Author Archives: Abdul Waheed Patel

20 changes to South Africa’s Cabinet: All You Need To Know


(Picture courtesy of: New24 and Eye Witness News)

In the late hours of the evening of 30 March 2017, the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa issued an alert that it would make an announcement related to changes to the National Executive.

Just after midnight on 31 March 2017, the Presidency issued a statement announcing President Jacob’s Zuma’s appointment of 10 new Cabinet Ministers and 10 new Deputy Ministers.

In an unprecedented move, President Jacob Zuma effected 20 sweeping changes to his Cabinet citing the need to “improve efficiency and effectiveness” and “bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise” as his reasons.

In total 5 former Cabinet Ministers and 2 former Deputy Ministers were axed from the National Executive.

The new Ministers and Deputy Ministers appointed by President Zuma have been issued a clear directive by the President to work tirelessly with other Cabinet members to bring about “radical socio-economic transformation” and delivery of the party’s electoral mandate.

The changes to the Cabinet have been met with widespread public and political outcry and condemnation for the manner in which it was executed. This includes for reasons relating to the removal of well-performing cabinet ministers such as the Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance and the retaining of under-performing and controversial Ministers.

Opposition political parties have resorted to the Courts in search of a remedy and called for Parliament to vote on a Motion of No Confidence in the President.

Upon the news of the imminent Cabinet reshuffle and the potential the South Africa Rand had already weakened around 4% to the US Dollar. By the end of the week, the Rand was calculated to have weakened 8% against the US Dollar – the biggest weekly drop since 2015 when the then Minister of Finance, Mr. Nhlanhla Nene was summarily removed from his position by President Jacob Zuma.

The ETHICORE Political Lobbying team is pleased our first glimpse to the Cabinet changes and its implications.

Here’s all you need to know. Click here to download: 20 Changes to South Africa’s Cabinet – all you need to know

ELECTIONS UPDATE: South African Local Government Election 2016 – Beyond The Numbers

indexETHICORE Political Lobbying – South Africa’s pioneering and leading government affairs across all spheres of Government and key policy areas, is supporting and advising clients all across industries and sectors to re-evaluate and recalibrate government affairs, advocacy and lobbying strategies in post-elections political environment.

Download the full update here: SA Local Govt Elections Update Beyond The Numbers_15Aug2016

On Wednesday 3 August 2016, South Africans took to the polls and cast their ballots to elect their public representatives in metropolitan councils and rural district municipalities for the next five-year municipal term.

In the end, it was a fiercely contested election across the board, with the impact being most pronounced in South Africa’s major metropolitan councils of Johannesburg, Tshwane (formerly Pretoria) and Nelson Mandela Bay.

In these three cities, the opposition Democratic Alliance emerged as the leading party, ahead of the African National Congress, which had been the dominant governing party in these cities with an outright majority since 2000.

These political shifts manifested itself in 27 hung councils across South Africa, which now require the formation of coalition governments to constitute a government in each council.

Following the announcement of the official election results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Saturday 6th August 2016, political parties have 14 days therefrom to constitute the first meeting of municipal councils in accordance with the Municipal Systems Act.

If within this period political parties fail to form a government to govern any municipal council, the Constitution provides for both the National and Provincial sphere of Government an authority to intervene to overcome the deadlock and ensure municipalities are able to function.

The period up until then is already being characterised by intense negotiations and coalition talks between all political parties, large and small, irrespective of political ideology and policy positions. With the only exceptions at this stage being that the DA has stated that it will not enter into a coalition with the ANC to form a Government as part of its call for an opportunity to govern where it believes the ANC has failed.

These negotiations and coalition talks and what they will ultimately result in, not only shapes the landscape of municipal government and politics for the next five years.

The basis and conditions for the establishment of coalitions are already beginning to redefine South Africa’s broader national political landscape. This is starting to be reflected in the concessions and guarantees that negotiating political parties offer and seek in exchange for the support and participation in a coalition. These have already emerged in the form of exchanges and binding agreements for political cooperation as it relates to power sharing, leadership positions and policy trade-offs.

The implications of these are that once the dust has settled, the impact of negotiated agreements and coalitions formed, will reverberate across the political spectrum, including:

  • Parliamentary politics between all of the political parties affected and their national mandate on key legislative, regulatory, policy and executive oversight issues.
  • Intergovernmental relations between the three spheres of Government, especially where there is political divergence between any two spheres.
  • Policy review and formulation processes of political parties.
  • Party leadership and succession.
  • The road towards the 2019 national and provincial elections.

Beyond the numbers, individual companies, industries and sectors will benefit from understanding the tangible and material impact of the outcomes of these negotiations on their strategic policy, legislative and regulatory priorities. These will be affected by the spheres of Government concerned in each case and the ability to engage in constructive and effective advocacy and government relations.

Affected companies, industries and sectors need to re-evaluate and appropriately recalibrate their government affairs, advocacy and lobbying strategies to determine how best to interpret, navigate and interact with coalition governments and their ripple-effect throughout the political system.

As South Africa’s pioneering government affairs firm, ETHICORE Political Lobbying is uniquely placed to assist clients in unscrambling this political rubix cube and it many moving parts.

Our team of experienced experts and professionals all across spheres of Government and key policy areas, are supporting and advising clients to appropriately integrate these considerations within their government affairs strategies and approaches.

Our offering is geared towards supporting our clients – past, present and future, as well as our international partners, with the customised precision required to translate in-depth political intelligence and analysis into targeted instruments for impactful policy-relevant engagement and government relations.

Abdul Waheed Patel
Managing Director

Celebrating 5 Years. Looking Ahead.

ethicore_logo and bc

I am elated to share with you that today marks 5 years since ETHICORE was established as the first niche professional political consultancy in Southern Africa.

The boom of African democracy and institutions in the face of pressing socio-economic and development imperatives gives rise to unprecedented demands and opportunities.

From public policy and assessing political risk, to legislation, regulation and many more, public decision-making authorities and affected parties require ever more sophisticated tools and discerning approaches for engaging in constructive and impactful dialogue which contribute to informed choices.

Within this context, since 2010 we have been driven by our founding mission to become a market leader and pioneer of our industry on the African continent. In this pursuit, we have committed ourselves to the development of a holistic suite of ethically focused professional services, standards and practices to excel in the following fields of expertise, namely:

  • Advocacy and lobbying
  • Government relations
  • Stakeholder management
  • Public policy and political research and analysis
  • Strategic communications and media

Through the commitment and support of our clients, partners and stakeholders we are forging ahead in our quest.

To maintain this trajectory and remain at the forefront of our profession on the African continent, it is my privilege to announce our renewed strategic direction for the 5-year period leading up to 2020.

Our Vision:
To be the undisputed African global benchmark and partner in professional political lobbying.

Our Purpose:
To influence, inform and participate in the process of democratic decision-making, through enabling constructive political dialogue and engagement.

Our Values:
Professionalism, Innovation and Partnership

High-level Strategic Objectives:

  1. A Commanding Regional Presence: Develop and maintain the most extensive footprint in our industry on the African continent, through a combined network of owned, representative and associate offices.
  1. The Global Strategic African Partner: To be the preferred African partner to global industry peers and networks in key political and economic capitals.
  1. Industry Leadership and Development: Lead in the establishment of professional recognition, standards and governance for the lobbying industry in Africa.
  1. Bespoke Client Diversification: Increase and diversify our portfolio of bespoke clients within our key industry sectors and across multiple priority African and global jurisdictions.
  1. Sustainable Commercial Development: Realise our growth, expansion, competitiveness and sustainability, through strategically reinvesting in our capacity, infrastructure, enterprise and business development.
  1. Exemplary Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility: Commit a meaningful portion of our time, know-how and resources to selective social initiatives that derive value for society, within our areas of expertise.

ethicore_logo and bc2We have sharpened and refreshed the elements that constitute our corporate identity and branding to mark our 5-year milestone and to reflect the configuration of this strategic direction. We will be introducing and announcing a number of well advanced and planned initiatives and activities to mark this occasion and give impetus to our strategic trajectory.

Amongst other, these include:

  • Our new Code of Practice
  • Our 5 -Year Review
  • Appointing our inaugural Advisory Board
  • Establishing a professional body for the lobbying industry in South Africa
  • Concluding strategic regional and global partnerships

I would like to express my personal gratitude and appreciation to you, for your support, recognition and trust in our expertise and capability.

It has been an honour sharing the journey of the past five years with you. I welcome you to join in our continued success.

Warm regards.

Yours sincerely,
Abdul Waheed Patel
Managing Director

ETHICORE supports the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to appoint an Independent Advisory Panel

As a responsible corporate citizen, ETHICORE is proud to announce that as part of its social responsibility and commitment to society the company will be providing project and technical support to the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in respect of the MJC’s strategic initiative to establish an Independent Advisory Panel.

ETHICORE Managing Director, Abdul Waheed Patel has agreed to serve as the Convenor of an independent Nominations Committee that will oversee and managed the process for nominating, identifying, screening, interviewing and recommending to the MJC suitable and capable nominees. ETHICORE will also support the media, communications, stakeholder and public relations requirements of the Nominations Committee.


Read more here:

Media Statement_MJC_11Nov2014_DELIVERED

TOR_MJC Nominations Committee_11Nov2014

SA Tech start-up to advance eHealth innovation & patient care

SAFE-ID-LogoCAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: In the 17 June 2014 State of the Nation Address, President Jacob Zuma recognised the need to contribute to the reduction in mortality rates via the improvement of the quality of care in the public sector.

ETHICORE Political Consulting is therefore proud to announce the acquisition of SAFE ID as a new client to its portfolio in South Africa.

ETHICORE is a market leading strategic political affairs consultancy specialising in political lobbying, intelligence and communication.

SAFE ID ( is a niche and emerging South African technology innovation company that specialises in bridging the communication and information gap between injured as well as distressed citizens and the provision of critical healthcare.

SAFE ID aims to advance eHealth systems, improve and promote the accessibility of health information and services in South Africa. Its partnership with ETHICORE promises to be a fruitful realisation of its innovative mandate to develop health intelligence.

SAFE ID specialises in the provision of user centered informational tools that store and disseminate citizen health information, which is accessible timeously by first respondents during critical emergency situations.

According to SAFE ID Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Zubayr Harneker: “We have an ambitious vision to be at the forefront of technological innovation for provision of time critical medical information that advances healthcare, wellbeing and safety in South Africa. We appreciate and recognise the need to work with Government to achieve public policy, legislative and regulatory outcomes that strengthens the contribution of citizen health information in advancing this cause. We have elected to work with ETHICORE because of their professional ethics, unrivalled expertise and experience.”

Improving the quality of care in the public sector necessitates the availability of appropriate and accurate health statistics, medical information and patient identification and treatment.

According to Mr. Abdul Waheed Patel, Managing Director of ETHICORE Political Consulting: “We are excited to be partnering with SAFE ID to inform Government thinking on leveraging life saving citizen emergency and health information. The timing hereof is both highly relevant and opportune as Government advances its plans for overhauling healthcare, improving safety, leveraging information and communication technology, and developing new (especially small and medium sized) innovative industries.”

SAFE ID ticks all of these boxes and is therefore uniquely placed in its niche to become a market leading company with a strong public purpose and impact.

SAFE ID hopes to work with Government to implement and develop the country’s eHealth Strategy in tandem with the objective of prioritizing healthcare.

Media Enquiries:FacebookCover_SAFE-ID v7
Ms Wisahl Jappie – Associate Director
Tel: +27 (0) 21 424 1443 / 3125
Mobile: +27 (0) 72 227 1144