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.
South African Airways is now in a terminal spiral dive. Government, as the owner of the airline, has had to bail out the airline with a R2.3-billion grant to replace the Standard Chartered loan. What is telling is that the airline was unable, despite its best efforts and the benefit of supposedly copper-bottomed state guarantees, to entice any commercial lender to step in. By GUY LEITCH.
amaBhungane & Scorpio #GuptaLeaks: Software giant SAP paid Gupta front R100-million “kickbacks” for state business
To clinch Transnet business, business software giant SAP agreed to pay 10% “sales commission” to a company controlled by the Guptas. The evidence suggests the company – a little-known outpost of the Gupta empire – was deliberately interposed to obscure Gupta involvement and to launder the proceeds to them. By AMABHUNGANE & SCORPIO.