Hot political season begins in South Africa

What is the consequence of the creation of a Special Commission to investigate “state capture”

On 7 February with an annual address to Parliament by the President of the Republic of South Africa (RUA) Cyril of Ramaphosa. Such requests are usually seen as appealing to the nation of particular significance: summarizes the work of the government, outlines the challenges ahead. This year the appeal has attracted special attention – it sounded a few weeks before General elections on 8 may. Formally, these elections are parliamentary, but, given the particular South African political system, they are presidential because the President is elected by the Parliament.

The current President Cyril of Ramaphosa was elected head of state for the remainder of the term of office of George. Zuma (his recall, was forced to resign under threat of impeachment). A new head of state will elect a new Parliament.

S. Ramaphosa used the treatment in order to highlight their successes and to announce the plans.

First, he said that the government will double the number of jobs. Not next year and every year! In order to win, the ANC and its leader need to put that is the problem, because in South Africa the number of unemployed is almost half of the working population. And among young people – the most active voters – more than 65 percent!

At the same time the country’s biggest companies have started actions to discredit the government, announcing new layoffs. Officially, the dismissal is explained by falling prices for resources, but it is hard to believe: reasons for falling prices, for example, platinum, no. We are talking about a deliberate campaign by the mass dismissal of workers – the backbone of the ANC before the election. Everyone understands that this segment of the discontented will turn to the Democratic Alliance, the party representing the interests of large owners, but to vote for the leftist party of the “Fighters for economic freedom” (EFF) they can. To do this, the EFF was created to pull votes from the ANC and to clear the way for democratic Alliance.

In his address, the President of S. Ramaphosa also summed up the large-scale purges of state personnel. Over the years of his tenure he changed the leadership of almost all law enforcement agencies (police, internal Affairs, security, intelligence, General Prosecutor’s office…). As a great achievement was represented by the activities of the Special Commission on investigation of state capture (state capture).

This Commission, which is broadcast daily on national television, listens to the testimony of high government officials about how there is a “state capture” by private business, and about corruption in the state bodies, including the government and top leaders of the country.

A wide investigation of corruption – certainly a good thing, but the Commission used to undermine the authority of the ANC. The first witnesses that testified before the Commission were representatives of big capital who just poured buckets of dirt on the leadership of the country. The Commission is not a court, it does not provide for the rights of the accused to cross-examine, the requirement for cross-examination has been repeatedly rejected. Likely, in the Commission don’t want to set the record straight. The public is very excited by the media, she does not see the obvious weirdness of this kind of procedure and is “bloodthirsty”. And it doesn’t matter whether subsequently confirmed the charges, the main thing – they should work before the election!

President S. Ramaphosa summed up the results of his economic policy, the main element of which was declared attraction of investments. He recalled the successful holding of the October 2018 international conference on investment, the purpose of which was involvement in the economy more than $ 1.2 trillion. Rand. Still managed to get promises a 300 billion Rand. Was given statistics 2017, according to which the country has received direct investment of 17 billion Rand. And in the first three quarters of 2018 such investments received more than $ 70 billion the Growth is impressive, but we should remember how the investments a year ago were blocked by global investors, whose rating Agency blackmailed South Africa (more precisely, the government of John. Zuma), threatening to reduce the rating of the country if Zuma does not cancel the decision on appointment of the new Minister of Finance. And downgraded over and over again.

The new government C. Ramaphosa appointed a new Finance Minister, former IMF staff and rating agencies have returned to the former “attractive for investment” rankings… Earned a new authority and praise from the world Bank, who raised South Africa to 82nd place (out of 190). S. Ramaphosa set the task to take the place of the first “pyatidesyati”, all the criteria of the world Bank…

Then, will act as foreign investors, recently demonstrated a blatant (or not say) demarche five Western embassies in Pretoria. USA, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland have sent a joint letter to President Ramaphosa, in which he stated that their investment is directly dependent on how will be anti-corruption policy. In fact, from the government demanded the punishment of all who a Special Committee has already accused and will be accused of “state capture”! Scheduled full sweep those conducting the course on the independent development of South Africa; the possibility of their return to the government want to exclude.

President S. Ramaphosa have high hopes for a breakthrough in foreign trade in connection with the signing of South Africa’s largest trade agreement to establish a pan-African free market (African Continental Free Trade Area). However, the agreement was prepared by the government of John. Zuma, and the current government to speak of him as his merit is hardly worth it. It is the merit of the African national Congress. Now it is possible to expect activization of foreign trade RUA with other countries of the continent: the common market will cover more than fifty States with a population of over a billion people and a total GDP of 3.3 trillion. USD.

Certainly one of the most important statements C. Ramaphosa began his remarks on land reform, which is known as “expropriation without compensation” and causes an extremely negative reaction of white farmers still owning almost all the land in the country. In an address to Parliament the President said that the first step in reform would be “the redistribution of public lands.” This clearly does not solve the problem of the landless. Caution this step is understandable, but, hesitating in front of the white landowners, the government will not achieve anything: they have never been and never will be the electorate of the ANC. But doubts about the sincerity of the intentions of the government by the poorest, which are the basis of the electorate of the ANC, will increase.

The President also reported that in South Africa opened the largest deposits of gas. However, the form in which it was made this message a surprise. “Today, oil giant total, announced by the President, will make a major announcement about the discovery of oil and gas field ‘world class'”. That is the country’s natural resources is initially associated with transnational capital. And what will the discovery of new deposits itself in South Africa?

S. Ramaphosa noted that the found resources can “significantly increase the energy security of the country.” Here again it is worth remembering that the government Dzh. Zuma sought energy security by signing an agreement with Rosatom for the construction of powerful nuclear power station. Considering the security of South African uranium, building nuclear power plants would provide not only a “significant increase” energy security and energy independence. However, the new government has reneged on the agreement with Russia.

Despite the obvious policy change in South Africa over the past year, the African national Congress continues to be unconditional leading force in South African society. Today it is clear that frenzied campaign against the former President George. Zuma was the first attack on the African national Congress.

So, in South Africa, started the campaign. Before the election is about three months. The opposition managed to undermine the reputation of the ANC – especially in the information space. However, this is done largely through lies and fraud. Amazingly, in South Africa there are no national Newspapers, reflecting the views of the government. All Newspapers in South Africa the opposition! Will the ANC retain power in the country, show the election on may 8…

Alexander Mezyaev, FSK
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