This News Flash casts a spotlight on private sector practices in South Africa – from MultiChoice, to Naspers, to SAP, to Steinhoff – we are well aware of the prevalence of corruption in our state institutions, but our private sector has been allowed to point fingers for some time. It is positive that mismanagement and corruption is being revealed and practices questioned across the board.
In this second edition of our weekly analysis covering the ANC Elective Conference, our consulting analyst Dr Ivor Sarakinsky, in a piece entitled The Chasm between Electoral and Nomination Processes, explores how although Cyril Ramaphosa may be ahead in the branch nominations, he may well end up in the cold. For the previous article in the series, The New ANC Leader to Inherit a Poisoned Chalice, follow the link.
- Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. This has been met with an international backlash. The decision throws peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians into contention as the US was supposed to be the coordinator in these negotiations. Giving Jerusalem to Israel, a major point of dispute, would indicate that the US has picked a side.
- In an attempt to avoid a government shutdown, Senate and the House of Representatives have come to a compromise over the tax bill. There are concerns that this tax overhaul will contribute $1trillion to the federal deficit over a decade and that it relieves the wealthy rather than aiding the poor.
- Jerome Powell, President Trump’s nominee to take over from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, had a confirmation hearing in Senate last week. He spoke of continuity with Janet Yellen’s monetary policy, assuming he were to receive approval from Senate.
- Ex-senior White House aide Michael Flynn cut a plea deal with the special committee investigating Russian involvement in Trump’s election campaign.
- A Brexit agreement has been reached, the details of which are in the process of being published.
- Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s Social Democrats are holding a party convention today to test support for entering a new coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel, with many rank-and-file members of the party remaining unconvinced of the merits of the idea.
- Steinhoff international lost more than 82% on the JSE after CEO Markus Jooste stepped down amidst accusations of accounting irregularities. As this story unfolds, further major concerns will emerge around corporate governance , board accountability and the role of independent auditors.
- Naspers, the holding company of MultiChoice and South Africa’s largest contributing share to the JSE ALSI, is under investigation after it was found that MultiChoice was making seemingly corrupt payments to ANN7, the Gupta run news station. For information follow the link to an interview News 24 had with Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk.
- Going against the trend, South African trade balance showed that a surplus of R4.48bn in September rose to R4.56bn in October. This was well above the consensus of a deficit of -R1.0bn.
- In the third quarter of 2017, South African GDP growth impressed on the upside growing by 2% on the back of the agriculture sector.
- To remind ourselves of hope and that there are many individuals fighting a better South Africa, follow the link for Peter Hain’s speech to British House of Lord’s regarding the Gupta’s.