“South Africans should brace themselves for tougher economic times”

An economist warns that South Africans should brace themselves for tougher economic times as the government waivers on the implementation of its National Development Plan (NDP).

An economist warns that South Africans should brace themselves for tougher economic times as the government waivers on the implementation of its National Development Plan. Cees Bruggemans of Bruggemans & Associates, Consulting Economists said in a note on Tuesday, that to suggest 0.9% growth ‘appears unrealistic, though perhaps still politically useful as we approach local elections’.”Recession is such an ugly word, yet it rules the roost practically everywhere now,” the economist said. The economist said that confidence is needed to support risk-taking, fixed investment and job creation in the country.

“Under these challenging circumstances to steadily raise interest rates and impose R18 billion of tax increases while constraining government spending – cutting the budget deficit from 4% last year to 3.2% of GDP this year – is to hammer yet more nails into the collective coffin.” So what could hold us up? Bruggemans said that confidence would fire private businesses to do more.

He called for sustainable breakout policies, as intended by the National Development Plan, but so far cynically abandoned ‘while hailed with wild abandon’. “If it is still to be a while, expect further sinking a la Brazil,” the economist said.

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source:http://businesstech.co.za/news/business/117638/on-south-africas-economy-worse-is-coming-says-economist/accessed 23/03/2016

South Africa Examines Possible Extremist Threat – Jeff Builta

I found this article by Jeff Builta particularly profound as it discusses key issues despite being published in 1996… “According to the report, 11 “extremist fundamentalist” organizations are known to have received training in Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, and/or Pakistan. The report also claims that some of these cells are heavily armed, and most are concentrated in the Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth areas. The report expressed concern with at least five suspected covert cells of foreign-trained militants around Cape Town and Durban.”

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has had a difficult transition to popular democracy. It has one of the highest crime rates per capita in the world, and corruption is thought to be rampant among politicians and police. Adding to these problems, law enforcement officials announced this August that they believe militant extremist Islamic cells have been established throughout the country and may eventually pose a risk to national security. The announcement came after a secret intelligence report on the matter was leaked and reprinted in the Johannesburg daily Beeld.

According to the report, 11 “extremist fundamentalist” organizations are known to have received training in Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, and/or Pakistan. The report also claims that some of these cells are heavily armed, and most are concentrated in the Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth areas. The report expressed concern with at least five suspected covert cells of foreign-trained militants around Cape Town and Durban.

A group from Western Cape province of South Africa called Qibla was singled out in the report as the most extreme of the Islamic fundamentalist cells operating in the country. According to the government, members have been trained in Libya and Pakistan, and some members have fought with Hizbollah in Lebanon. Its leader, Achmed Cassiem, is a former political prisoner during the apartheid era. Cassiem is also leader of the Islamic Unity Convention (IUC), an umbrella group of 254 Muslim groups from around the nation.

Ironically, the same month the report was leaked to the media, violence featuring Muslim citizens was highlighted in South Africa by the acts of an Islamic community-protection, anti-crime group called People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD). During a PAGAD march protesting organized crime, drugs, and prostitution, PAGAD members trampled, shot and burned Rashaad Staggie, a reputed drug baron and co-leader of the Hard Livings gang in Cape Flats outside Cape Town. The killing occurred in front of police and television cameras, receiving international airplay. At the march, PAGAD publicly declared a “holy war” against gangsters in Cape Flats.

A few days after the incident, PAGAD coordinator Moegamat Nadthmie Edries was arrested on charges of sedition and murder. Army troops were called into the Cape Town region after continuing threats and periodic gunfights between police, PAGAD supporters, and gangs. During one particularly raucous melee involving 5,000 PAGAD supporters and police, nine people were injured and tensions become so high that politicians called for a state of emergency in the region. Mosques are guarded with armored personnel carriers and South Africa’s Justice Minister Dullah Omar moved out of his Cape Flats home for his family’s protection.

PAGAD, formed early this year, claims it is not an exclusively Islamic movement, although no non-Moslem members are known to exist and the group is known to maintain contacts throughout the Moslem world. The group readily admits to receiving financial assistance from unnamed foreign donors. Local media report that PAGAD has received training in Libya, that the group maintains a paramilitary training base in Western Cape province and is thought to maintain regular contact with Qibla.

One PAGAD leader, Muhammad Ali Parker, known as “the Phantom,” has publicly advocated guerrilla warfare in the group’s fight against crime. Parker claims to maintain regular contact and support from HAMAS and Hizbollah, although he says these are personal connections having nothing to do with his organization. The leak of the intelligence report has raised considerable concern on behalf of Muslims in South Africa, who are worried that Islam is being hijacked for violent political reasons beyond fighting gangsters. On the other hand, some Muslims have expressed concern that they are being demonized by police exaggerating the threat posed by such groups in order to cover law enforcement failures.

While recent events have suggested that such an extremist threat may exist, it is also likely the threat is being over emphasized in comparison with the dangers posed by everyday street crime in South Africa. Moe Shaik, a national intelligence official, was quoted in a recent Washington Post article as claiming the allegations that a international Islamic extremist network exist in South Africa were baseless.

 

source: http://www.cjimagazine.com/archives/cji46ee.html?id=358-November/December - 1996 -Vol# 12 - Issue# 6/http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/another-pagad-leader-arrested-1565246

Compensation for evicted white-farmers?

Zimbabwe’s plan to win back international funding by paying compensation to white farmers forced off their land faces a major snag: the black farmers expected to stump up the cash say they don’t have it. The new occupants working the land, many of who had few farming skills when they were resettled, say they can barely make ends meet, let alone pay an extra levy.

The new occupants of the farms say they can barely make ends meet, let alone pay an extra levy. Their agricultural output is a fraction of that before 2000 – when President Robert Mugabe introduced the land reforms that led to thousands of white farmers being evicted. The new farmers are also being hammered by Zimbabwe’s worst drought in 25 years and are toiling in a stagnating economy in which banks have become reluctant to lend and cheaper food imports from the likes of South Africa are undermining them.

“Are farmers able to pay? I will say ‘No’. Is the land being productive? I will say’No’ again,” said Victor Matemadanda, secretary-general of a group representing the self-proclaimed war veterans who led the land seizures in 2000 and now farm.The president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union, Abdul Nyathi, also said that his members would not be able to pay the compensation levy.

 

source:http://news.yahoo.com/cant-pay-zimbabwe-farmers-resist-compensating-evicted-white-070233858-http://news.yahoo.com/cant-pay-zimbabwe-farmers-resist-compensating-evicted-white-070233858--business.html

Possible reasons for ANC not firing Zuma?

Never before in his seven-year reign has there been such a strong call by a wide spectrum of ANC members for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Still, he emerged seemingly strongly after the weekend meeting of the party’s top leaders. So why couldn’t the national executive committee (NEC) fire Zuma?

The first question the party would have had to ask is whether they wanted to recall Zuma from the country’s presidency, or from the party’s presidency, orbit? Some believed it would not create a right precedent for national executive committee (NEC) alone to recall Zuma from the ANCs presidency, as this would be seen to be overriding the choice the branches made at the party’s elective conferences in 2007 and 2012.

Local government elections campaign: A source who attended the meeting and who was in the lobby group that wanted to see Zuma go, told M&G Online thatches group was in the majority but consciously pulled back because it would impact negatively on the party before the local government elections.

Bad precedents: Many in the ANC still remember President Thabo Mbeki’s recalling 2008 as a bruising, painful and polarising period in the governing party. Should Zuma be recalled as ANC president too, there is always the risk that Ramaphosa would not be elected ANC president, which would again present the problem of a duplication of power centres.

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sources:http://mg.co.za/article/2016-03-23-six-reasons-the-anc-didnt-fire-zuma?accessed23/03/2016