Monday 19th Mar 2018

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded his mission to the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 in Davos, Switzerland by declaring Team South Africa’s participation in this global gathering a “successful pilgrimage”.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said at the conclusion of his visit that he had been encouraged by the positive interest shown in South Africa by international investors who wished the country well as it entered a new era. He said the Forum had left South Africa with “confidence in the confidence” expressed by the investor community.

Deputy President Ramaphosa said by dealing with impediments to growth including corruption, dysfunction in state-owned enterprises and regulatory uncertainty, South Africa would position itself as an attractive destination.

The Deputy President reiterated his welcoming of the Commission of Inquiry into state capture and corruption established by President Jacob Zuma. In tandem with action on the part of the criminal justice system, the Commission would help the country “go to the depths” of corruption that has affected state-owned enterprises.

On his last day in Davos Deputy President held bilateral meetings with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rassmussen and British Prime Minister Theresa  May.

Deputy President Ramaphosa gave a number of international television interviews and addressed an international press conference where he was supported by Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe; Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies; Minister for Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, and Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba.

Deputy President commended the ministerial delegation - which included Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister of Public Works Nathi Nhleko - on their intensive engagements on WEF platforms and in discussions with counterparts in government, as well as with investors.

Deputy President Ramaphosa commended Team South Africa for flying the flag with confidence at Davos and called on all South Africans to sustain the positive mood in the country with hard work and partnership that will unite South Africans and improve economic conditions .
Deputy President Ramaphosa arrives in Johannesburg today, Friday 26 January 2018.

Issued by: The Presidency
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Greg Nicolson - Daily Maverick - 
President Jacob Zuma has finally released the terms of reference for the commission of inquiry into State Capture. They mostly focus on corruption allegations against the Gupta family and their allies, creating another headache for the Saxonwold clique. But there are caveats in the terms, possibly allowing further allegations of corruption to sneak into the inquiry. By GREG NICOLSON. -

Fourteen months after former public protector Thuli Madonsela released her State of Capture report, Zuma has officially given the go-ahead for an inquiry to take her damning findings forward after he published its terms of reference in the government gazette on Thursday, over two weeks since he appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo (photo) to chair the inquiry.

The terms of reference determine the scope of the inquiry and despite speculation that Zuma would try to broaden them to include a vast array of corruption allegations dating back to 1994 or earlier, they mandate the inquiry to investigate Madonsela's findings on the Gupta family, the President and other government leaders.

The terms start with a general instruction to Zondo, to determine: “whether, and to what extent and by whom attempts were made through any form of inducement or for any gain of whatsoever nature to influence members of the national executive (including deputy ministers), office bearers and/or functionaries employed by or office bearers of any state institution or organ of state or directors of the boards of SoE's”.

Then they get specific. The inquiry will look at claims that the Guptas offered Cabinet positions to Mcebisi Jonas and Vytjie Mentor, allegations that the Guptas knew about Cabinet appointments before they were announced, and whether the President or executive had any role in making such offers or leaking the announcement of appointments.

The inquiry will try to establish whether Zuma, his executive, public officials or State-owned Entity employees broke the law by facilitating the illegal awarding of tenders to benefit the Gupta family – “or any other family, individual or corporate entity doing business with government or any organ of state”. The terms focus on the Gupta family, but there are multiple moments where it seems any allegations might be included.

Madonsela released her report into State Capture on her final day in office. Facing resource constraints she ensured the investigation would continue by recommending that the chief justice rather than the President appoint the inquiry's chairperson. Her report largely focused on the Gupta family's alleged offers to appoint Cabinet members and the sweetheart deals the family made with Eskom.

Both Madonsela and current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane have said it would be natural for the commission to look into further claims of corruption emanating from the report.

The terms of reference clearly mandate the inquiry to investigate irregularities, undue enrichment and corruption in the Gupta family's dealings with the state, regarding contracts, mining licenses and government advertising in The New Age newspaper and any other business deals.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane will come under fire as the inquiry will also target Cabinet members who allegedly made illegal interventions when the banks closed the Gupta family's accounts. Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen's appointment of two senior advisers, both Gupta associates, in his short stint as finance minister will also be investigated.

Madonsela, political parties and civil society groups could be concerned about two broad clauses included in the terms of reference. First, it says the inquiry must investigate: “The nature and extent of corruption, if any, in the awarding of contracts, tenders to companies, business entities or organisations by public entities listed under Schedule 2 of the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 1999 as amended.” And second, it will look at: “The nature and extent of corruption, if any, in the awarding of contracts and tenders to companies, business entities or organizations by government departments, agencies and entities. In particular, whether any member of the national executive (including the president), public official, functionary of any organ of state influenced the awarding of tenders to benefit themselves, their families or entities in which they held a personal interest.”

The introduction to the document, however, outlines that the inquiry be “guided by the public protector's State of Capture report, the Constitution, relevant legislation, policies, and guidelines” as well as the North Gauteng High Court's December ruling on the inquiry. As chairperson, it is unlikely Zondo, who was appointed on the recommendation of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, will allow the commission to be derailed.

Zondo will now be able to begin work in appointing inquiry staff. He has been given only 180 days from the day the commission begins to complete his work and report back to the President. He remarked this week that such a speedy inquiry is unprecedented, but commissions are often granted extensions from the President when they are behind schedule.

The terms of reference also calls for consequences for those implicated: “The commission shall where appropriate, refer any matter for prosecution, further investigation or the convening of a separate enquiry to the appropriate law enforcement agency, government department or regulator regarding the conduct of certain persons.” Although experience from the Marikana commission shows how slow action might be following the inquiry's conclusion.

Zuma released the terms of reference after Zondo gave a press conference on Tuesday saying he could do little until they were published. On Wednesday, Parliament's justice and correctional services committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga called for the urgent release of the terms. “The matter must be settled. Surely we cannot be pleading for it. The terms of reference are urgent.” DM
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Suv low cost? Il più famoso è certamente la Dacia Duster. Esiste però una potenziale concorrente, l’africana Mobius II: entrambe le vetture sono alla loro seconda generazione e si sfideranno in molti mercati emergenti, a iniziare da quello del Kenya (dove Mobius Motors ha la sua fabbrica). L’azienda è stata fondata a Nairobi nel 2009 dal giovane imprenditore sociale inglese Joel Jackson e il primo prodotto, il Mobius I, è nato nel 2015. Ora è la volta della seconda serie.  
Le sembianze della Mobius II ricordano quelle di una “tradizionale” Land Rover Defender: le linee sono squadrate, con archi passaruota pronunciati e un parabrezza molto verticale; mentre appesa al portellone posteriore c’è la classica ruota di scorta. Lunga 4,2 metri, è disponibile solo in versione 3 porte. L’unico elemento hi-tech si trova all’interno: è lo schermo del sistema infotelematico da 8 pollici, posizionato a centro plancia. 
Naturalmente anche nel caso della Mobius II il punto di forza è il prezzo, che oscilla fra l’equivalente di circa 10.700 e 12.800 euro: la carrozzeria è costruita su una struttura tubolare appoggiata a un telaio a longheroni, il più adatto quando si lascia l’asfalto. Tuttavia, a differenza della Duster (che su molti mercati è venduta col marchio Renault), l’africana non è al momento disponibile in versioni a quattro ruote motrici, ma solo con la trazione posteriore. Semplice pure la meccanica: si affida a un motore di 1,8 litri di cilindrata e 131 Cv di potenza massima abbinato a un cambio meccanico a 5 rapporti.  
La Mobius II non è stato progettato per rispettare le restrittive norme europee di sicurezza ed emissioni: il modello è “disegnato per le esigenze particolari dei clienti africani”. Metà delle strade del Continente, infatti, non sono asfaltate e le distanze possono essere enormi. Secondo l’azienda, il Mobius II è “un Suv con la resistenza necessaria ad affrontare le strade rurali, ma venduto al prezzo di una berlina usata”.   
Joel Jackson ha spiegato così alla Cnn il suo progetto: “La produttività di milioni di persone è minata dal tempo che impiegano per andare da un posto all’altro, quando il problema potrebbe essere risolto con un’auto più adatta alle loro esigenze. La case automobilistiche si concentrano sui paesi del Bric (Brasile, Russia, India, Cina). L’Africa è un mercato sottovalutato, mentre qui c’è l’opportunità di fare qualcosa di diverso”. Il motto di Mobius Motors è “Sostenere la crescita economica dell’Africa attraverso la mobilità”. 
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Rebecca Davis -Daily Maverick - 
It took only a few minutes on Thursday morning for the High Court in Pretoria to snatch away former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s million-rand pension payment. A three-judge bench ruled not just that Molefe was not entitled to his R30-million pension from Eskom, but also that his reappointment by the parastatal last year was unlawful and should be set aside. Oh – and Molefe needs to pay back the pension money already received from Eskom within 10 days. By REBECCA DAVIS. -

The ruling delivered by Judge Elias Matojane was short and to the point.

Brian Molefe’s reinstatement to his position as Eskom CEO in May 2017 was “at variance with the principle of legality”, and is set aside. Molefe’s claim that he never resigned from Eskom, but merely mistakenly accepted early retirement, is “false”. Molefe’s pension agreement is invalid and any payments made to him “patently unlawful”. Molefe must pay back the money he has already received from Eskom within 10 days, as well as covering the legal costs of the court matter.

The ruling is a smack-down to Molefe and the former Eskom board, but a victory for applicants led by the trade union Solidarity but eventually including both the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Molefe had previously argued that he and the Eskom board had mistakenly accepted early retirement after a tenure at the head of Eskom amounting to just 16 months, and that he should be reinstated as the CEO of the electricity board.

When he left Eskom in December 2016, he was awarded a total pension package of R30-million, of which he reportedly asked for around R11-million in cash with the remainder to be paid out monthly. The money Molefe has already received will now have to be returned and he is ineligible for further ongoing payments.

While Molefe currently draws at least two salaries, it’s to be hoped that he didn’t blow his R11-million pay-out all at once now that it needs to be paid back. Molefe is employed both as an ANC member of Parliament and as a “reserve force” member of the South African National Defence Force. MPs take home just over R1 million per year, while Molefe’s SANDF salary is reported to be R57,000 a month.

Molefe was not in court on Thursday morning, and his phone was going straight to voicemail after the judgment. DM
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Roma - Previsioni di crescita in rialzo a livello globale, e anche l’Italia potrebbe beneficiarne. Il nuovo World Economic Outlook Update del Fondo monetario internazionale porta al 3,9% la stima di crescita dell’economia mondiale per il 2018 e il 2019, e anche il nostro Paese migliora: per il 2018 la crescita italiana è stimata nell’ordine dell’1,4%, per il 2019 dell’1,1%, rispettivamente un miglioramento di 0,3 e 0,2 punti sull’ultima stima del Fmi.

“All’inizio del 2018 l’economia mondiale prende velocità - scrive il Fmi -. Questa è buona notizia. Ma i leader politici e i responsabili delle politiche economiche devono tenere bene a mente che l'attuale momento economico riflette una confluenza di fattori che è improbabile che duri a lungo. La crisi finanziaria globale può sembrare fermamente alle nostre spalle, ma senza un'azione tempestiva per affrontare gli ostacoli strutturali alla crescita, aumentare l'inclusività della crescita, costruire buffer di politiche e resilienza, la prossima recessione arriverà prima e sarà più difficile da combattere”.

Insomma, secondo il Fmi, “oggi ogni governo dovrebbe porsi tre domande. Innanzitutto, come possiamo aumentare l'efficienza economica e i livelli di produzione a lungo termine? Secondo, come possiamo sostenere la resilienza e l'inclusività riducendo al contempo la probabilità che l'attuale ripresa si concluda in un brusco rallentamento o addirittura in una nuova crisi? Terzo, come possiamo essere sicuri di avere gli strumenti politici di cui avremo bisogno per contrastare la prossima recessione?”. - (NoveColonneATG)
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