The divisions in the tripartite alliance over the ANC’s succession battle played out at Cosatu’s nationwide May Day rallies with President Jacob Zuma and his “allies” booed while his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa was cheered and welcomed.

Ramaphosa was once again endorsed as the preferred candidate to take over from Zuma.

Zuma, African National Congress national chairperson Baleka Mbete and deputy-general secretary Jessie Duarte faced a torrid time in front of the labour federation members.

Zuma faced the worst embarrassment since ascending to ANC presidency in 2007 when unrelenting Cosatu members heckled and chanted anti-Zuma songs in his presence.

This forced the federation to prematurely end its main Worker’s Day celebrations in Bloemfontein. In an unprecedented move all speeches were cancelled and the event abandoned.

‘Gupta’ chants

In Durban, Mbete tried to put up a brave face and continued with her speech despite repeated boos from the crowd who gestured for her to leave the stage.

They chanted “Gupta” and despite attempts by SACP second deputy-general secretary Solly Mapaila and local leaders to calm the crowd. Responding to the rejection Mbete claimed that national ANC leadership expected the hostile treatment.

“We anticipated this as leadership. We met a week ago and discussed it. But we were ready to come and conduct ourselves in terms of our role as leadership,” she told News24.

Duarte didn’t have a good day at the office either with the crowd barring her from addressing them. Gathered in Polokwane in Limpopo, Duarte was booed by hundreds of Cosatu members when she was introduced to speak.

She told News24 afterward: “This is about supporting a candidate, the ANC has not decided on candidate yet, none of us has preferences. We have not taken a decision yet.”

This was in sharp contrast to Ramaphosa, who was again affirmed as next ANC president at the rallies that went ahead. Cosatu leaders who spoke said they will work the ground to ensure he was elected as the next ANC president.

Ramaphosa delivered his speech in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga during a heavy downpour with Cosatu members rooted in the rain listening to his entire speech.

Cosatu’s first deputy president James Tyotyo said government would not need to build him a home-an indirect jab to government spending R250m to upgrade Zuma’s private Nkandla home.

“He will not steal government money. Government will not build him a house because he already has his own house. As Cosatu we want to repeat it today, we say the president [Zuma] must step down because on daily basis he commits blunders. His blunders will make us lose the elections in 2019,” said Tyotyo.

Ramaphosa for president

At the Gauteng Cosatu rally general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said they will campaign to ensure Ramaphosa takes over the ANC presidency.

“We as the workers want Cyril Ramaphosa to be president, we will elect him in December,” Ntshalintshali said.

Political analyst Susan Booysen said the events were a “watershed moment for the ANC and the Zuma faction within the ANC in particular as they were rejected by a key constituency of the ANC”.

“We didn’t see an outright rejection of the ANC, we saw people like Cyril Ramaphosa being welcomed in Mpumalanga and that was in contrast to Zuma, Mbete and Duarte – they met a groundswell of angry rejection and it was not white, it was not middle class. This was rejection from the heartland of the ANC,” Booysen said.

Booysen’s view was echoed by Professor Somadoda Fikeni: “This collapses the view that people who do not support the president are either middle class, monopoly capital or racists. It shows that you have a cross-section of people for a variety of reasons who are unhappy,” Fikeni said.

Cosatu was at the forefront of ensuring that Zuma was elected president in 2007 at the Polokwane elective conference and pushed for Mbeki’s recall the following year.

However, they now want Zuma to go after he reshuffled his cabinet without consulting them. They have also not scored any major policy changes under Zuma’s administration including their call for e-tolls to be scrapped, labour brokers to be banned and radical changes in the economy.

Booysen said while it was early days in the succession battle, the Worker’s Day events were a major setback for ANC NEC member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign for the ANC top spot.

Tactics

She is backed by Zuma and his allies-the ANC Youth League and Women’s League.

“Things can always turn again, but today from groundswell of anti-Zuma reaction there was in part succession battle being decided. It may turn again, but today’s indication it was devastating setback for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Zuma,” Booysen said.

Fikeni said the anti-Zuma group were using the same tactics applied by Zuma supporters.

The ANC Youth League recently booed and disrupted speeches by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and Mapaila’s address during a Chris Hani memorial.

“Remember for some time it’s been well organised, pro-president booing down opponents; other side has now taken the same tactic, to show displeasure. It may then degenerate into no-go areas; you choose areas assured of supporters, or may lead to disruption of June or December conference,” Fikeni said.

The ANC earlier blamed alliance leaders for “prematurely speaking on leadership preferences” for the chaos that led to Zuma being prevented to speak.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the incident should not be allowed to happen again.

“This is precisely the reason why we have cautioned Cosatu and other alliance structures including our leagues against premature announcements in public because they have an impact and bearing on our efforts to foster unity,” Kodwa said.

Source: News24

 

SA extends trade surplus

South Africa recorded an R11,4-billion trade surplus in March, continuing the trend of strong net inflows into SA.
The rand closed weaker on Friday despite the surplus, as fears mounted of a US Government shutdown.

As expected, US lawmakers reached a $1-trillion budget deal, which will keep the economy ticking until September.

The agreement should give the rand breathing room for strength today. It’s a busy 4-day week, with the US Fed statement and local manufacturing data out tomorrow and US job numbers the highlight out on Friday.

shop-sa will be hosting a free breakfast seminar focusing on digital transformation.

The breakfast, marking the launch of My Office News, will take place at the Bryanston Country Club and will be free to attend.

Matt Brown, CEO of Digital Kung Fu, will be present to guide attendees through the digital maze, and Rob Matthews from My Office News will unpack the publication’s new offerings.

Date: Wednesday 10 May
Venue: Bryanston Country Club
Time: 07:30

Attendance is FREE* as the event is sponsored by shop-sa.
* Please note that a “no-show” fee of R250 per head will apply.

To book, please contact Wendy on (012) 548 0046 or wendy@shop-sa.co.za before 5 May.

We’ve been told for nearly a decade now that this is the digital age – a golden time of instant information.

Smartphones, tablets and desktops are everywhere and the role of traditional media and content sharing has rapidly changed in the age of the internet-driven 24-hour news and social media sharing.

A global trend, South Africa is on track and seeing rapid changes in how readers consume information.
The days of mass-market print publications are declining and we are looking at a new era from print to digital and beyond.

According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2017 report, an average South African spends a significantly longer portion of their day engaging with digital than with any other medium.

Effective Measure’s November 2016 statistics, based on 331,042 online surveys completed by local internet users, reveal the same trend when comparing digital to print or even radio and TV.

Nearly everyone is online. For the consumer, we can take news anywhere with us in the world and are connected to and by technology throughout the day. Digital media also allows companies to reach the right audience at their convenience and create lasting experiences with customers. Having a finger on the digital versus print pulse allows a company to transform itself in step with consumers’ changing habits.

“There’s no doubt that it’s time to fully embrace the digital age” says the CEO of AutoTrader South Africa, George Mienie. “We launched our magazine in 1992 and our website in 1998, and it was in 2008 that we realised our magazine had a shelf-life. The internet was developing so fast, and the possibilities of what could be done online were so vast.” AutoTrader, the number one motoring marketplace in South Africa, is one of the businesses who have made the transition from print to digital successfully. This week they announced they had printed the final issue of their magazine & are fully digital.

To put the power of the internet into perspective, compared to the 1,4 million magazines AutoTrader sold in 2006, in 2016 the website had over 50 million visits, and the company sent over 3 million leads connecting serious car buyers and sellers. One magazine could host 8 – 10,000 cars in total. Today 68,000 cars are listed at any one time on the website.

The move from print to digital should never be taken lightly and should be right for your company. The journey from analog and print to digital can be hazardous, regardless of what industry, technology, product, or service your company is in. Just ask industry giants like Kodak or Financial Times who also struggled for years in transforming. AutoTrader’s full digital move was a result of 10 years of research and monitoring of changing consumer preference.

“We put it in our car buying customers hands … by creating two unique sets of telephone response numbers, one printed in the magazine and the other on the website. We then knew whether our users were responding via the magazine or the website, and through tracking it month-by-month we could see how quickly their preference was changing,” says Mienie. Tracking changes in customer behaviour is key for online success. As the only niche vertical that is transparent with the sellers contact details they have seen that consumers want to be more and more anonymous with more than 50% of car buyers taking the address of their site and going directly to a dealership without calling or mailing first.

Online has also enabled the company to empower buyers and sellers to a remarkable degree, and in a way the magazine never could. Through financing, insurance, history checks, buyer and seller validation, geographic location services, and a dedicated content hub that houses motoring news, reviews & videos.
For this company it was a clear way forward to say #ByeByePrint and move forward as fully digital, to aid them in reaching their company goal – for a user to be able to conduct an entire sale, online, perfectly.

POPI is here, there and everywhere

Global recognition of the importance of data privacy can be traced back to the United Nations (UN) which has a long history of promoting the right to privacy through its Human Rights treaties.

This includes article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1966. More recently in July 2015 the UN appointed a “Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy” to bring additional focus to the importance of data privacy. Supporting the UN is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which in 1980 issued its “Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data” which were revised and re-issued in 2013, just as the POPI Act (POPIA) was gazetted in South Africa. Following the UN and OECD initiatives, nearly one hundred countries and territories have established or are developing data protection laws.

African data privacy

In Africa, the African Union (AU) Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa have spearheaded the development of the AU Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data Protection, which was adopted by the AU Heads of States and Governments Summit in June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Eight Countries had already signed the convention by July 2016 according to AU Commission: Benin, Chad , Congo, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania , Sierra Leone, Sao Tome & Principe and Zambia. At a regional level in Africa there are also several initiatives, notably the ECOWAS Cybersecurity guidelines and the SADC Model Law on data protection, e-transactions and cybercrime. There is also the HIPSSA initiative (Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa) which covers 30 countries across the continent. Latest estimates show that 16 African countries have data privacy legislation, with an additional 14 countries working on legislation, leaving a balance of 24 currently having taken no action so far.

POPIA and the European Union

The POPI Act can trace its origins not just to the OECD guidelines but also Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament in 1995, on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. This Directive will have been completely replaced across all member states of the EU (including the United Kingdom, despite BREXIT) by May 2018 by the General Data Protection Regulation – commonly known as the GDPR. The GDPR has potentially wide-ranging implications for companies based outside the EU trading with the EU member states. Of particular interest is the following extract from the GDPR document: “The Commission may decide with effect for the entire Union that a third country, a territory or specified sector within a third country, or an international organisation, offers an adequate level of data protection, thus providing legal certainty and uniformity throughout the Union as regards the third country or international organisation which is considered to provide such level of protection. In such cases, transfers of personal data to that third country or international organisation may take place without the need to obtain any further authorisation. The Commission may also decide, having given notice and a full statement setting out the reasons to the third country or international organisation, to revoke such a decision.” This tells us two things: the faster our Information Regulator South Africa (IRSA) gets POPIA full commenced and SA becomes a trusted trading partner in terms of data protection, the easier trade with the EU will become. The downside is if the IRSA is ineffective then potentially the whole country could be put at a significant disadvantage.

International trade recommendations

For those of you who trade in Africa and more broadly across the globe an understanding of data privacy legislation can be an important consideration when establishing trading relationships. This view is supported by DataGuidance, a London-based organisation that provides advice on a global basis concerning data privacy and protection through a global network of experts, including coverage of South Africa. “Our clients tell us that a clear understanding of the data privacy and protection legislation applicable to the territories and countries in which they trade can have a significant influence on the way they do business. Privacy professionals are facing a fast changing global legislative landscape and constant attention needs to be given to ensure consistent compliance with national laws” says David Longford, CEO at DataGuidance. So the key recommendation is to create and maintain awareness of privacy laws when doing business outside of SA, just as much as paying attention to the requirements of POPIA in SA.

My thanks to the Beatles for prompting the title of this article which is in part based on their August 1996 hit song “Here, there and everywhere” released as a track on the hugely successful Revolver album.

By Dr Peter Tobin
Submit queries or feedback from these articles to petert@iact-africa.com.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the gloves off in the contest to become the nation’s next leader, delivering a scathing speech criticising “the rot” and widespread patronage plaguing the ruling African National Congress.

Ramaphosa stopped short of openly declaring his candidacy to succeed President Jacob Zuma, 75, in a speech on Sunday, but his address left no doubt that his campaign is now firmly under way. He made several thinly veiled attacks on Zuma, who’s indicated that he’s backing his former wife and mother of four of his children, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the top post.

Dlamini-Zuma, who’s spent the past few weeks traversing the country drumming up support while guarded by the presidential protection unit, took an early edge in the race to succeed Zuma as ANC leader in December while Ramaphosa had run a subdued campaign, said Ralph Mathekga, an analyst at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, a Johannesburg-based research group.

“It’s becoming clear that he wants the position of party president,” Mathekga said. “He’s become more decisive and could inflict damage to the campaign of Zuma’s preferred candidate.”

A lawyer who co-founded the National Union of Mineworkers, Ramaphosa, 64, helped negotiate a peaceful end to apartheid and draft South Africa’s first democratic constitution. He lost out to Thabo Mbeki in the contest to succeed Nelson Mandela as president in 1999 and went into business, securing control of the McDonald’s franchise in South Africa and amassing a fortune before returning to full-time politics in 2012 as the ANC’s deputy leader.

Gordhan’s firing

Appointed as the nation’s deputy president in 2014, Ramaphosa has spent much of his tenure defending the ANC and government in the face of a series of scandals implicating Zuma. He publicly disagreed with his boss for the first time this month after Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, prompting S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings to downgrade the country’s credit rating to junk.

In his speech delivered at a memorial service for the late South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Ramaphosa backed a recommendation by the former graft ombudsman that a judicial commission investigate if members of the Gupta family, who are friends with the president and are in business with his son, unduly benefited from state contracts and tried to influence Cabinet appointments. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

“The allegations that there are private individuals who exercise undue influence over state appointments and procurement decisions should be a matter of grave concern to the movement,” Ramaphosa said. “These practices threaten the integrity of the state, undermine our economic progress and diminish our ability to change the lives of the poor.”

Mcebisi Jonas, the former deputy finance minister who alleged that the Guptas offered him a promotion in exchange for preferential treatment, also spoke at the memorial service.

‘Pretend rules’

ANC rules discourage members from openly lobbying for leadership posts, and say they should await nomination from its branches before declaring their availability. Several senior party leaders have called for the regulations to be changed.

“We know those are ‘pretend rules’ and nobody actually plays by them,” said Susan Booysen, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Governance. “The rules are there to protect the incumbent and their chosen successor.”

The ANC has won more than 60% of the vote in every national election since it took power in the first multiracial one in 1994, placing its next leader in pole position to become the nation’s next president in 2019 when Zuma is due to step down. The party will hold its internal elections at a December 16-20 conference in Johannesburg.

Anger, disappointment

“Ramaphosa realises that this is the moment to come out because there is general support for him and it comes in the context of anger and disappointment and people wondering why on earth he has not come out to declare his candidacy,” Booysen said.

Ronnie Mamoepa, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, said he couldn’t comment on party matters.

Dlamini-Zuma, 68, had an early edge in the succession battle, according to 11 of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on February 13 and 14, while 10 put Ramaphosa ahead, and five said the contest was too early to select a front-runner.

Ramaphosa still faces major obstacles in his bid for the ANC’s top job. While he’s received the support of the main labour federation, Dlamini-Zuma has the public backing of the ANC’s Women’s League and part of the party youth league, and can expect the endorsement of three premiers of three rural provinces known as the “premier league” who are allied with Zuma.

Marikana killings

There was a public uproar in 2012 when Ramaphosa made a failed R19.5m bid for a buffalo cow and calf at a game auction, a move opposition parties said was scandalous given the country’s enduring poverty.

The killing of 34 protesters by police at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in 2012 following days of violent strike action also dented Ramaphosa’s image. While he called the labour action “dastardly criminal” in an email a day before the shooting and urged police to take “concomitant action”, a commission of inquiry cleared him of wrongdoing. A company he led had a stake in the mine.

Under Zuma, the ANC suffered its worst electoral performance since the end of apartheid in municipal elections in August, losing control of Pretoria, the capital, and the economic hub of Johannesburg.

While Ramaphosa still needs to build his support base, the fact that he’s made it clear he’s in the race should bolster his chances, according to Mathekga.

“People can see he is a real option,” he said.

By Amogelang Mbatha and Mike Cohen for www.fin24.co.za

CNA’s next move

Embattled Edcon company CNA has taken a new tack in a bid to generate revenue and keep customers coming through the doors by opening a Digital pop-up store on one of its larger premises in the Cresta Mall in Johannesburg.

A recent article by Hilton Tarrant for Moneyweb highlighted the plight of CNA:

CNA has become an awkward appendage, made more clear when one reads the Edcon financial statements. The group’s retail division is split into two segments: ‘Edgars’ and ‘Discount’. The latter is Jet and Legit, while the former is everything else, including the foreign brands it has launched in the country, like Topshop, River Island, and T.M. Lewin.

And then there’s CNA. Edcon CEO Jürgen Schreiber told Business Day that it’s considering the sale of “non-core stores”. There’s a lot of “non-core” in Edcon, including Boardmans and possibly Red Square, but surely CNA is first on that list?

Truth is CNA was never enough of a book shop to be a book shop. Or a toy store to be a toy store. Or a stationery outlet to be a stationery outlet. The only thing it was ever really good at was being a news agent. The huge variety of magazines available on its shelves was unmatched. But it’s 2015. Traditional news agents are either extinct or on the endangered list.

A foray into mobile phones and laptops seemed to be one bright light a few years back. But CNA never carried the breadth and depth of product to make it an obvious must-stop.

Perhaps CNA has revisited this idea with its new digital pop-up shops.

SA’s most complained-about bank

The banking Ombudsman has released its annual report, revealing which South African bank drew the most customer complaints in 2016.

According to the ombud there were a total of 5,219 cases opened against 17 different banks, over 74% of which were officially closed during the calendar year.

The majority of complaints (over 50%) were fraud related in some way. In these complaints, the complainant is overwhelmingly the victim of a scam. There is no maladministration on the part of the bank, according to the report.

Similarly, with debt-stressed complainants, the ombud found that there wass also no maladministration on the part of the bank, and complainants are simply looking to their banks to ameliorate their debt repayment obligations.

Most complained-about bank

As the biggest bank in South Africa by number of clients, it stands to reason that Standard Bank drew the most complaints during the year. However, when looking at the complaints as a portion of its banking clients, Standard Bank still takes the top spot.

Standard Bank boasted 11.8 million customers in December 2016, up from 11.6 million the previous year. More interesting is that the country’s second biggest bank (8.8 million clients) was only the 4th most complained about bank finishing behind both FNB (7.7 million) and Capitec (8.3 million).

How many complaints are resolved?

There was a slight drop in the number of cases found in favour of complainants for the year under review.

In the majority of cases (75.8%), the ombud found in favour of the bank, compared to 16.6% that were held in favour of the client, while just 0.2 withdrew their complaints completely.

In 2016 the ombud received 205 more internet banking complaints than in 2015. Interestingly, the majority of the internet banking complaints were related to cellphone banking, which increased by 7%. This suggests increased cellphone banking activity, but also a need for greater security, said the report.

There was also a 3% increase in credit card complaints. A staggering 36% of all credit card disputes were charge back disputes, where some element of fraud was alleged. This equates to a 16% increase year on year for this subcategory.

Source: www.businesstech.co.za

Motorists one of junk’s first victims

A fuel price increase will be the first major expense to hit South Africans as a result of a weaker rand‚ the Automobile Association of SA (AA) has warned.

The AA’s mid-month data forecasts that petrol will rise 55c a litre in May‚ while diesel will cost about 30c a litre more. Illuminating paraffin will cost an estimated 41c a litre extra.

The fuel-hike predictions are based on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

“The loss of confidence by investors and the sovereign ratings downgrades by ratings agencies Fitch and S&P‚ have led to the rand slipping against the US dollar‚ down from around R12.35 at the beginning of the month to its current position of around R13.40‚” said the AA’s Layton Beard.

The AA said the rand’s weakness largely contributed to the expected fuel price increase‚ with hikes in international petroleum prices accounting for the balance.

“However, there is no certainty that the impact of the downgrades has been fully priced into the economy. The picture for May could be substantially different‚” Beard said.

By Suthentira Govender for www.businesslive.co.za

Several opposition parties have called for a new date for the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which is due to be debated next Tuesday.

The UDM wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete following a directive from the Constitutional Court on Tuesday regarding the UDM’s call for MPs to be able to vote via secret ballot.

The court granted the UDM access to argue the matter and allowed parties involved to file opposing papers. They had until Friday, April 21 at 16:00 to do so.

The UDM subsequently wrote to Mbete to propose that the motion be pushed to the week of April 25 to allow the respondents time to file their papers.

“An agreement between the parties should also entail this aspect,” the UDM said through its lawyers.

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Mbete had received the letter and would respond accordingly.

Parliament said it had received the court’s directives and would comply with the timeframes.

He said the court made no injunction regarding the motion of no confidence. It was still scheduled to take place in the National Assembly at 14:00 next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Parliament said earlier on Tuesday that Mbete was not opposed to the principle of a secret ballot on such motions.

Mbete held no position on the matter, it said in a statement.

“Where the Speaker and the UDM disagree is in relation to the powers of the Speaker under the Constitution to make such a determination.”

The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters on Tuesday also asked Mbete to postpone the motion of no confidence until after the Constitutional Court hears the matter.

The court’s decision to hear whether the vote could be done via secret ballot warranted a postponement from its current April 18 date, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.

In a separate letter, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said the Constitutional Court case could have a direct bearing on the nature and outcome of the motion.

Maimane added while Parliament waits a bit longer to debate Zuma’s fate, South Africans should join opposition parties as it marches to the Union buildings on Wednesday on Zuma’s 75th birthday.

By Thulani Gqirana and Paul Herman for News24

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