make it possible for Africa to take its rightful place in the
system of international relations resulting, among others, in better
management of Africa¹s resources and less dependence on the charity of
the developed world of the North.

It therefore stands to reason that when the assertion is made that South
Africa has not lived up to its promise this statement must be measured
against the various Œpromises¹ I have just listed.

However, with your permission, I will not do this as it would take a fair
amount of time which we do not have this morning.

I would like to believe that all of us here are familiar with the fact
that three weeks ago the Veterans and Stalwarts of the ANC, our country¹s
governing party, held what they described as a National Consultative
Conference.

Briefly, these very senior cadres of the ANC convened this Conference
exactly because of their very grave concern that because of various
misdemeanours of the ANC as a governing party, our country was
continuously moving away from delivering on the promises I have listed.

Let me quote part of what the Consultative Conference said in the
Declaration it issued as it concluded its work.

Among others, the Veterans and Stalwarts of the ANC, our country¹s
governing party, said:

³We observe that the current elected leadership of the ANC is paralysed
and unable to deal with ill-discipline, incompetence and corruption that
point directly to the highest office in the landŠ

³We further observe that parliament and the executive, led by the
President, (have) been found to have failed in their constitutional
obligations by the highest court of the land.

³The mismanagement of our economy has led to unprecedented unemployment
rates. This has exacerbated the levels of poverty amongst the masses of
our peopleŠ

³We are witness to the moral degeneration in society that is overseen by
a self-centred, non-caring leadership that lacks honesty, integrity and a
vision for the futureŠ

(We are also witness to)The systematic erosion of the State¹s ability
to carry out its constitutional mandate of delivering services to our
peopleŠ, as well as,

(Actions by the ANC leadership which have resulted in) ³Diminishing the
stature and reputation of South Africa and the African National Congress
in the eyes of our people, the sister peoples on the African continent
and the world at large.

I believe that these statements made by a most politically mature echelon
of the membership of the ANC are sufficient to indicate how seriously the
people of South Africa view and describe the reality that our country has
failed to live up to its promise, and therefore their urgent desire to
move away from this negative reality.

In any case and in addition, all of us are familiar with the negative
assessment of the rating of South Africa which has been made by the
international rating agencies, consistent with the views expressed even
by the oldest of the members of the ANC!

Thus we must come back to the question ­ what must be done to ensure that
South Africa lives up to its historic promise?

Of course, immanent in that very question, is the suggestion that it is
in fact possible to achieve the objective of ensuring that our country
lives up to its promise!
My comments with regard to the matters I have just raised are that:

First, it is indeed possible to ensure that our country lives up to its
promise.

Secondly, to achieve this outcome, it will be important that our country
is mobilised to act in unity to achieve the nationally agreed objectives
as stated in our Constitution of building a non-racial, non-sexist,
democratic and prosperous society, committed to addressing the grievances
of the past.

Third, our starting point must be that the members of the ANC, supported
by the rest of our population, must act firmly, and on a sustained basis,
to ensure that the ANC seriously addresses its weaknesses and
misdemeanours so that it honestly discharges its responsibilities in the
context of the Constitutional objectives I have just mentioned.

I mention specifically the ANC because all indications suggest that it
will continue to enjoy primacy as the governing party of choice, or the
single largest party, in terms of how our population will vote during our
national elections.

Fourth, it is vitally important that the masses of the people of South
Africa are mobilised, as happened during the difficult years of struggle
against apartheid, once more to adopt the posture that they are their own
liberators determined to ensure that South Africa develops into the
country for which they sacrificed and fought.

The question arises naturally as to whether all what I have just said
does not amount to nothing more than a pipedream, the mere expression of
an unrealisable wish!

In this regard I would like to state my very firm views.

The first of these, once again, is that it is indeed eminently possible
to ensure that sooner rather than later South Africa returns to the path
according to which it would live up to its promise as we defined this
earlier.

I make this firm assertion exactly because as our people have done
everything to defend and entrench our democratic system, so does the
possibility exist that precisely because of the vibrancy of our democracy
our people have the possibility, which they will exercise, to ensure that
our country and theirs lives up to its promise!

Put simply, it is through the exercise of their democratic rights by our
people that it will be possible for our country correctly to respond to
the concerns raised by the ANC Veterans and Stalwarts at the National
Consultative Conference.

In other words, the South African people must and will use the fact of
the democratic gains they made through struggle to use their democratic
power to defeat the negative elements which have taken control of the
governing party, the ANC, including as this relates to the reprehensible
phenomenon of state capture.

Already our Judiciary, and more recently the National Legislature, acting
within their Constitutional mandates, have demonstrated how our
democratic Constitutional system can and must respond to all efforts to
negate what our Constitution says, which has resulted in our country
failing to live up to its promise.

It remains for all the South African patriotic forces to ensure that all
other sections of our population act in a manner consistent with what the
Judiciary and the National Legislature have done thus to generate the
popular power to ensure that our country repositions itself to live up to
its promise.

An important part of what this will require will be that that broad and
united democratic response to ensure that South Africa lives up to its
promise, also addresses various matters of political, economic, social,
international and other policy.

When the ANC acceded to power in 1994 its policies as a governing party
were informed by two strategic policy documents.

These were the documents Ready to Govern and the ³Reconstruction and
Development Programme (RDP).

Obviously, after 1994 the ANC elaborated other policy documents among
others to respond to challenges which had come up during the process of
governance, but which did not depart from the fundamental propositions of
the ³Ready to Govern² and ³RDP² documents.

I refer here to such documents as ³State and Social Transformation² and
Growth, Employment and Redistribution: A Macroeconomic Strategy² (GEAR),
as well as a big complex of documented decisions taken by Government
effectively to give effect to all the documents and polices I have
mentioned.

I say all this to make the important point that since 1994 our democratic
order has taken a multiplicity of decisions exactly to spell out in
detail what democratic South Africa must do to live up to its promise!

In this context I would like to make the observation that one of the
weaknesses of the National Development Plan (NDP) is that it completely
fails to assess the Government policies which preceded the NDP, including
whether these correctly identified what had to be done to address our
country¹s historic challenge of the eradication of the legacy of
colonialism and apartheid.

The central point I would like to make is that when success is achieved
with regard to addressing the negative challenges facing the governing
party, the ANC, it will be possible to attend to such important matters
as:

elaborating a programme of action to implement the National Development
Plan, the NDP, which implementation must, among others, result in
achieving the objectives indicated in the Plan, such as high economic
growth rates, significant poverty reduction and meaningful and sustained
job creation;

I ensuring that the State and the State Owned Enterprises play their
proper role in terms of contributing to the implementation of the NDP,
freed from the corrosive clutches of corruption;

ensuring the proper functioning of our constitutional democracy
consistent with the manner in which our Constitutional Court explained
what our Constitution expects of all our governance institutions: this
would include restoring to their full health all the State institutions
which have been corrupted and weakened especially during the last decade;

strengthening the partnership between government, the corporate sector,
the trade unions and civil society to ensure the achievement of the goal
of a better life for all as indicated in the NDP; and,

activating the criminal justice system to discharge its
responsibilities with regard to stamping out corruption, including in its
manifestation as state capture, thus to help ensure that our people as a
whole, whatever their social status, practically respect the principle
and practice of the rule of law.

To conclude, I am therefore saying that yes, South Africa will once again
live up to its promise!

Confirming their decision to act, rather than stand and watch, in their
Declaration the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans said:

We acknowledge that our failure to address (the negative developments
emanating from ANC misdemeanours) timeously has contributed towards the
grave reputational damage, political and moral crisis facing our
organisation and country.

As we meet here in Cape Town, a mere ten (10) days before the start of
the 54th National Conference of the ANC, millions throughout our country
are engaged in various actions specifically to end Œthe grave
reputational damage, (the) political and moral crisis facing our
organisation and country¹ to which the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans
referred.

I am certain that the last decade has taught these millions the lesson
that directly in their own interest they must act to ensure that South
Africa lives up to its promise.

Thank you.

Fedusa

FEDUSA Marches on Parliament

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its affiliates in the public health and rail passenger service; HOSPERSA, PSA and UNTU, alongside many other unions operating in aggressive working environments, will march to Parliament on Tuesday to demand that Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula deploy the army in the embattled Cape Town region over the festive season when attacks on Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and passenger trains are their highest.
FEDUSA President Godfrey Selematsela will lead the March to Parliament on 05 December 2017 between 11:00H and 14:00H alongside General Secretary Dennis George and the provincial leadership of thousands of HOSPERSA, PSA, UNTU and all other FEDUSA affiliated unions, under the slogan: #Workers’LivesMatter. The March will end at the gates of Parliament where a Memorandum of Demands will be handed over to the Ministers of Defence, Police and Labour, to urgently address the dire security situation. The Media Conference will held at SATU House in Cape Town Central as detailed below:
Date: 4 December 2017
Time: 14:00H
Venue: SATU House
76 Cantebury Street Cape Town (Opposite Fruit & Vegetable, Roeland Street)
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.

Financiers Conference: Countries Seek Funds to Finish the $1.2b Regional Power Interconnector

A financers’ conference for the 2,300km Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (ZTK) power interconnector concluded yesterday, where the three project countries presented their status of implementation report and financial requirements to potential funders to complete the remaining sections.

The ZTK is a $1.2 billion priority project of the tripartite group comprising COMESA, East Africa Community and Southern Africa Development Community as well as the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) under the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Africa Power Vision.

The project involves the construction of bidirectional high voltage power transmission lines and associated substations from Kabwe in Zambia through Tanzania and terminating at

Isinya in Kenya. The European Union under the 10th European Development Fund provided the initial financing of 4.4 million Euros for the preparatory activities of the project.

The Kenya section is fully financed and already under construction. Zambia’s requires $160m for the uncommitted parts and is already in advanced discussions with some financiers for its remaining sections. The World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have expressed interest to finance the Zambian sections. Tanzania is also in discussion with the World Bank and the French Development Bank (AFD) for $425m financing for the remaining parts.

In 2014, Energy Ministers from the three States signed an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding which required that each country build infrastructure within its boundaries. Further, it required the countries have in place a Project Management Unit with Zambia undertaking the overall coordination. The countries were also required to establish trading mechanisms. The Ministers set December 2018 as the date of its commissioning.

The ZTK seeks to interconnect the three countries and create a link between the Southern African Power Pool and the East African Power Pool making it possible to transmit power from Cape to Cairo. Upon completion, the project is expected to enhance electricity trade, improve security of electricity supply and foster social-economic development and regional integration.

At the opening of the financiers’ conference, the Vice President of Zambia Mrs. Inonge Wina said there could never be any meaningful development if African countries ignored investment in power generation. In a speech presented by the Minister in the office of the Vice President Sylvia Chalikosa, the Vice President said African countries should continue investing in power generation to promote development in the continent.

“This project will stimulate and support new investment in power generation, transmission, distribution and rural electrification infrastructure,” she said.

Zambia has constructed the first 400km 330 KV line from Pensulo to Kasama including the expansion of the substations which were commissioned in 2015, according to Zambia’s Energy Minister David Mabumba. In his statement at the Conference, the Minister urged cooperating partners to provide financing for the remaining sections in Zambia.

The NEPAD Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme Mr. Symerre Grey Johnson said lack of electricity in Africa remains one of the biggest barriers to the continent’s economic development and prosperity.

Mr. Johnson who also represented the COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya said Africa had immense green energy potential that could be economically exploited. Other speakers at the conference included the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet of Zambia, Mr. Chistopher Mvunga and Mr. Henry Karanja representing the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya.

Development partners supporting the ZTK project include the European Union, the Africa Development Bank, the World Bank and EU. Others are the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and European Investment Bank a(EIB), China’s First Overseas Infrastructure Development (COIDIC) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

ANC

WHY THE NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE

Speech delivered by the president of the ANC Veterans League at the National Consultative Conference-Dr Snuki Zikalala:

Former president of the ANC and of the RSA Thabo Mbeki, Members of the ANC National Executive Committee, Members of parliament, Minister and deputy minister,The broader community of elders and Veterans of the African National Congress, Alliance Partners, Church and Business leaders, SANCO, Student leaders, The Youth, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening.

It is a great honour for us as ANC Veterans to address this seminal gathering aimed at assisting to wrest our country from social and economic collapse and helping to save the soul of our glorious movement the ANC.

At our last conference of the Veterans League which was held in October this year, one of the important resolutions we took was to support the 101 ANC stalwarts and signatories’ quest for a National Consultative Conference.

It is only those who have decided to bury their heads in the sand who will refuse to confront reality, admit that society has turned its back on us. They are reluctant to admit that we have failed society by not delivering on our set objectives, that the ANC brand has been damaged and is now associated with corruption, gross negligence, arrogance and failure to uphold our constitutional values. They don’t acknowledge the urgent need for a National Consultative Conference.

The diagnostic report tabled at the ANC National Policy Conference as well as other reports presented for discussions, present a picture of an organization that has lost its moral compass.

But Comrades, let us not despair. It is not the first time that our glorious movement has been confronted with serious challenges such as these.

It is not the first time, when confronted with a political crisis, that the ANC has convened a National Consultative Conference

.

Let us recall that in October 1962, the ANC held its first consultative conference in Lobatse, in Botswana. The main objective was to re-organise itself and put structures in place that would continue with the underground work in the country and establish a strong leadership in exile.

In October 1969, the ANC held its second National Consultative Conference in Morogoro in Tanzania.

It was confronted with a crisis of unprecedented proportion. The infiltration of trained and armed cadres of the movement from Tanzania and elsewhere was particularly difficult. Some of the combatants were arrested and served sentences in Botswana. The Wange (Wankie) and Sipolilo campaigns and leadership crisis dominated the conference. What is instructive is that the leadership accepted constructive criticism.

In 1985, another trying time for the movement, the ANC, faced with a myriad of challenges, held its National Consultative Conference where it adopted the four pillars of the struggle and came out stronger, more focused and more resolute.

In 2017, with the political and economic crisis we find ourselves in, it compels us to undergo a thorough introspection as to what went wrong, why have we failed to implement our well researched policies and, do we have the right leadership in place. Also, did we employ skilled,

competent, incorruptible and dedicated bureaucrats capable of implementing our progressive policies.

It is now a painful fact that because of our arrogance and failure to implement our well researched policies, during the 2016 Local Government elections we lost Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg municipalities.

Strong predictions are that if we do not self-correct, if we do not humble ourselves, if we do not deal with corruption and deliver on our set objectives, come 2019, our support will likely drop to less than 47%.

The failure to implement the Public Protector’s State of Capture recommendations and the revelation of the Gupta Emails have further dented the image of our glorious movement and that of government.

On the economic front, we have been slapped with credit down grades and furiously racing towards junk status. Investors are holding back and not prepared to spend on new projects in South Africa.

Our unemployment rate has increased by 27.7% from 26.5 per cent in the previous period. 58 per cent of young people between the ages of 15 to 34 are jobless.

Crime has increased by 9.6% in 2016/17.

It is unacceptable and unprecedented we have such a high turnover of ministers and Directors General. Our cabinet has been reshuffled 11 times resulting in 126 changes to the executive.

Amadel’ukufa ka Tambo, the National Consultative Conference should not be viewed as an opposition to the ANC but as a consultative gathering of like minded citizens who have the interest of the country at heart and who are proposing solutions to our serious social and economic crisis.

This gathering should have a positive impact on the 54th elective conference of the ANC.

As veterans we are concerned that the current pre-occupation with leadership contest will prevent the conference from evaluating progress and adopting policies that will address the concerns of the people. We are equally concerned that we are recycling the same leaders who have failed society, some of whom do not meet the broad requirements of leadership.

Our leaders to be elected should have impeccable credentials. They should lead by example and be role models to ANC members and non-members. They should lead a life that reflects commitment to the strategic goals of the National Democratic Revolution. Not only should they be free from corrupt practices but must actively fight against corruption.

The road ahead is arduous, but the future is bright. We dare not linger and we dare not fail the South African society.

Amandla

Caucus Seeks to Integrate Land Linked Countries into Maritime Transport

Experts in port management, policy makers and financiers from across Africa began a two-day meeting in Zambia to explore how to reshape policy and harness the benefits that accrue from maximizing the comparative advantages of land linked countries.

Organized by the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), the meeting targets land linked countries as key facilitators of trade, investments and the development of the maritime sector in East and Southern Africa. Zambia’s Vice President Mrs. Inonge Wina opened the meeting.

PMAESA is an intergovernmental body comprising Port Authorities, Terminal Operators, government line ministries, logistics and maritime service providers drawn from 25 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa with 11 land-linked countries under its jurisdiction.

Addressing the delegates, PMAESA Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Ports Authority Mr. Gerson Bisey Uirab described land-linked countries as part of the architecture of the maritime sector which must be fully integrated.

“The maritime sector offers several opportunities and a future that can support the transformation of African economies,” Mr Uirab said. “However, this demands that the region develops a comprehensive view of what the maritime sector could be and what it could offer.”

He said the conference, whose theme is; ‘Raising the profile of land linked countries in the logistics and maritime value chains’ provides the opportunity to discuss this in detail and reshape the policy.

The PMAESA meeting has in recent years revised its approach to focus on the total value chain in response to global competition. According to Mr. Uirab, the aim is to address the needs of member countries, including the participation of the private sector to ensure greater collaboration.

Zambia’s Vice President commended the organizers for having the meeting in her land linked country for the first time in the history of PMAESA. This, she added shows that land linked countries like Zambia have been recognized for the key role they can play in maritime transport.

She said: “Hosting this important function is an endorsement of the need to be inclusive in world affairs and will help bridge the gap that landlocked countries face in accessing services of the blue economy.”

COMESA Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Dr Kipyego Cheluget said COMESA was proud to be associated with PMAESA and the 2017 Conference to address diverse issues under Maritime Transport and Logistics.

“I am convinced that solutions and strategies to take the subsector forward will be generated during the conference,” Amb. Cheluget said. “These solutions should essentially contribute towards sustainable transport systems and reduction in the cost of doing business for our region.”

The Head of the Development Bank of Southern Africa Mr Davies Pwele revealed that the institution will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PMAESA to become the preferred financier for the development of port infrastructure in Eastern and Southern Africa.

PMAESA was founded in 1973 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to promote and nurture best practices among sea ports and the logistical industry in general. It promotes the role and competitive advantage of dry ports and inland waterways within the region to drive intra-Africa trade and regional integration with the aim of reducing the cost of doing business.

Ignore the voice of veterans and stalwarts at your own peril-by Reverend Frank Chikane

Under the theme Saving the ANC for the Sake of South Africa’s Future, veterans and stalwarts of the party convened a national consultative conference (NCC) at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg, last weekend to deal with the debilitating challenges that are facing the ANC and the country.

The consultative conference brought together an important echelon of the leadership of our country from all nine provinces – people who can rightly be said to have been part of the front ranks of the pathfinders and midwives of the new South Africa for the past five decades.

As one delegate said, the conference represented the best of the cadres of the ANC who are committed to reclaiming the legacy of the ANC, which is being dragged through the mud by the dominant faction within the current elected leadership of the movement. They were also determined to send a clear message to delegates who will be at the ANC elective conference – that they should never vote into leadership those who are likely to continue on the current disastrous trajectory that is leading the ANC to its demise.

 

The conference also attracted scores of younger people from various generations, starting from the 1990s to the #FeesMustFall generation, who were energised by the vision and commitment of the veterans and stalwarts to save the ANC and the country. They helped with various tasks – logistical arrangements, recording, drafting of conference documents and so forth. They also participated in the discussions, such that, in the end, the consultative conference was more than just an assembly of veterans and stalwarts alone.

Participants discussed issues with the frankness and seriousness we last encountered in the ANC more than a decade ago. The discussions covered such areas as the role of civil society in the nation’s affairs, the perilous state of the ANC and what to do with it, the economic crisis and what to do with it, how to build a united nonracial society, strengthening the electoral system and arresting our seemingly permanent bumpy ride in the zone of constitutional crises.

There was neither the heckling nor the obscurantism and obfuscation we have become accustomed to in political gatherings over the years. I may dare add that not a single chair flew towards anybody who differed with another.

A young comrade in his early 40s later told me that of the many things that stood out about the discussions was the discernible honesty of the inputs, including the ones to which he was opposed. Those intimately familiar with ANC processes over the past decade will doubtlessly agree that sincerity is one of the elements we have sadly lost.

To underscore this point, a few people lost valuables such as cellphones, purses and wallets. Illustrative of the pedigree of the attendees, each one of the items were found and handed over to the presiding officers.

The NCC appraisal of the ANC and the state of the nation resonated with the concerns of ordinary people in the urban and rural areas. Its declaration decried the “betrayal of our people’s long-standing support and trust in the ANC”.

This followed the questions that had been raised in the keynote address at the formal opening dinner as to “how the ANC ended up being where it is” and “how was it possible for a revolutionary movement like the ANC to end up being captured to serve the interests of the few at the expense of the masses?”

The declaration also lamented the failure of the president, the executive and Parliament to discharge their constitutional obligations; the mismanagement of the economy, which has exacerbated already high levels of unemployment and poverty; the appalling state of the education system; and the moral degeneration overseen by a self-centred leadership devoid of honesty, integrity and a vision for the future.

It concluded that “the ANC has relinquished its leadership of society and plunged itself into an untenable political crisis”, and noted that this “represents a danger to all South Africans [committed to] justice and who desire rapid progress towards a better life for all”.

The fact that the elected leadership of the ANC officially decided to absent themselves from the consultative conference is therefore hardly surprising. We cannot expect those responsible for sowing the seeds of

the bitter fruit we are now forced to consume to tolerate such a critical and uncomfortable discussion.

This once again confirmed the truism that for their role in getting the ANC and the country to this unenviable space, the dominant faction within the leadership of the ANC is not going to allow the differently minded to influence it in another direction. The current state of rot is, without doubt, an opportunity to them. They need the chaos and impotence for them to profit illegally, as well as to protect their loot and ensure that they never go to jail for crimes some of them have committed.

A bitter and protracted struggle therefore awaits those, like the veterans and stalwarts who gathered at the NCC and the dominant faction in the ANC, unless, of course, the delegates of the ANC at the conference elected leaders with no baggage that will discredit the party and its commitment to radically change the lives of the people.

For example, the NCC declaration enjoins the stalwarts and veterans to work for the creation of an Organisational Renewal Commission to be adopted at the forthcoming elective conference of the ANC.

Among other things, the commission would assess the suitability of the elected leadership at all levels in line with the adopted documents, in particular Through the Eye of the Needle, and take urgent and practical steps to professionalise and modernise the ANC with priority being given to the membership system.

The test the newly elected leadership must pass is their willingness to hold a national consultative conference convened and led by it to clean up the mess within the organisation.

The NCC also called on the Integrity Commission to be turned into an independent constitutional structure of the ANC that can act outside the influence of elected officials and report directly to the national executive committee. This, it was felt, would ensure that the reports and recommendations of the commission become part of the solution of the challenges facing the organisation and are not suppressed, as has happened in the past year or so.

In a radical departure from the existing internal party electoral system, and to avoid the national executive committee (NEC) being captured as the Mangaung NEC was, the consultative conference called for a one

member, one vote system in the election of the NEC and to place a limit on the number of government deployees who serve on the NEC.

The conference stressed the need to root out corruption and singled out Eskom, SAA and the SA Revenue Service as three state entities that must be attended to as a matter of urgency. In this regard, it said that “s judicial enquiry must be set up urgently to investigate state capture and corruption that has served to undermine the ANC, and the culprits must be apprehended and prosecuted without unnecessary delays. Ill-gotten monies must be confiscated and used to fund developmental projects.”

The conference also called for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma, arguing that “he has let the ANC, our people and country down” and “brought the ANC into disrepute and violated [the Constitution of the republic]”. Personally, I suspect that everyone at the conference knew that the call would inevitably fall on deaf ears. Nevertheless, it was important to point out that this call was being made in the interest of the ANC and the country.

The question that has been asked since the NCC is, “where to after the conference?”

The task team of the veterans and stalwarts has decided on a two-phase strategy – a pre-elective conference and a post elective conference programme.

The focus before the elective conference will be on discussions with national officials of the organisation and its alliance partners; ensuring that the declaration of the consultative conference reaches all members of the NEC of the ANC, provincial and regional leadership, and branches of the ANC; encourage delegates who participated in the consultative conference from various provinces organise feedback sessions at provincial levels to ensure that delegates to the conference are well aware of issues of concern from the consultative conference; and enhance media engagements to strengthen the messaging to the rest of the people of South Africa.

The objective is to ensure that the resolutions in the declaration of the NCC find expression at the forthcoming elective conference of the ANC.

The focus after the elective conference will be on engagement with the newly elected leadership, and a push to have a second national consultative conference – convened by the elected leadership – to clean

up the movement and reposition it in a manner that can win the confidence of the masses of the people of South Africa again. This will also help in developing a turnaround strategy for the economy to better the lives of all the people of South Africa, especially the poor and disadvantaged.

The task team of the veterans and stalwarts also decided that the declaration of the NCC should be used, together with the The Eye of the Needle, to guide delegates to the elective conference to ensure that they do not elect leaders who are corrupt or compromised; or those who are captured and used to serve the interests of their factions, individuals and families rather than those of the people. Conference delegates must also ensure that nominated leaders who are supported by corrupt and compromised leaders and members of the ANC do not come close to the levers of power.

Aware that the consultative conference is but one way of addressing the challenges of the ANC and the country, the veterans and stalwarts will continue to engage society more broadly to ensure that the ANC is accountable, not only to itself but to society as a whole.

The veterans and stalwarts of the movement ended the consultative conference confident that the journey to turn the ANC and the country around had begun in earnest, and that its immediate success will depend on the choices delegates make at the elective conference. It is hoped that the elective conference will not disappoint. If it does, the people of South Africa will have to go back to the trenches of struggle to liberate the country from capture by corrupt individuals.

. Chikane is a church leader, a former director-general in the presidency and secretary of Cabinet, and is part of the ‘101 plus’ group of ANC veterans and stalwarts

Fedusa

FEDUSA Concerned about Eskom’s Financial Position 21 November 2017

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is concerned that global credit rating agency Fitch has placed Eskom on a Rating Watch Negative (RWN) as this may force the cash strapped state power  utility to apply for yet another tariff increase or lay-off workers on a large scale to stay afloat. RWN refers to the status that the credit-rating agencies gives Eskom while they are deciding whether to lower that company’s credit rating.  Moreover, Eskom has borrowed R355 billion from different institutions. The book value of equity as reported in the financial results for the year ended March 2017 is R175.9 billion. The debt-to-equity ratio is currently 2.0x.

FEDUSA is concerned that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) bought and holds almost R100 billion worth of Eskom bonds. On average, the coupon payable on the bonds held by the PIC is 7.9% per year.

The negative outlook comes as the country is on a knife edge as deep political uncertainty grows over what rating agencies will say about South Africa when announce the sovereign credit rating on Friday. The agencies have already downgraded South Africa to a sub-investment level or junk status. However speculation is rife that crediting rating agencies will put the announcement of another sovereign downgrading on hold until the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference in December.

“The RWN reflects our intention to reassess the strengths of Eskom’s with the government of South Africa (BB+/Stable) due to Eskom’s weakening liquidity and funding access partially stemming from unresolved governance issues, weak cash flows driven by lower than expected increases due to delays in implementing outstanding regulatory clearing account applications,” Richard Barrow, Fitch’s Principal Analyst said in statement.

Barrow said the key drivers for placing Eskom on a RWN were corporate governance and liquidity issues. It is argued that one in four South Africans or 26% will source their energy from Eskom by 2030, this will reduce the demand for electricity.

“Fitch understands Eskom began a recovery programme to address the findings relating to the qualified audit opinion in the 2017 annual results. The most recent CEO rotations and their increased frequency increases uncertainty about the continuity of the recovery plan. The programme has not yet provided confidence that the targets will be met despite our have been achieved understanding that the milestones set by the committees have been achieved at end – September improving corporate governance,” he said.

“Fitch expects the Minister of Public Enterprises to appoint a permanent Board before the end of November. Eskom has an interim Board on nine members rather than 15. Fitch expects the new Board to appoint permanent management”.

My fellow Zimbabweans, I am writing this letter and hope that all of you will read it and share it.

My days on this earth are numbered, but I know that once I am gone, you and your children will never forget about me.

I want you to understand that the reason I have stayed long in power, 36 years on, is because I want to empower all of you my fellow black Zimbabweans. No other president in the entire continent of Africa has done what I have done for you, but you continue to take me for granted.

Do you know that in the whole of Africa, Zimbabweans are the only blacks who own their land? We are the only blacks who own and run means of production, we own our own companies, our own land.

That is the true meaning of independence. Political and economic independence.

I have fought tooth and nail my entire political life to ensure that all of you have both political and economic independence.

I don’t hate white people, no, not at all. What I hate is their thinking that they are better than us, that they can just come to our country and take our resources and our land, and tell us what to do.

To that I say no.Today, I am happy that almost all the land is in black hands.

It is up to you to use the education I gave you to develop the land so it is productive so you can feed yourself.

One thing I am proud of is that I worked hard to ensure our natural resources and our land was given back to its rightful owners: you the black people of Zimbabwe.

Go to other countries in Africa. Right here just across he Limpopo, in South Africa, Mandela sold out and gave all the land and economy to the whites.

The blacks in South Africa will be slaves to white South Africans forever. As long as land is not in the hands of its rightful owners, the Africans, the black man will continue to suffer in his own land.

The real wealth is now in your hands, I wrestled it away from the white people who came to steal it from you. Yes, the world was angry at me and punished the whole country with sanctions, but I don’t care because I know I was doing the right thing. I was empowering my people. You.

Take care of the land and the industries I have you.

I did my part, the ball is now in your court. Do your part.

You will remember me and appreciate me for what I have done for you when I am gone.

Your president and leader

Africa for Africans.

Robert Gabriel Mugabe