Category Archives: Lobbying

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

Lobbying in South Africa

Screen shot 2012-02-01 at 4.43.31 PMCAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: ETHICORE Political Consulting featured in recent media reports about the lobbying proposal by Washington DC based Public Affairs Engagement (PAE) to the pharmaceutical industry on the proposed National Policy on Intellectual Property in South Africa, published by the Department of Trade and Industry.

ETHICORE Political Consulting has a duty of care (and responsibility to the public, Government, our clients, stakeholders and partners) to clarify our position, following the media coverage and public discussion that ensued on the lobbying proposal.

ETHICORE Political Consulting is a professional and transparent South African firm, providing ethically focused specialised government relations, advocacy, lobbying, communications and research services to bespoke local and international clients. These are companies and associations who constructively work with and engage the institutions of governance, legislation and regulation in South Africa at a number of levels, in pursuit of advancing national objectives.

On 7 January 2014, ETHICORE was approached by PAE as a potential local partner in the purported lobbying effort. ETHICORE was not party to the formulation of the lobbying proposal and was approached in an unsolicited manner.

ETHICORE maintained from the outset that the proposed lobbying effort was inappropriate and misguided in terms of South Africa’s policy processes, its political and socio-economic context.

ETHICORE wishes to emphasise that we were never appointed nor party to any consultations with the proposed client on the lobbying proposal. We have never enjoyed any relationship with the originators of the proposal prior to being approached by them. ETHICORE does not have any association with PAE.

Since it’s founding in 2009, ETHICORE has prided itself on a responsible epoch in the provision of services in our practice areas. This has and continues to be characterised by an open ethos approach that is ethical, transparent, legal, in the public domain and most importantly, with a public purpose.

As such our work is within the confines and dictates of Government and parliament’s defined public participation and consultative processes. This does not involve any illegal, corrupt or unethical practices. We are explicitly focused on working with our clients to support policy-makers, legislators and regulators in achieving the best possible outcomes for our country and its people. This is aimed at enhancing the work of Government through an evidence-based approach informed by research and analysis.

Our mission has been to demonstrate that as a developing democracy, our services cannot be associated with reprehensible practices. Since our establishment, we have developed and imposed upon ourselves and subscribed to a strong code of professional and ethical conduct in the provision of our services.

Click here to download our Code of Conduct:

The inferences resulting from our reported association in the proposed lobbying effort, has detracted from the ethical provision of our services. The effects of these inferences have included intimidation, threats of bodily harm and death on our families and ourselves. We will however not be deterred and will continue our mission in order to maintain our integrity and reputation.

Lobbying, when conducted in a constructive and ethical manner, fulfills a valuable contribution to the democratic cause through the creation of responsible citizen activism which enhances sound policy, legislative and regulatory formulation. This is an objective we have sought and will continue to advance in our work.

Our commitment to uphold and adhere to these fundamental values and principles has never waivered and shall remain a hallmark of our work.

Our journey continues undeterred and with greater conviction, determination and passion, not in spite of the aforementioned, but because of it.

– ENDS –

Issued by and on behalf of:
Mr. Abdul Waheed Patel
Managing Director

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

ETHICORE Political Consulting is a leading and preeminent South African political consultancy, principally specializing in all aspects of political analysis, advocacy and lobbying, governmental relations, parliamentary affairs and political communications, at the policy, legislative and regulatory affairs level.

Banking Association South Africa trail blazes lobbying for Mangaung

In just under fortnight, the governing African National Congress gathers in the city of Mangaung in South Africa’s Free State Province, for its 53rd elective conference. The conference will see the party adopt policy resolutions that will inform its manifesto for the 2014 general election and its present-day running of government until then. The party will also see the conference elect the next president of the party (currently being contested by the incumbent, ANC President Jacob Zuma) as well as the election of the party’s next national executive committee.

The outcomes of the conference is therefore a reliable indicator of who the party’s presidential candidate will be for the contesting the 2014 general elections and the election manifesto upon which the party and its presidential nominee will campaign.

In the build-up to the conference, not only has there been intense lobbying and robust internal contestation in contesting positions at the elective conference, the party has also become the target of advocacy and lobbying efforts by key interest groups. In particular, this has included the certain quarters and sections of the South African business sector against the backdrop of ensuring certainty and efficacy in future economic and development policy.

In this articled entitled “Business gets serious about lobbying at Mangaung” which appeared in the December 6, 2012 edition of the Business Day newspaper, writer and author Carol Paton examines this lobbying phenomenon.

Source article:

Click on the internet link or copy into your web browser:

Click here for the PDF download:  “Business gets serious over lobbying at Mangaung” (Carol Paton in Business Day, 6 December 2012)

The article points to the first ever emergence of business lobbies to influence the policy considerations of the party ahead of its June 2012 policy conference and the December 2012 elective conference. It acknowledges the Banking Association South Africa as having trail blazed the phenomenon through its response paper to the ANC’s draft policy document on economic policy and development finance.

The Banking Association South Africa is a valued and long-standing ETHICORE client. As the mandate representative of the banking sector it is responsible for addressing industry issues through advocacy; lobbying; policy influence; guiding transformation in the banking sector; constructive and sustainable change in the sector; and engaging with critical stakeholders.

The broad role of The Banking Association is to “establish and maintain the best possible platform on which banks can do responsible, competitive and profitable banking“. A critical role of The Banking Association is to work with its members to enable this role within the context of the transformation challenges the country is addressing.

The SA banking industry is currently made up of 17 registered banks, 2 mutual banks, 12 local branches of foreign banks, and 41 foreign banks with approved local representative offices.

According the South African Banking Sector Overview, the World Economic Forum Competitive Survey 2012/13 are South African banks 2nd out 144 countries in terms of soundness and the country was rated 3rd in terms of financial sector development.

ETHICORE is proud to have assisted, supported and advised the Banking Association in its research, analysis and formulation of submissions to the ANC on the banking sector’s response to the ANC’s economic policy proposals.