Category Archives: President Jacob Zuma

Biofuels a major recognition in 2014 State of the Nation Address

Screen_shot_2012-01-23_at_10.12.26_AMCAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: President Jacob Zuma’s recognition of South Africa’s emerging biofuels sector in the 2014 State of the Nation Address underscores the relevance of this new industry to the country’s economic growth plans.

 

President Zuma announced that: “Biofuels manufacturers have been selected and have started work.”

 

According to Mabele Fuels Joint Chief Executive Officer Mr. Zahir Williams: “This is a major recognition of the biofuels industry’s large scale agricultural job creation and rural development prospects. Mabele Fuels has indeed been hard at work to ensure that our construction, harvesting and production schedule is on track in order to meet the timeframe for mandatory blending of biofuels with petroleum to commence on 1 October 2015.”

 

Mabele Fuels also, has lauded the President’s commitment to implement the first phase of National Development Plan between 2014 – 2019.

 

Echoing President Zuma’s sentiments on the need to develop emerging black industrialists, agriculture as a key driver of jobs and entrepreneurship, as well as for social partners to work together in the interest of the economy, Williams emphasised that:

 

“As a new investor in the economy, we welcome this clarity and certainty on the macro planning and policy trajectory of the country. Being a majority black owned company pioneering the industrialisation of the biofuels industry, we are consistently collaborating with Government, farmers, funders and investors, to develop the biofuels industry for the benefit of the economy”.

 

The finalisation of the biofuels regulatory framework is therefore eagerly awaited by Mabele Fuels, to ensure the timely commencement of the company’s refinery engineering works, construction and grain sorghum harvesting program.

 

Mabele Fuels will make further announcements on the project’s progress and the finalisation of the regulatory process.

 

– ENDS –

 

 

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Mabele Fuels is a South African company owned by Black Economic Empowerment groupings, emerging farmers, local investment institutions and private investors. Its business is the manufacture of fuel-grade ethanol from grain sorghum for sale in the South African bio fuels market. Grain sorghum is cultivated in South Africa’s traditional summer grain areas, like the eastern Free State and eastern parts of the North West provinces, which receive summer rainfall. It is an ideal crop for bio fuels because it can withstand droughts and works well on fallow soil.

 

Mabele Fuels is at an advanced state of readiness to commence construction of a large-scale bio ethanol refinery (158 million litres per annum) in the Bothaville area of the Free State province. The project has enjoyed strong Government support and recognition. In 2012 the Department of Energy promulgated the mandatory blending of bio ethanol with petroleum. In September 2013 the Minister of Energy promulgated 1 October 2015 as the effective date for mandatory blending to commence in the country.

 

Mabele Fuels has been expecting imminent Government approval to enable immediate implementation of its refinery construction program, for completion before the 1 October 2015 effective date of the mandatory blending of bio fuels with petrol at a 2% blending ratio.

 

There has since been significant public discourse and debate about the matter, which is likely to continue into the future as the local bio fuels industry develops toward this vision. Mabele Fuels will continue to play a leading and proactive role in heightening and informing public education and awareness about biofuels in South Africa, in particular grain sorghum as a biofuels feedstock.

 

www.mabelefuels.com

 

 

Mabele Fuel has published a set of Frequently Asked Questions about biofuels in South Africa. This is available for download in PDF at:

http://www.ethicore.co.za/resources/mabele-fuels/

 

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

 

Issued on behalf of Mabele Fuels by ETHICORE Political Consulting

Ms Wisahl Jappie

Political and Communications Advisor

T: +27 (0) 21 424 1443 / 3125

M: +27 (0) 72 227 1144

Email: biofuels@ethicore.co.za AND wjappie@ethicore.co.za

www.ethicore.co.za/resources/mabele-fuels

South Africa 2014 General Elections date announced (7 May 2014)

logoIXSAETHICORE Political Consulting has noted today, Friday 7 February 2014 the statement by the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma announcing the much anticipated date of South Africa’s fifth General Elections since the advent of democracy in 1994.

Below is the statement released by The Presidency and downloadable here as a PDF.
Source: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

 

 

Statement by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma announcing the date for the fifth General Elections in South Africa

07 February 2014

Fellow South Africans,

The electoral term of the present government will come to an end on the 22nd of April.

We are very proud of the manner in which we adhere to constitutional and democratic processes in our country.

We hold national general elections without fail every five years, which demonstrates the maturing of our democracy.

The time has come for us to work together again, to prepare for the fifth national general elections.

I have met with the Independent Electoral Commission to discuss preparations, and also with the Premiers. We deliberated on this very important right of our people to elect a government of their choice, for which thousands of South Africans laid down their lives.

I am satisfied that the IEC preparations are at an advanced stage.

After consulting with the IEC, I would like to inform the South African people locally and abroad, that the fifth national general elections in the Republic of South Africa will be held on the 7th of May 2014, throughout the country.

These are historic elections as they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage.

They provide an opportunity for us to further consolidate the democracy and freedom that we worked so hard to achieve, and for which esteemed South Africans such as former President Nelson Mandela sacrificed life’s comforts for.

Our country is a much better place to live in now than before 1994, because of the participation and contribution of South Africans

We must continue participating in building our country.

I therefore remind all our people to go out in their thousands to register to vote this weekend, on the 8 and 9th of February. This is the last registration period for this election, and nobody must miss this opportunity.

We congratulate all first time voters, the 18 year olds. They are coming of age this year. They will be deciding the future of their beautiful country.

We also invite our youth to register to vote in the cities and towns where they are studying and wherever they will be in May this year.

We rely on the youth to take the benefits of this freedom forward, and to build this country further. South Africa is their inheritance.

Most importantly, I urge all our people to promote peace, tolerance and peaceful coexistence as we move towards the elections and during the elections.

We have worked hard to build a peaceful and stable South Africa from the ruins of apartheid violence, divisions and hatred.

Let us make this a vibrant, robust, exciting, peaceful and most successful election, and maintain our track record of successful elections.

I thank you.

Cabinet reshuffle: Changes to the National Executive (9 July 2013)

Cabinet reshuffle July 2013 (small 320 x 213)On Tuesday 9 July 2013, President Jacob Zuma announced wide ranging changes to the National Executive (i.e. Cabinet) and the fourth in as many years during the term of the current administration since coming into in 2009 and with general elections on the horizon in 2014.

Three altogether new appointments were announced, all of whom were generally highly regarded Members of Parliament recently within the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and with high levels of responsibilities of various parliamentary committees and in the caucus. They are:

  • Ms Connie September (Minister of Human Settlements)
  • Mr John Jeffrey (Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development)
  • Adv Michael Masutha (Deputy Minister of Science and Technology)

Two ministers are shifted within the Cabinet, namely:

  • Mr. Ben Martins goes from Minister of Transport to Minister of Energy
  • Ms Dipouo Peters goes from Minister Energy to Minister of Transport

Two previous Deputy Ministers are promoted to full Ministerial duty, namely:

  • Mr Yunus Carrim from Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to Minister of Communications
  • Mr Lechesa Tsenoli from Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Two Ministers are removed from the Cabinet altogether, namely:

  • Mr Tokyo Sexwale, former Minister of Human Settlements and who found himself opposing President Jacob Zuma re-election for a second term as party President.
  • Ms Dina Pule who has consistently been hounded by allegations of corruption, ethical misconduct, poor administration and non-delivery in the Communications portfolio she headed and which has been dogged by controversy.

Download the complete political update and analysis here: Political Update_Cabinet Reshuffle_09July2013

State of the Nation Address 2013: Pre-Analysis

Screen shot 2012-02-09 at 9.32.41 PMOn the eve of the 2013 State of the Nation Address (SONA), ETHICORE commends Parliament on its adoption of the theme “Socio-economic development through oversight and public participation” for the 2013 SONA.

Citizen activism and engagement is a central feature and tenet of the National Development Plan (NDP) recently endorsed and adopted by Government and the ruling African National Congress, and which has been coalesced around by key sectors of society (e.g. business, labour, civil society and political parties) as the official blueprint for the country.

Effective parliamentary oversight of government, policy implementation, legislative compliance and regulatory efficiency, as well as facilitating dynamic and robust public participation and consultation with citizens and key sectors of society, is a fundamental Constitutional requirement of the legislature as a whole, in order to give practical effect to the Constitutional requirements of cooperative governance and a people-centred Parliament.

When undertaken effectively, such dynamic parliamentary oversight and public participation significantly enhances the prospects for improved government performance, accountability and quality legislative and policy decision-making. Effective public and citizen advocacy can significantly contribute to enriching the quality of dialogue and debate on issues of key national importance.

The 2013 State of the Nation address should set the tone for how Parliament needs to capacitate and integrate its structures, processes and procedures to improve Parliamentary oversight of and engagement with the NDP, and the role of public participation and consultation therein. This includes ensuring that Parliamentary oversight; as well as parliamentary public and stakeholder consultation on the NDP is aligned with departmental budget allocations and strategic plans and priorities.

The extent of the focus on the NDP in the 2012 SONA, therefore has the prospect of fundamentally reshaping the parliamentary landscape from an oversight and participatory perspective – a most challenging and demanding litmus test for the 2013 parliamentary SONA theme and the context for Parliament’s work over the remainder of 2013 and the run-up to the 2014 general elections.

Issued by: Abdul Waheed Patel
Managing Director
079 888 0452
awpatel@ethicore.co.za

Enquiries: Wisahl Jappie, Consultant
072 227 1144
wjappie@ethicore.co.za

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.
http://www.ethicore.co.za

Analysing President Zuma’s political report: An exercise in political communications

By Abdul Waheed Patel

ANC President Jacob Zuma’s political report to the opening session of the party’s 53rd national elective conference in the city of Mangaung in South Africa’s Free State Province yesterday, was highly anticipated to set the tone for the conference deliberations and proceedings. The occasion of the political report represented more than just the opportunity for a political speech. As an opportunity for Mr. Zuma to reflect on the successes and achievements of the party under his leadership since the historic 2007 Polokwane conference which ushered him in as party president, the occasion of the speech represented an exercise in political communications for Mr. Zuma to consolidate his campaign for a second term as party president, and effectively state president. Therefore the speech represented a strategic opportunity for Mr. Zuma to spell out in detail to both his supporters and detractors, how he has been able to harness the collective leadership and skills within the party to deliver on the mandate given to him by the party in 2007. By the same token, it was an opportunity for Mr. Zuma to impose collective responsibility on the leadership and membership of the party for its failures and disappointing performance in certain areas, at both the level of the party and the state.

So how exactly did Mr. Zuma fair? Here are some analysis and thoughts on his speech.

Something for everyone

In style typical of the man that is Jacob Zuma (some would call this populist), Mr. Zuma’s speech reached out to a broad base of ANC members and its alliance partners in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Community Party (SACP), as well as business people, the investment community, rating agencies and the international community. Even for media and opposition political parties, Mr. Zuma was frank in his assessment of the performance and challenges of the ANC is areas such as corruption and public procurement, on which he has come under constant criticism from these quarters.  He was clearly not only speaking to the party as an audience, but to the nation and observers at large.

Internal lobbying and contestation

Mr. Zuma was frank in confronting and condemning the negative tendencies associated with the kinds of lobbying for positions within the party and the negative and anti-social behaviour that have become associated with these e.g. violence and character assassination. In essence, Mr. Zuma made a case for such behaviour being un-ANC and that such behaviour and party members who resort to it, have no place in the ANC and the mass democratic movement that it leads. Interestingly though, Mr. Zuma’s campaigners have had some of these very tendencies attributed to them. In his manner of criticizing these tendencies, Mr. Zuma condemned it and simultaneously disassociated himself with it, even though some of it may have been done in his name, without his explicit approval and endorsement.

However, where Mr. Zuma could have done more is to have used his speech to introduce ideas which could lay the basis for more thorough conference dialogue and deliberation on how best modernize the system for internal leadership contestation, campaigning and lobbying.

The ANC-led alliance

Despite criticism from COSATU in particular about a number of decisions of government under the Zuma-led administration, Mr. Zuma was conciliatory in his approach to the continued significance and importance of both COSATU and the SACP in the ANC-led alliance. However, Mr. Zuma was candid in his references to the need for alliance partners to express and address their grievances within the structures of the alliance, thereby maintaining the strength of the alliance.

He diplomatically, but sternly told COSATU what their place is in the alliance. Most telling of all was Mr. Zuma’s assertion that neither COSATU nor the SACP are in opposition to the ANC and that COSATU “…is not a political party…” and that “…the ANC stands for the interests of the entire nation irrespective of class or station in society.” Thus effectively neutralising perceptions of the perennial threat of COSATU contesting future elections as a labour party.

A performance scorecard of government

Mr. Zuma went into some detail to elaborate on the performance and efficiency gains achieved in his reconfiguration of government departments following his ascendance to the highest office in the land. This included the functioning of government under an expanded cabinet system. This is perhaps an indication of few changes being contemplated under his leadership should he be re-elected for a second term at the helm of the party and therefore by implication a second term as president of the country. Tactfully, these aspects of Mr. Zuma’s speech linked with other remarks he made about the qualities, characteristics and experience of cadres the party requires in order to be able to lead effectively in government – clearly painting an image of himself as such as a cadre of the party who espouse these characteristics and therefore worthy of reelection for a second term at the helm of the party.

National Development Plan

The political report delivered by Mr. Zuma was his strongest advocacy and stewardship to date on the NDP produced by the National Planning Commission established under his presidency.  This amounted to positioning the NDP as the centerpiece and primary driver of government action into the future.

Against the backdrop of Minister for National Planning in the Presidency – Trevor Manuel announcing his unavailability to serve on the party’s national executive committee, by centrally locating the NDP within his political report, Mr. Zuma’s speech delicately and discretely sent the message that the good work led by the honorable Minister Manuel is to the credit of party.

For the first time, Mr. Zuma and for that matter any leader of the ANC used a major party platform to fully embrace and promote the NDP and to encourage the party to consider how best to adopt and integrated it into the party policy resolutions. This will secure Mr. Zuma and the ANC substantial kudos from the business sector, which have recently coalesced around the NDP as the blueprint for the development of the country, around which all other policies, strategies, programmes and interventions of government must revolve.

Mr. Zuma’s stewardship and advocacy of the NDP can also been seen as an attempt to neutralize the rallying and support around the NDP by opposition political parties, who like the business sector regard it as a highly credible plan deserving of their support and which requires greater government commitment and parliamentary oversight.

However, it is important that ownership of the NDP by rank and file members of the party is achieved not for the purposes of avoiding it being usurped from the ANC by opposition parties for its credibility. The ANC must embrace it because it believes it to be the best plan for the country.

Policy certainty and clarity vs. Policy consistency

What was less clear in Mr. Zuma’s speech was the inter-linkages between the NDP and other prevailing centre-pieces of Government’s economy policy initiatives e.g. the New Growth Path, the Industrial Policy Action and the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission. Instead the speech focused on the myriad of policy choices made the state, with less clear delineation of how these various policy instruments fit together, compliment and support each other. This raises important issues of the extent to which policy clarity and certainty (i.e. a clear understanding of the thrust and substantive nature of policy) and policy consistency (i.e. policy choices which do not compete and undermine each other, but which are mutually supportive and inclusive).

Role of the state in the economy

Given the recent coalescing of voices within the business sector calling for greater certainty about the role of state intervention in the economy, Mr. Zuma cleverly steered away from any reference and rhetoric to nationalization and strategic nationalization of strategic sectors in the economy, such as those which characterized his speeches at the July 2012 national policy conference of the party. On the face of it, this may be an attempt to appease the business and investment community who have recently coalesced to make an impassionate plea to the ruling party for policy certainty, clarity and to reconsider any nationalization of strategic economic sectors.

However, the devil lies in the details of conference policy deliberations to be engaged in by rank and file party members, who may well still push for more radical state intervention in the economy. It is well known that the vocal ANC Youth League intends to utilize the conference as a platform to reignite the debate on the strategic nature of state intervention in the economy, particularly the mining sector.

That said, Mr. Zuma did not mince his words about the transformational challenges facing the economy, which in itself can be interpreted as a subtle reference for delegates to consider more intrusive measures for state intervention in the economy.

Corruption

For a first time Mr. Zuma lamented the issue of corruption which plagues the performance of government and its roots in the ruling party. The challenge however is that Mr. Zuma himself and a number of others in the party’s national executive committee have had their personal and business dealings questioned. The old adage of leading from the front (or at least perceptions thereof), holds true. This notwithstanding, Mr. Zuma’s speech sent the right signal to society and the markets about a zero tolerance approach to corruption, which the party must now internalize to take appropriate action and policy resolutions around.

Conclusion

For already convinced supporters and loyalists firmly behind Mr. Zuma’s bid for a second term as president of the party, Mr. Zuma’s speech was a successful attempt to reassure them that their support is backed by demonstrable evidence of the positive performance of government and the party under his leadership.

Mr. Zuma invoked the spirit of the party’s 2007 Polokwane conference by referencing various parts of his speech to conference and policy resolutions adopted at Polokwane. With the Polokwane conference having catapulted him to the head of the party and the state, it is a powerful rallying point around which to keep captured the hearts and minds of his followers and supporters and in so doing poignantly reminding them of the circumstances under which he and his supporters came to the ascendency in the party.

ETHICORE will be closely monitoring, analyzing and reporting on the outcomes and implications of the conference, throughout its duration and on a customized basis for clients thereafter. This includes political and risk analysis, briefing papers and research reports. For more information and enquiries in this regard, kindly do not hesitate to contact us.

Abdul Waheed Patel is Managing Director at ETHICORE Political Consulting. He specialises in policy consulting, analysis and risk, including South African political parties, post-apartheid democratic politics and parliamentary democracy.

Click here to download: Political Report by President Jacob Zuma to the 53rd National Conference of the ANC