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

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(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

The Rubik’s cube of legislating the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill

By Abdul Waheed Patel (Managing Director) and Wisahl Jappie (Political and Communications Advisor)

Mineral and Petroleum Resources Amendment Bill

Amidst ‘chamber politics’ that has thwarted Parliament’s public perception and credibility, it is presented with a significant opportunity to exhibit its Constitutional powers and functions as the national legislative authority and platform for public consideration of issues and overseeing executive action.

On 16 January 2015, President Jacob Zuma referred the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill to the National Assembly – eleven months since the National Council of Provinces passed the Bill and Parliament transmitted it for Presidential assent and proclamation into law.

The President’s referral requires Parliament to exercise its Constitutional mandate to review within certain parameters and grounds, the process and legislative considerations it previously adopted in passing the Bill.

This presents Parliament with a legislative Rubik’s cube that corresponds with South Africa’s investor friendly pitch at the 2015 World Economic Forum – punting the viability and stability of South Africa’s mining, resources and energy sector.

There was no shortage of lobbying on the amendment bill. Some labeled it “controversial” and discouraging investment in South Africa’s embattled mining industry and the growth of the fledgling oil and gas sector. Stakeholders lamented the Parliamentary public consultation process, the redrafting of the Bill by the Department of the Mineral Resources and the timing of the Gazette notice publishing the amendments to the Act on 27 December 2012.

The President’s letter of referral addressed to the Speaker of the National Assembly, cites the following concerns regarding Bill’s ability to pass constitutional muster:

  • The definition of the Act elevating the Codes for Good Practice for the South African Minerals Industry, the Housing and Living Conditions Standards for the Minerals Industry and the Amended Broad-Based Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the Mining and Minerals Industry to national legislative status.
  • Inconsistency of the sections dealing with local mineral beneficiation, with South Africa’s obligations under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) and the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) as it relates to quantitative restrictions on exports.
  • Insufficient consultation by the National Council of Provinces and provincial legislatures, including the consultation period and the timeliness of notification of public hearings by provincial legislatures.
  • The need to consult the National House of Traditional Leaders with regard to customary law and customs of traditional communities, in respect of land owned or occupied by traditional communities where mineral or geological investigations are contemplated.

The President’s referral on these bases is significant. Prior to the May 2014 general election, the 4th ANC-led administration and Parliament stewarded the bill through the legislative process. This was aligned with the ANC elections manifesto for the transformation of the mineral and energy sector.

This drive towards advancing increased local beneficiation and industrialization finds its genesis in the objectives of the Freedom Charter, which proclaims that the mineral wealth of the country “be owned by the people as a whole”.

The ANC’s 2015 January 8 Statement reaffirmed the furthering of “radical socio-economic transformation” and in reference to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) stated:

“The vast mineral wealth of our country, which lies beneath the soil, has been transferred to the ownership of the state on behalf of the people as per the Freedom Charter. However this has not yet translated to equal and full benefit of all South Africans. The ANC commits itself to continue working with our people to ensure that there is enhanced benefit from this ownership. This year we must finalise the amendments to the applicable laws to ensure that mineworkers and mining communities share, much more equally, in South Africa’s mineral wealth”.

All of these factors cascade into three distinct and interlinked messages.

Firstly, the ANC’s policy position on State participation in the minerals, oil and gas sector remains consistent with the original intent of the Bill and the principles of the Freedom Charter – notwithstanding the referral of the Bill back to Parliament. These are further echoed in the party’s 2014 elections manifesto and the 2012 National Conference resolutions.

In the Organisational Report to the party’s June 2012 National Conference, ANC Secretary-General Mr. Gwede Mantashe called for delegates to assess progress made in implementing the MPRDA in order to ensure compliance with the Act, in the context of maintaining the state’s strategic role in the mineral and energy complex as key sector of the economy.

In June 2015, the ANC National General Council gathers to assess the party’s mid-term progress and policy review to shape resolutions for adoption at its National Conference in 2017.

Any fundamental legislative realignment on the MPRDA and which deviates from the original policy intent is unlikely to occur in isolation of these party political policy processes which overlaps with the timing of the Parliamentary review process.

This represents the Parliamentary and legislative Rubik’s cube through which MPs are challenged to achieve a reasonable balance between their party policy objectives and ideologies, public policy and the differing interpretations of what constitutes policy certainty.

Secondly, Government is signaling to the investor, mining, oil and gas community, that the attainment of these policy objectives will not be pursued at the expense of legislation that disincentivises the investment inflow upon which Government’s quest for socio-economic transformation is dependent.

Thirdly, the State is communicating its sensitivity to the impact of sub-standard legislation that might be open to Constitutional challenge and which therefore undermines the ability of the State to advance its socio-economic objectives.

It was former Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu who vocally cautioned lawmakers during the 4th democratic about the perils of drafting poor quality legislation. During the 2013 Debate on Parliament’s Budget Vote, he bemoaned the number of laws passed by the National Assembly being returned for correction and being found unconstitutional as the consequence of “inadequate scrutiny”. He underscored the growing complexity and technicalities of legislating and the need for Parliament to draw on and maximise the availability of stakeholders to ensure access to specialized knowledge and information.

Parliament is Constitutionally endowed with powers to deal with legislation returned to it for review, as well as drafting new alternative legislation, private members legislative proposals and addressing constitutional concerns. In the case of the MPRDA, the extent of Parliament’s scope and oversight is restricted to the parameters of the constitutional concerns raised by the President.

By referring the matter to the Portfolio Committee on Minerals Resources, the Speaker of Parliament has delegated the Committee a formidable maiden legislative task, since its inception following the May 2014 general elections.

The Committee must familiarise itself with the principles and imperatives behind the legislation, the legislative and consultative process followed by its predecessors in the 4th Parliament and stakeholder input received.

Although the provisions exist for the Committee to expand its review of the legislation, it is premature to preempt the Committee’s approach to the referral and the intersecting political considerations, policy objectives and industry imperatives.

This process presents the Committee with a multifaceted piece of legislation that lends itself to the approach advocated by former Speaker Sisulu. It is a landmark opportunity for this Committee to initiate itself into Parliamentary affairs.

In recognizing the opportunity that this presents, stakeholders should be cognizant of the complex interplay between party policy, public policy, the separation of powers between the Executive as well as Parliament and its Constitutionally derived powers, functions and rules of procedures. All of these weave an intricate web of institutional arrangements comprised of Parliament’s legislative and oversight structures, party political parliamentary caucuses, Parliamentary and State legal advisors and Parliamentary programming structures. Unraveling these intricacies and the solutions to be crafted require a robust and constructive approach by decision-makers and stakeholders alike.

Published in Business Day, on Friday 6 February 2015.

‘Minerals Act a chance for Parliament to flex its muscle’

Celebrating 5 Years. Looking Ahead.

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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:

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