What do you do if you’re virtually a lame duck premier, having already been removed from provincial party leadership and now biding time while you wait for the next elections and your inevitable exit from power? Why you start a blog (h/t Africannibas)!! I guess he needs something to keep him busy between disciplinary panel hearings.
Joe Seremane has announced his candidacy for leadership of the DA. Now it’s pretty clear that the DA needs black leadership and I have no doubt that Joe Seremane would be a capable leader but he is by no means the solution to their leadership problem in fact I would say that the DA will be in no better or worse shape if Seremane or Athol Trollip are elected. If Seremance is elected leader of the DA they will still have a a significant dearth of black leadership and it is going to take a lot of work, and a lot of time, to recruit and nurture the leadership they need.
Here’s an excerpt of a speech Thabo Mbeki gave to the House of Traditional Leaders:
For those of you having difficulty understanding what he’s saying, here’s a translation guide
If a member of the royal family, whose conduct is that of a rascal and who has no respect or value for the people, introduces himself to the people and says … that he is an heir to the highest house in the royal family and to the kingdom of his nation, he must not hope that the nation is going to respect him and accept his rule.
Even I can stand firm on my feet regardless of the difficulties and say, this one cannot lead, whatever is said, we do not want him.
- royal family – ANC
- rascal – person who sleeps with HIV positive women and is alleged to have solicted bribes
- heir to the highest house – the deserving presidential candidate
- the nation – ANC National Executive delegates
I hope that makes it’s a little bit clearer.
Things are not going well for Ebrahim Rasool. The supposedly “Africanist” camp that runs the Western Cape ANC, after pushing Rasool out as party leader, headed by James Ngculu and Mcebiso Skwatsha are not exactly making his life easy at the moment. Looks like he’ll be called to grovel in front of party leadership for daring to call some members of the ANC his ‘opponents’. Got to keep that illusion of ANC unity going at all costs!
In my opinion, it’s high time for a cabinet shuffle. Despite the renewed statements committing themselves to delivery and better governance it’s still the same old of bunch of ministers that have lead us to what is becoming more and more of an administration so unsure of what to do next they’re too afraid to make a move. Here are the top four ministries that need a shake up.
- Health: It’s becoming apparent that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is not healthy. After a lengthy stay in hospital for a lung infection she came out and gave a press briefing in which she was clearly not with it mentally and is now back in hospital. We know that Mbeki has protected Manto in the past but it’s clear her wacky views on HIV treatment are making him look an idiot. With her back in hospital it’s an ideal opportunity for her to ‘retire’ due to ‘health reasons’ and get someone in who will bring some international respect back to the Health Department.
- Communications: It’s not often that one person can cost a country billions of Rands but in the case of Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri we have a candidate. In the eight years since she’s been minister South Africa has had the highest communication costs in the entire world. ICASA is possibly the most ineffective regulator on the planet and meanwhile Telkom racks up billions in profit off infrastructure our taxes paid for. And then to add insult to injury just this morning she blamed the ‘private sector’ for not helping out in the local loop unbundling process, forgetting the fact that she had previously made self provisioning illegal.
- Public Enterprises: Thanks to Alec Erwin being asleep at the wheel while SA’s economy grew without a corresponding growth in power generation we can now look forward to five years of power blackouts. Meanwhile SAA needs a few hundred million Rand to bail themselves out of debt, but yet have the ability to launch a low cost airline. And when he’s not losing SA stacks of cash he’s involved in intra-governmental fights with our previous candidate Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri about who gets to control the state broadband infrastructure.
- Home Affairs: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has not been in the position as long as the others listed above but one thing is certain, Home Affairs is as much a mess as the day she took over. Mapisa-Nqakula has made a step in the right direction asking for help from some of the other departments to help in sorting the place out but it may be too little too late. Departmental officials are leaving first chance they can, and the organisation needs a Sargent-Major more than a Director-General.
There are a whole bunch of other ministers who need a swift kick in the pants. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments.
Tomorrow Trevor Manuel will be presenting his 11th national budget and the media is full of speculation about who’s going to get their slice of the pie.
- Will Manuel scrap exchange controls?
- Budget to be robustly redistributive – FNB
- Give business tax breaks, is DA’s tip for Trevor
- Market to smile on Manuel
- Budget: prepare to pay for your sins
Update: And here it is.
A lot of families in SA would sleep a lot easier with R9000 worth of security on their homes but I guess it’s do as I say, not as a I do.
Update: Well maybe he’s going to need it, as thieves just made off with R4 million(!!) worth of Winnie Mandela’s jewellery. Thabo’s got to keep that prized single malt scotch collection safe!Update: And Thabo’s not the only one to get some increased protection.
Protection of local and foreign “prominent people” as well as the provision of security at key strategic installations – including cabinet ministers’ homes – rises sharply in the medium term.
According to the Estimates of National Expenditure released on Wednesday with Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s budget vote, it was anticipated to increase by an annual rate of 26.7% reaching R2.5bn in 2009/10.
In recent US history, the easiest way to become president was first to become governor of a state. George W. Bush was governor of Texas, Clinton of Arkansas, Regan of California and Carter of Georgia.
In SA we have not had a long enough period of democratic rule to extrapolate any kind of trend of who will be president, but one thing that has been a recurring theme is that the Premier of Gauteng has always been mentioned as a presidential contender. When Tokyo Sexwale was premier under the Mandela administration there was a lot of chatter about him being the next president. That he was forced out of politics, supposedly thanks to Mbeki, before any of the chatter could become reality is an indication of the prestige and weight the position holds.
So while reading through this article about current Premier of Gauteng Mbhazima Shilowa’s speech at the opening of the provincial legislature I couldn’t help but wondering if we have another stealth presidential candidate in the making. The speech seemed to be everything that people wanted out of Mbeki’s opening speech at parliament. A new focus on combating crime (R600 million for the 10111 emergency system alone – which seems a bit much to me), focusing on underperforming schools, a planned 60% increase in the number of HIV+ sufferers on anti-retrovirals – what’s not to like?
Shilowa has kept his head down and quiet over the whole Mbeki/Zuma struggle, hasn’t been involved in any political scandals that I’m aware of and to top it all off he’s got lots of cred with the various left wing factions thanks to his past leadership of COSATU. The only black mark I can put against his name is the Gautrain which is still in my opinion the wrong approach to take to reduce congestion and traffic but at least there’s the possibility of something cool coming out of the whole process.
Now of course this is all speculation on my part so take it all with a grain of salt but if he is playing the quiet under the radar game then he’s playing it very well.There’s still a few months to the ANC congress and I really do hope we start getting a better idea of who the potential candidates are in the near future.Update: Shilowa unveils plan to tackle crime rate
GAUTENG premier Mbhazima Shilowa yesterday gave one of the strongest undertakings from a senior government leader to address the high crime rate as he unveiled a number of crime-fighting initiatives.
The province, which has taken a strong stance on a number of issues, including HIV, was the first to make public its crime-fighting initiatives, following criticism of President Thabo Mbeki’s and government’s alleged failure to deal effectively with crime.
I’ve upgraded our Typo installation to 4.0.3 and hopefully this will get rid of some of the annoyances that were present before such as commenting. If you encounter any problems let me know.
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