IN CONVERSATION WITH BASETSANA KUMALO: CELEBRATING IIMBOKODO – AN INTERVIEW SERIES

South Africa marks the 2017 Women’s Month under the theme “The Year of OR Tambo: Women united in moving South Africa forward”. This month is dedicated to women as a tributeto the thousands of women who took part in the historic 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings against the pass laws of the oppressive apartheid government.

Women’s month a call to action for the current generation of women to continue the struggle towards the total liberation and empowerment of women.

ANC Today speaks prominent business woman Basetsana Kumalo, on the strides we have made and the most pressing challenges facing women in South Africa.

ANC Today: What are some of the key ingredients that have led to your success? 

Bassie: I was raised by incredible parents. My father was a bus driver, my mother was a teacher. We were an enterprising family that didn’t have much, but what we had was love. We were raised by God fearing & God loving parents. To a  great degree, that has defined who I am, and what I stand for.

It was my parents who also taught us from a very early age that young minds should not be idle, but also critically, that hard work has never killed anybody. When other kids were used to playing after school, my parents created opportunities to supplement the family income.

We never had time to play in the streets. We never had time to idle. We had a collective responsibility to help the family, supplement the income, so that we could have shoes on our feet, clothes on our back, roof over our heads, and education.

As such, I used to sell a tray of boiled eggs up and down our street. I sold sandwiches and ice cream. My dad would braai meat and my mother would prepare pap, and we would sell those at stadiums. I understood at an early age, growing up in the dusty streets of Soweto, that one had to work hard to be able to get yourself out of the environment.

My mother also got us involved in all sorts of extra-curricular activities. We were in the youth choir and entered beauty pageants. I won Miss Black South Africa in 1990 and Miss South Africa in 1994, a year after the black majority was “allowed” to enter Miss South Africa.

At the Miss World pageant in 1994, Basetsana was not the first runner up – South Africa was. It was a critical time of our country, new democracy, new generation, new dispensation, a new era. I understood the opportunity it presented to me that I needed to use the platform, not only as an ambassador of a new nation, but to inspire a new generation of young people.

Growing up in Soweto, under the apartheid was not easy. The system of the past had relegated some of us to be rebels. I decided to become a rebel with a cause. I decided that I will help rewrite the narrative about what a black girl child can achieve even under the system of the past.

ANC Today: In your view what are the key challenges faced by women in society today? 

Bassie: There are many challenges that women are facing in South Africa and  access to education is one of the most critical. Madiba said “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. A girl child, often does not have an opportunity to finish school and unfortunately when a girl child is not educated, she is already out of the system. If girls and women are not economically emancipated they are already out of the system. For me it is about waking up to a South Africa where a girl child is able to complete school.

At a given time, women also have to have children and build a family. That plugs you out of the economic mainstream. In your 20s, you go to school and get degrees. In your 30s, you are already in the work force, and it is in their 30s that women are having kids.  While you are on maternity leave and raising kids, somebody else is being promoted to take on a job that you were qualifying for.

To this day, women are still being paid less for the same job that men are doing. This needs to be addressed.

The numbers that speak to the upward mobility of women in the corporate sector are increasing at a snail pace. There is a pool of capable women that South Africa is not gleaning from, a pool of smart women who can help us fast track this economy, grow the economy, and make sure that this economic is sustainable.

We need men to really understand why women have to be equally empowered. When a society is progressive, when both men and women are working together to build a progressive society, that society becomes a winning nation. There have been really great strides made by government regarding gender parity, but it is not enough, so much more can still be done by government, civil society and business.

As a business woman, I made a conscious decision to predominantly employ women, 90% of my staff are women. It is only when we lift each other up that we can succeed. We have a collective responsibility to pull each other up and rise. I want to urge women to make a conscious decision and employ a girl child, and give them an opportunity.

We need to raise strong boy children. We need to raise decent men in our own homes. We should raise them so that they can respect women.

We live in a country currently where the rate of femicide is deplorable, women and children are being raped, murdered everyday.  We have been too silent for too long.

I recently launched a campaign “Not in my name! Count Me In” . Such campaigns must be run for 365 days of a year, because often times, when the headlines have stopped, when a Karabo has been buried, everybody seems to have moved on with their lives. When we hear someone being abused in the hood, you raise the volume in your car higher so that you don’t hear it. You are a co-perpetrator if you don’t speak out and report what you see in your environment.

I still believe that there’s hope, but it is going to take everybody, collectively, to bring the change forward

ANC Today:  Looking back over an illustrious career, if you had an opportunity to speak to your younger self, what advice would you give her? 

Bassie: This is what I would tell Basetsana Makgalemele – “You have inner strength, ability, intellect and are somebody in the society.”

The system of the past sought to relegate us to people that we would never amount anything, so I became a rebel with a course. When I was young, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to become, but I knew for sure, that I never wanted to be poor. I knew for sure, I wanted to be educated and make my parents proud.

I would tell my younger self that be brave, have courage, stand up for yourself, own your voice, work hard and have a bit of fun.

ANC Today: Critics say nothing much has been done for women in the past 23 years of this government, what has been your experience? 

Bassie: I commend this government for the work it has done with regards to gender parity. In 1994, when the ANC came into power to lead a new nation, a third of the cabinet was women, that alone said that this government is serious about taking the course of women forward. In 2017, parity is there. We are sitting at 50% of parliamentarians from the governing party if not more being women.

The polices are there – be it gender equality, Black Economic Empowerment, Employment Equity. Regulation is what will change the trajectory. The private sector must be held accountable, named and shamed where, for example, boards have no representation of women.

Much more still needs to be done, especially with key portfolios. We want to see women in key portfolios and not relegated into softer portfolios. Corporate South Africa has an equal responsibility to ensure that women are given the fair opportunity to lead the JSE listed companies.

I had the privilege about 10 years ago to be the President of the Business Women Association, we used to do a survey every year. The survey seeks to track the upward mobility of women in corporate South Africa and in government.  The statics are disconcerting when you see the trend of were women seat.

In Corporate South Africa, approximately only 11.9% of CEO and Chairpersons are women. That is not good enough. Only 22% of executive directors and 29% executive management are women. Women make up more than half of the population in South Africa. Gender parity is very key.

We live in an incredible country, we have our own challenges. However, equally so, we all have a collective responsibly to take this country forward. It is through the collaboration and working of both men and women in this country that we can be able to move South Africa forward.

Government needs to be lauded and applauded, that they have really taken forward the call to empower women. The battle is not won yet. We have to work together to take this country forward.

ANC Today:  If you were to be a President for a day, what would you do? 

Bassie: I would want to wake up to a country where there is no more violence and rape of women and children. I would want to wake up to a country where women and children are treated equally. Violation, rape and murder of women and children had ended, that is a country I want to live in and would work tirelessly to achieve.

ANC CANNOT ASSOCIATE ITSELF WITH CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS – ZIZI KODWA 

Photo Credit: Greg Nicholson

Photo Credit: Greg Nicholson

Staff Reporter

“ANC cannot associate itself with corrupt individuals. The ANC is incorruptible” this is what the ANC National Spokesperson, Comrade Zizi Kodwa had to say to News24 in an exclusive interview at the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg earlier this week.

Speaking on the work that Parliament is doing through the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises to  “investigate the cancer of state capture in relation to Eskom”, Kodwa said “We support the work done by Parliament…that investigation must be extended where possible, to investigate allegations of looting and corruption in other State Owned Companies (SOCs)”

“We need to bring back stability and restore people’s confidence. Parliament must do their work without fear or favour” Kodwa added.

Asked about the role of law enforcement agencies must play in aking these allegations seriously and investigating them, Kodwa said “Law enforcement must act without fear or favour, regardless of the position people hold, they must act.  If we are to be true to ourselves in dealing with corruption and allegations of corruption, we must deal with tigers and flies, equally. We must not just be quick to act when it comes to officials, who become scapegoats. We must deal with even senior leaders, those who hold senior positions, even at executive level” Kodwa added.

“The sooner law enforcement agencies act and act decisively, the better. Not just for the ANC, but for the country”

“People elected the leadership of the ANC to manage the public pursue, they bestowed upon us their confidence, we dare not fail. We must not take that for granted” the National Spokesperson said

Asked to reflect on the increased calls on action against Guptas, the National Spokesperson was emphatic in his response that  “the ANC distances itself from any shenanigans done by the Guptas. They’ve got nothing to do with the ANC. We have no branch called Guptas. Anybody who is implicated, be it a member or leader of the ANC, can explain for themselves”

“We are looking forward to the establishment of  judicial commission to investigate these claims. Our view is that it should have been established as in yesterday, because the sooner we establish that credible institution led by a retired judge, the better for all of us”

“The commission must investigate everybody. It must have the power to subpoena everybody. We have to get to the depth of these allegations” Kodwa added. “A single allegation made against a member or a leader of the ANC, it damages the ANC. The more we don’t act on these allegations, the further the damage. That is why, we want to see action”

Speaking ahead of the party’s NEC Lekgotla this weekend, the Secretary General of the ANC, Comrade Gwede Mantashe, has said that fighting corruption is expected to feature prominently on the discussions to be held over the course of the three day meeting.

OR TAMBO REPRESENTS THE BEST OF THE ANC – MANTASHE 

mantashe-gwedeStaff Reporter

“President Oliver Tambo embodied be values of the ANC. He represents the best of the ANC” ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in Auckland Park

The Secretary General was speaking to the SABC following its simultaneous #ORTambo100 Special Broadcast on no less than four (4) National Radio Stations yesterday.

The broadcast initiated by the SABC, launched the 100 days countdown to President Oliver Tambo’s birthday on October 27. Had President Oliver Tambo lived longer, he would have been turning 100 years on that date.

The longest serving President on the ANC, President Oliver Tambo “had a Christian background and a very deep commitment as a revolutionary” Mantashe quoted Comrade Pallo Jordan who also formed part of the panel on the radio broadcast.

“He loved freedom for others, not for himself” Mantashe added.

Asked about the lessons that we can learn from a leader such as President Oliver Tambo, Mantashe said “We learn that being in a position must never take away humility from you. You must always be responsive to the issues people raise”

“If people have concerns, don’t defend yourself. Confront their concerns and address them. You must always sacrifice what is dear to you for the betterment of the lives of the people” he added.

A committed President Oliver Tambo never did things “halfheartedly”. Like he did, “As a leader, put your all in what you do for the people” the Secretary General of the governing party said.

“We must talk more about him (President OR Tambo), so that future generations can learn about him” Mantashe added.

Asked about state capture, the Secretary General gave a stern response that “State Capture is cancer that needs to be dealt with”.

“We are very determined to deal with state capture and correct it. Resources of the state must go where they are needed. They must never be channeled to other programmes that have nothing to do with serving the people” Mantashe added.

“Ours is the preparedness to serve not to benefit” Mantashe

Asked about the state of the economy, Mantashe said “Projections are that we will get a very moderate growth this quarter, meaning, we will break the recession at least. Then we can deal with the credit downgrading that has seen us being rated as junk status”

“The economy must be sector based. Sectors must pay particular attention and perform individually. It is a collection of sectors that will take us to a growth trajectory” he added.

Speaking on the upcoming ANC NEC Lekgotla, Mantashe said “The Lekgotla of the ANC, must put details on what should be done to turn the economy around and create employment”

“We must strive for humility, selflessness, commitment to serve, like President OR Tambo did” Mantashe concluded

ICC NOT THE ONLY INSTRUMENT FOR BALANCING JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION

edna-molewaBy Edna Molewa
The decision taken by  the Pre Pre-Trial chamber of International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier this month that South Africa violated its legal obligations to the Court in failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015; vindicates the ANC’s position that South Africa should withdraw from the ICC.

The court was in essence forcing South Africa to choose between carrying out its obligations in terms of the Rome Statute – and arresting a sitting Head of State whilst he was attending a Summit as a guest of the African Union: a decision with far-reaching and potentially disastrous foreign policy implications.

Far from being praised for our efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, South Africa would have been regarded as having been a ‘player’ in the conflict – with consequences for our peacekeepers in Sudan, and for the country as a whole.

The ANC reiterates its commitment to multilateralism as a means to advance the aims and objectives of the UN Charter on Human Rights. However, justice is a universal ideal, and does not only apply to some.

In 1998 the South African government ratified the Rome Statute in good faith; optimistic the court would act impartially and in the best interests of all nations.

 

Unfortunately, this has not proven to be the case- as the ICC selectively pursues justice; with external actors imposing sanctions over signatory countries in line with a Statute they themselves are not subject to. These instances of political interference can no longer be ignored.

With regards to not only Sudan but all societies embroiled in or emerging from conflict; questions must be asked.

Firstly, as to whether arresting President al-Bashir would have been in the best interests of Sudan. Secondly, whether the ICC is the only means by which one may balance the need for justice, peace and reconciliation.

On the first point; the ANC is committed to be part of the solution in Sudan: a solution where the needs, hopes and aspirations of the people of Sudan come first.

 

South Africa is involved in peacekeeping missions in several countries, including Sudan, and is also ‘actively involved in ensuring that the fragile peace process underway in Sudan and South Sudan holds- in the interests of the peoples of those sovereign states.’

President Zuma has met with warring factions in the region on a number of occasions, where they expressed to him that there could be no solution to the conflict in Sudan without involving the National Congress Party, and President al-Bashir.

There have recently been small but positive signs that peace may be coming to Sudan. Last week President al-Bashir extended the four-month long ceasefire currently in place in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan in ‘as part of the government’s initiative to bring peace to Sudan.’

This month the United States administration is expected to announce whether it will lift a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan; as the six-month review period expires.

In January the outgoing Obama administration had issued an executive order ‘to permanently repeal a range of sanctions’ against Khartoum, citing that government’s efforts to improve regional security.

Any improvement in bilateral relations between the US and Sudan, as well as with the other countries of the continent would not be foreseeable without the Sudanese government.

On the matter of whether the ICC is the only viable instrument of pursuing international justice, the ANC has been clear that we will continue to urge government to enter into multilateral and bilateral negotiations with African countries to expedite the reform of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

This is in addition to supporting other regional tribunals ‘to ensure that serious crimes against humanity can be promptly and efficiently tried by these bodies.’

An example is the community-based gacaca courts set up in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide. The The Special Court for Sierra Leone, set up in 2002 to try those accused of war crimes, is another example.

 

The most notable example is South Africa itself. Upon attaining democracy, we could have chosen the Nuremburg Trial route – but instead opted for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

 

With regards to Sudan itself, there were calls made around 2009 for the AU to assist with the establishment of a local tribunal to be established to deal with abuses committed in the Darfur region.

These regional tribunals align with the ANC’s International Relations policy priorities that are informed by amongst other things, our endorsement of Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU): of “an integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa… driven by its own citizens…”

The ICC decision, although widely expected, is regrettable. The ANC government’s decision to withdraw from the ICC remains, and is in line with various party resolutions; reaffirmed during the recent National Policy Conference.

 

It is the people of Sudan who stand to lose the most if the region once again descends into warfare. Executing the arrest warrant would have scuppered any chances for peace in Sudan.

EDNA MOLEWA IS CHAIRPERSON OF THE ANC INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE

 

USE MANDELA DAY TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN – GWEDE MANTASHE

mantashe-gwedeStaff Reporter

“We must reclaim our streets. That should be the commitment of the Mandela Day” ANC Secretary General, Comrade Gwede Mantashe urged community workers in Oranjeville, Metsimaholo Location, in Free State today, 18 July 2017.

In marking the International Nelson Mandela Day, the Secretary General visited the Oranjeville Community and visited households with elderly persons, disabled persons, and a Primary School.

Addressing community workers at a local community hall, the Secretary General spoke at length on the fight against femicide and unity of the organisation.

“Unless street committees are formed, our women will be abused, killed and they will stay in fear. It is this the community that can save our women from femicide and rape. Form street committees to protect your women and children” Mantashe said.

Speaking on unity, Mantashe started off by quoting President Nelson Mandela “People are taught to hate, but, we can teach them to love, because love comes more natural to a human being”

“It is our duty to remind ourselves to love each other. We must love ourselves even if there are Conferences. Contesting a position, does not make those in contestation enemies” Mantashe added.

Deepening unity remains the primary objective of the ANC, as declared in the 2017 January 8th statement. ANC Secretary General emphasised on the importance of fostering unity within the ANC. “Unity is very important, particularly today when the ANC is so divided. We are divided to the point of hating each other” Mantashe said.

“If you see mistakes of a Comrade, you must be part of finding a solution to help him, not to destroy him. This 67 minutes must used it for that. We are members of the ANC, we belong together. We may have different views. Historically, ANC explains that diversity of views is the source of strength” Mantashe added.

Coming from the 05th National Policy Conference, where robust debates took place on policies and heading towards the 54th National Conference, which will adopt policies, Mantashe said “We have a duty to convince each other with the logic of argument”

Mantashe warned against classifying Comrades with different views as enemies. “If we become enemies, you will see what is happening in KZN and spreading to the Eastern Cape lately, of Comrades when they disagree, they go to an extent of killing each other. That is un-ANC” Mantashe said.

“ANC is under siege, attacked by enemies. If we are divided, our enemies will come amongst us and divide us further. It must not be easy to take a public platform and insult your Comrade” Mantashe added.

In concluding his address, the Secretary General spoke on ethical behavior of Comrades. “Our people are expecting us to behave ethically. If we don’t, we disappoint them. They feel betrayed. That is why it becomes important for us to put the highest standards of behavior” Mantashe said.

“If we can have justice to fore and friend, we are not going to want to destroy one another, but, we are going to support each other” Mantashe concluded.

LOVE, RESPECT, HONESTY, SERVICE & HARD WORK MAKE A GOOD LEADER: ANC TG TELLS YOUNG WOMEN 

zweliStaff Reporter

Addressing young women leaders at the Ernst & Young (EY) NextGen leadership camp earlier this week, the ANC Treasurer General, Comrade Zweli Mkhize urged the young women to believe in themselves and understand that they are the “masters of their own destinies” and their own futures.

The NextGen programme, is aimed at empowering young women of high school age to reach their full potential and become future entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Speaking of the programme, the ANC Treasurer General said, “We expect that this contribution by EY in helping you to build yourselves is something that over a period, will bear the fruits through the kind of growth and leadership that you will attain, that will make South Africa a much better country that all of us, who are older, would have ever imagined”

“Your role is to shape the future of our country and the future of all the children of South Africa because of the contribution that you are going to make” Dr Mkhize added.

On a much casual note, Dr Zweli Mkhize urged the young women to set their priorities straight. “Boyfriends cannot be your first priority. You must define your relationship with your boyfriend. It shouldn’t be an economic relationship, but emotional relationship. Don’t allow yourselves to be physically abused, simply because he supports you”

The Treasurer General then used the opportunity to teach the young women about being a good leader by identifying love, respect, honesty, service and hard work as the most important attributes of a good leader.

“When speaking about love, I’m not talking arrogance, but love. Look after yourselves and make sure that you do things that will make you a good person. If you love yourself, you can then love your family, community & country. Most important is to love the people of your country and your country” Mkhize said. “Respect yourself. Others will respect you because you respect yourself. People copy, they do exactly what you do to yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, they simply won’t respect you”

Comrade Mkhize emphasised honestly as being of utmost importance in a leader. “A sense of responsibility is based on being honest, so that people can trust you. Honesty will make you a better leader” Dr Mkhize said.

Speaking on service, Dr Mkhize reiterated that “Umuntu, umuntu ngabantu” and that being a servant is about improving the life of humanity. “Others are better humans because of the service you will render. Serving humanity is the top most honour that society can give you. When you are in a position, you need to understand that it is not about bullying other individuals, but about you serving people. If you are a leader, you must know that your first priority of to serve people” Dr Mkhize added.

“If you want a bright future, you work for it. If want to be an important person, you must work hard. Hard work is the answer or key to success. You cannot lead anyone if you are not hardworking yourself. If you don’t work hard, you can’t tell others to work hard, because you need to lead by example. Anywhere you go, hard work is the way to go”.

“Hard work is what you must learn as a culture, wake up and read, study and do your work. Hard work is what will make you the best leaders that this country needs” Mkhize added.

Concluding his address the, Treasurer General cautioned the young women against being affected by “things that can be prevented”. “Don’t allow yourselves to be disturbed by unplanned pregnancy. You can’t allow yourselves to be disturbed by getting into crime and substance abuse” Dr Mkhize concluded.

 

THE MINING CHARTER: MARKET FORCES WILL NOT DELIVER ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION

yonelaBy Yonela Diko

In October 2015, the Nelson Mandela Foundation invited the rock star economist, Thomas Piketty, a man who – true to his Rock Star Status – is independent and brutally frank, like someone who knows his name is carved in the books of history even if he never sell another speech. In that gathering he outlined to a captive audience why he thinks South Africa is still so dramatically unequal – and suggested a few things that can be done about it.

Piketty began with the jarring claim that Europe’s success in reducing inequality had more to do with violence than market forces.

“It is due, to a large extent to the very violent shocks of the first World War, the Great Depression, World War 2 and, most importantly, to the new social policies, welfare state policies, new fiscal policies [and] progressive taxation that were finally accepted by the elites after these violent shocks […] which put strong pressures on the elite in western countries to accept reforms, which until 1914 and World War 1 were refused,”.

Then Piketty drew parallels with South Africa. ‘If you look at the South African wealth data, especially within the top 1%-5%, it will be up to 80% white, so although things have changed a little bit, we are still very much with the same structure of racial inequality that we used to have. So now how can we make progress?”, Piketty asked.

While Piketty refrained from saying so explicitly, the implication seemed to be that South Africa needs its own violent shocks to force the issue.

Then Pickety went for the kill. “I think it’s fair to say that black economic empowerment strategies, which were mostly based on voluntary market transactions […] were not that successful in spreading wealth. So I think we need to think again about more ambitious reforms,” he said.

After that Piketty Lecture, South Africa’s former finance minister Trevor Manuel said, ”while we all know Piketty is right, no one – not the South African government, not big business, not the economic elites – is in a hurry to implement his ideas”.

To be frank, this was a disappointing response from Manuel. Here was an opportunity presented by a world renowned economist who the markets cannot ignore, telling us that South Africa will never break the back of inequality until it employs some violent shocks into its system. Piketty was effectively saying the market forces will never deliver to us our transformation agenda, which is is both morally and surprisingly, economically correct.  A 2012 World Bank report on South Africa traced the differences in life opportunities for South African children and unsurprisingly found large differences based on race, gender, location and household income.

It is a fact that South Africa’s income inequality has hardly changed despite the introduction of social transfers that now reach 17 million poor South Africans. Inequality remains high, partly because the number of jobs created over the past 23 years barely kept pace with growth in the labor force

Thanti Mthanti, Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, in his article titled ”Systemic racism behind South Africa’s failure to transform its economy”, published on 2 February 2017 on the Wits website, echoes Piketty’s sentiments about the lack of transformation, particularly in the business sector and the failure of black economic empowerment by government.

”Transformation rules and the interests of informal racist agents have proved to be incompatible. As a result, whites have used racism to crush the perceived threat to their property rights. They are able to attain their goals since the ownership and control of listed companies and banks is highly concentrated in their hands. They are able to use their oligarchic power – and grand corruption – to maintain the status quo. They stifle black advancement and also engage in grand corruption, by falsifying their empowerment scores to get large construction tenders, banking and mining licences. In this way, they subvert black advancement and entrepreneurship. White oligopoly power is so effective in marginalising blacks because it has one or two friends in the ANC government’, Mthanti says.

Mthathi then accused the governing party for not enforcing its own transformation or land distribution laws. Instead, he says, sometimes ANC uses state power to protect white oligarchs.

But is this true. Is the government not enforcing its own transformation laws?

The recent actions by Minister Zwane may well be said to be a government finally awakening to it’s lacklustre approach to enforcing its transformation laws and business’s tendency to fight these transformation aspirations. There are two contentious aspects that arise out of the charter Minister Zwane has released. The first is the 30% black ownership target as well as the “continuing consequences” principle, often referred to as “once empowered, always empowered”.

Although the attack is on Zwane, simple because of his rather unfortunate dealings, Thebe Thabani takes us further back to March 2015, when former mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi was due to release the 10-year review of the first mining charter that had expired in 2014. This was put on hold to allow the parties to seek a declaratory court order to clarify the issue of ownership. At that time, the markets went on a free fall, with mining stocks plummeting, again just to assess whether transformation was taking place seemed to be incompatible with the interests of informal racist agents.

Now, 13 years later, a target of only four percentage points higher has a similar effect. What is to be done?

Piketty, who has nothing to gain or lose told us that black economic empowerment strategies, which were mostly based on voluntary market transactions, were not that successful in spreading wealth. So he thinks South Africa needs to think again about more ambitious reforms.

26% to 30% is not even ambitious. We must therefore tell government that without enforcing these BBBEE targets and without ambitious programmes of change, the social tinder is going to explode.

The ANC Policy Conference held in Narec, south of Johannesburg seemed aware of its weaknesses concluding that in order for the ANC to give meaning its radical posture, the centre needed to hold. It would be a sign of weakness if ANC became excessively negotiable with monopolies and their race posture, monopolies that clearly did not support ANC resolutions. The ANC government must commit to its own resolutions and support ministers and public servants who were implementing them.The dream cannot be differed indefinitely

THE MINING CHARTER THAT NEVER WAS

By Nkosana Mbokane
There was a great excitement in the progressive world when the Mining Charter was announced. In the same vein there was great unhappiness within the Mining Industry about the Mining Charter. This is fine because in a democratic state people’s views differ and that is how democracy works. Those that feel aggrieved when they have money they can go to court. What about those who have no money but are likely to benefit from the changes being proposed, obviously they are on the losing end, because we know in South Africa the courts are accessible mainly to those who have a lot of money. Whether those in power denies this or not it is a reality of our situation.
The ANC made a few resolutions in the discussion document on Economic Transformation adopted in Mangaung, and one of the resolutions says that in order to advance economic transformation we need “To transform the mining sector with the aim of widening the benefits of South Africa’s abundance of minerals, including the creation of safe and decent work on the mines as well as benefits for near-mine local communities, as well as give particular focus to mineral beneficiation.”
So in 2012 the ANC resolved that Mining must be transformed, and in 2017 a true transformational charter is created and there is an outcry about it, which is to be expected from those who owns the mines because the charter’s adoption and implementation will mean they will have to share the spoil of the mines with black people. It was strange that some people in the progressive movement including some in the ANC did not accept the Mining Charter with open arms. Maybe the mining lobby groups got to the progressive people, unfortunately the poor black masses could not get into the people who are against the charter and who should actually be supporting it.
According to an American survey done 5 years ago South Africa’s total mining reserves were estimated to be worth R20.3 trillion. The same survey estimated that South Africa is the fifth largest mining sector in the world in terms of the GDP, In particular Gold, Diamonds, Platinum & palladium, chromium, coal and uranium.
The historians’ state that mining in South Africa started in 1867 with the discovery of diamond in the Orange River. The mine ownership was opened only to the colonisers who fought over the land and the minerals, while the indigenous people were being used as mine workers and slaves to the mine owners.
So if we make a statement that black people were not allowed access to the ownership of mines immediately after democracy, then we can safely say that the R20.3 trillion has been shared and continues to be shared amongst the whites and this has been like that for more than 127 years. The Mining Charter was merely opening better access than what was done immediately after 1994.
The proposed charter was a small improvement on the old charter. Yet, there is an outcry by the Mining industry, my question is this, is it correct that the minerals must continue to benefit those that have been benefiting for the past 130 years? According to the Chamber of Mines the mining industry has contributed the following to the country:
· Created one million jobs (500 000 direct and 500 000 indirect).
· Accounts for about 18% of GDP (8.6% direct, 10% indirect and induced).
· Is a critical earner of foreign exchange at more than 50%.
· Accounts for 20% of investment (12% direct).
· Attracts significant foreign savings (R1.9-trillion or 43% of value of JSE).
· Accounts for 13.2% of corporate tax receipts (R17-billion in 2010) and R6-billion in royalties.
· Accounts for R441-billion in expenditures, R407-billion spent locally.
· Accounts for R78-billion spent in wages and salaries.
· Accounts for 50% of volume of Transnet’s rail and ports.
· Accounts for 94% of electricity generation via coal power plants.
· Takes 15% of electricity demand.
· About 37% of the country’s liquid fuels via coal.
This is how important this sector is to the South African economy, and it is currently and mainly still under the ownership of the minority. Now those crying foul are basically saying that they are the only ones who deserve the access to the ownership of these mines. How can that be correct in a country where the majority were excluded from even owning land in the country of their birth? What is the meaning of radical economic transformation when a Minister is doing what seems like an effort to radically transform the mining sector and some in the progressive movement are siding with the long term beneficiaries of this sector instead of siding with the poor and the mining communities who will become bigger beneficiaries of this charter?
The ANC in the Legislature and Governance document adopted in Mangaung in 2012, says that “Advancing the NDP requires that we exploit to the maximum the strategic levers that are available to the state, such as, Legislation and regulations (e.g. MPRDA); licensing (e.g. Mining, Water and Environment); BBBEE and Transformation Charters; National budget and Procurement; State-owned Companies and Development Finance Institutions; Government programmes for redistribution such as Land Reform. However, the State has not fully utilise these strategic levers to influence the behaviour of the private sector – to effectively transform the economy and society.”
The statement above is reflected on the ANC more when it was alleged that they had summoned the minister to Luthuli House. The ANC realised long time ago that the state has not been fully able to utilise its influence to effectively transform the economy and society. All efforts to transform the economy and society will continue to fail until the ANC-led government realises that it is absolutely critical to have that power of influence to ensure that everyone is on board with changes, and everyone understands why it is important to transform the economy. This charter was a great opportunity for the state and the ANC to engage the Mining sector and explain why this was necessary, and attempt to influence instead of agreeing to be influenced.
It is common knowledge that this Charter has been going back and forth for many years and finally the work of ensuring a representative ownership within the Mining is found and comrades are retreating. It is very important for the leadership in government and in the ANC to be seen to be acting on their words. Supporting all efforts that attempts to peacefully and legally change the trajectory of the poor majority. Radical economic transformation has many, many enemies. Those enemies are going to use every available reason to prevent economic transformation from taking place. The progressive movement must prepare themselves for a long and painful fight to ensure that promises made to those who voted for the ANC are kept even if it means going against the monopoly capital flow.
It is my hope and wish that the Mining charter issues will be resolved for the benefit of the mining communities and mining workers. Everyone was in agreement with the previous charter that proposed 26% black ownership. I just don’t understand why the additional 4% ownership is not acceptable, the increase is from 26% to 30%. The charter proposes benefit for the mining communities, and mining workers and that must be encouraged. The ANC-led government will need to learn to fight for what they believe in, and to use their power of influence when engaging the private sector, and not allow itself to be easily intimidated and coarse by those with their own agendas.
Nkosana Mbokane is a former ANC branch leader, former regional ANC YL leader, former Sectional Commander of the Self Defence Units. He is a businessman with over 20 years’ experience in Information Technology, construction, government policy development, broadcasting & telecommunications, corporate strategy development, enterprise risk management, and corporate governance. He is currently the CEO of TechnoChange Solutions a successful black owned ICT Company, and holds an MBA degree with a distinction in corporate strategy. 

MOVE TO STRENGTHEN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AD1Staff Reporter

Measures to ensure local councils are better resourced and capacitated received particular attention during a commission on Legislature and Governance at the ANC National Policy Conference (NPC) currently underway at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg.

Among the issues raised was the need to expand the powers of local and district municipalities to enable them to better provide services and infrastructure.

The commission deliberated on proposals contained in the NPC discussion documents, which have formed the basis for branch discussions over the last few months. According to the discussion document: “Local Government sphere is the most critical sphere of government in the delivery of government infrastructure investment and services to communities. Municipal space is the shared and most contested space by various government agencies, national and provincial departments.”

The commission dedicated much time to identifying solutions to the challenges at local level, challenges with existing funding models and allocation of existing. Another area discussed was the need to strengthen the capacity of councillors to effectively undertake their responsibilities and to professionalise the public service.

Drawing on the policy discussion document, the commission emphasised the centrality of coordinated planning and execution of ANC policies.

While the national Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has put in place monitoring and evaluations frameworks that enable the state to measure its impact and identify shortcomings, the practice of integrated planning has not taken root across all spheres of government.

The commission thus considered  mechanisms to ensure that legislatures in all spheres are more effective in advancing the ANC’s electoral mandate, holding the executive to account and ensuring public representatives are more responsive to the needs and views of the people.

The recommendations of the commissions on legislature and governance which are expected to include enhancing the developmental role of state owned enterprises, improving public management and public finance capabilities, rooting out corruption and wastage, and enhancing the role of traditional leaders, will be presented to the Conference plenary for discussion and adoption.

ADVANCING ICT ACCESS KEY TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, COMMS COMMISSION TOLD

JM1Staff Reporter 

South Africa’s readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the transformation of the broadcasting and print space, and the facilitation of the entry of new players into the media industry.

These were among the issues under discussion in the commission on Communications and the Battle of Ideas in the National Policy Conference (NPC) of the ANC currently underway at Nasrec , south of Johannesburg.

The commission, chaired by Comrade Jackson Mthembu, focused on strategic issues to be prioritized if South Africa is to fully reap the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The role of social media as a powerful global tool for the dissemination of information was also under discussion; with an acknowledgement by delegates that technological advancements have forever altered the political and electoral landscape.

The delegates also discussed the positioning of ICT as an enabler of economic activity across all sectors, and that in positioning South Africa as a key player, policy cohesion and seamless integration is critical.

To this end, the Commission expressed itself on the impact and desirability of separate Ministries charged with the responsibility of advancing various aspects of the ICT agenda, these being the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications.

Failure of self-regulation by the print media came under sharp focus as evidenced by the withdrawal of the Independent Group and The New Age from the Ombudsman.

The Commission also expressed strong support for the establishment of a specialized University focusing on developing high level ICT skills that will develop citizens adequately.