With MultiChoice accused of having essentially “bought” government policy over digital encryption to benefit its business, calls for investigations are heaping up both locally and internationally. In addition to a potential class action lawsuit against the company being mooted by a US firm, the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission has also been asked to launch an inquiry into Naspers. Comparisons between Naspers and the Gupta-owned company Oakbay, meanwhile, are inevitable. By REBECCA DAVIS.
When global consulting firm McKinsey “came clean” last Tuesday about its work at Eskom, it admitted it was not careful enough about associating with Trillian, its de facto local partner. But it claimed not to have known that Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa owned most of Trillian. Now we show that at least R30-million flowed from Regiments, McKinsey’s longstanding local partner at Transnet, into companies associated with a notorious Gupta-Essa money laundering channel. McKinsey refuses to comment on the payments, styled as fees to “business development partners”. Once again, it was the major beneficiary of the resultant contracts. By Susan Comrie for AMABHUNGANE.
One year into an historical free trade agreement which significantly increased access to the world’s largest market, South Africa has fallen far short of exploiting its full new quotas of duty-free agricultural exports to the European Union. By PETER FABRICIUS.
Spring Cleaning: With Eskom and Transnet given the boot, business gets serious over corruption and incompetence
In a stunning indictment of two of the country’s most significant parastatals, Business Leadership South Africa took the unprecedented step on Thursday of effectively expelling Transnet and Eskom from its membership. Citing the bodies’ corruption and poor governance as fundamentally at odds with the value of the organisation, BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale delivered blistering criticism while announcing the suspension. Mohale made one thing clear: amid much heat directed at private companies, government is still largely responsible for the current ills of the nation. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Bell Pottinger should be run right out of South Africa, and all public bodies and businesses in Britain for which it works should at the very least review their contracts, and disassociate themselves from its poisonous role in subverting South Africa’s young democracy. By PETER HAIN.
Monday’s reveal of the results of an independent review commissioned by Bell Pottinger into its work on the Gupta account was quickly overshadowed by the announcement that the PR industry regulator has handed down the harshest possible sanction to the firm. Bell Pottinger has been stripped of its membership of the PRCA after being found to have brought the entire PR industry into disrepute. Though the language of Bell Pottinger’s commissioned review was vague, the PRCA’s findings were unequivocal. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Cooperative Banks encourage savings and give low-interest loans, exactly what our small business sector needs. So why, 10 years after the Cooperative Banks Act was passed, are there only two registered in the whole of South Africa? By MOIRA LEVY.
Scorpio & amaBhungane #GuptaLeaks: TRAINSPOTTER – How the Canadian government helped the Guptas buy their private jet
Export Development Canada, the state-owned agency that extends credit to Canadian exporters and their customers, concluded a US$41 million financing deal with the Guptas’ Westdawn Investments in late 2014. The money was loaned so that they could purchase their Bombardier business jet, which became infamous as ZS-OAK, and has flown South African politicians and officials across the globe. Once again, the leaks reveal how major international entities were willing to overlook the Guptas’ political exposure, potentially breaking their own laws and regulations in the process. By RICHARD POPLAK.
This past week, Austrian Airlines announced that it would be relaunching its direct route between Vienna and Cape Town in 2018. As important as it is, you would have been forgiven if you had missed it. A new flight route doesn’t always bump to the front pages, if it gets reported on at all. But it most certainly should have. More flights mean more tourists and more tourists mean more jobs. It’s really that simple. By MICHAEL SPICER & PAUL BANNISTER.
Launching the 2017 tax season at the start of July newly-ensconced Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba urged South African taxpayers to “pay to Caesar what is due to Caesar”. This week SARS announced that due to technical glitches, crucial documents filed by employers and taxpayers need to be refiled. It seems Commissioner Tom Moyane’s SARS restructuring chickens are coming home to roost. By MARIANNE THAMM.