Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v20/03 11 Feb 05

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[Page numbers as in PDF file]

Guebuza's new government P.1

SA forces shifted to Ituri P.3
Anglo accused of paying off rebels P.4
Uganda uses 'rebel groups' P.4

Uncertainty on anti-corruption fight P.5

Fifth column in ruling party P.6
Debt relief, aid P.6

SA politics:
Mbeki seeks to placate whites and the Left P.6
Police rescue ANC leaders P.7
Party donations P.8

SA development:
Official AIDS figures P.8

SA economy:
Cheap banking deal P.8


Hopes rise for anti-corruption drive from Guebuza's new government

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05]   The new government of Mozambique's President Armando Guebuzo has been widely welcomed, and in particular his decision to keep the current prime minister, Luisa Diogo, who had been seen as a stop-gap by outgoing president Joaquim Chissano, and to reform the justice sector.

Guebuza, 62, was sworn in last Wednesday (February 2), and pledged to fight poverty. He has been given a generally warm welcome, but some analysts say that he will be unable to cure widespread corruption and criminal activity while he has a finger in nearly every business pie in the country. ...

Coopt or exclude ...

Conduct of the elections ...

Guebuza's interests ...

Conflicts of interest ... >>>Full report


SA forces shifted to Ituri as fighting surges

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] The violence in the DR Congo's district of Ituri in the eastern Orientale province is getting worse, say UN agencies. South African forces are being moved to Beni on the northern border of North Kivu province amid speculation that they will be used if the fighting intensifies, under tougher UN rules of engagement and possibly as a rapid reaction force.

SA has 1,200 members of the SA Infantry Battalion in the eastern DRC as part of the UN monitoring force Monuc. ...

Integration effort ...>>>Full report



Anglo accused of paying off rebels at Kilo Moto gold mine

[ © SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) has been accused of making payments to the rebel 'Front Nationaliste et Intégrationniste' (FNI) that controls territory around its gold mining project in Kilo Moto.

A new UN report says the company "could arguably be in violation of the arms embargo" and alleges that the company provided housing for a rebel leader and paid the rebel group "taxes". ...>>>Full report


Uganda uses 'rebel groups' to   keep up pressure

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05]   The Ugandan government has increased its activity in the east of the DR Congo amidst threats of intervention over failures to curb hostile groups there.

An office of the Uganda Amnesty Commission has been set up to induce an estimated 2,000 Ugandan rebels to return home. Bruhani Ganyana Miiro is in charge of the office which is based in Beni. Miiro's task is to persuade members of Allied Democratic Front, the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda and the People's Redemption Army (PRA) to give up their rebellion and be rewarded. The commission says up to 10,000 rebels from different rebel groups fighting Ugandan government have returned since it was established in the late 1990s. ...>>>Full report


Uncertainty on anti-corruption fight after Mutharika bales out

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] President Bingu wa Mutharika last week resigned from the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by his predecessor Bakili Muluzi but   it remains uncertain whether his new freedom will enable him to press home his anti-corruption crusade. In this the foreign donor community is likely to have more influence now, say analysts.

Opposition to Mutharika in the UDF was focused on   anti-corruption moves that saw a number of top officials in the former Muluzi administration arrested. Now Mutharika is gathering support from members of parliament and from his cabinet ministers - most have pledged allegiance. ...>>>Full report


Chiluba group reveals large fifth column in ruling party

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05]   A political witch-hunt has been going on in Zambia's ruling party ahead of a crucial party convention in March.  

The confusion in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) has been started by a   breakaway party believed to be run behind the scenes by former president Frederick Chiluba ( SouthScan v19/20;21).  

A list recently leaked from the Party for Unity, Democracy and Development (PUDD) reveals that some key ruling party figures have joined its membership. Among these are the MMD chief whip in parliament, Erick Silwamba, and Sports Minister Rev. Gladys Nyirongo, together with 20 MPs, including cabinet ministers in the former government. ...>>>Full report


UK promises debt relief, aid

[ © SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] Zambia is to benefit from Britain's new 'Marshall Plan' for Africa through a new debt-relief and aid package totalling £190 million (US $352.4 million). This follows a similar announcement for Tanzania.

The UK also announced that it would, in addition to its bilateral debt write-off and increased aid, pay 10 percent of the multilateral debt service owed by Zambia to organisations like the World Bank and the African Development Bank until 2015. ...

Statistics questioned ...>>>Full report

SA politics:

After polarization Mbeki seeks to placate whites and the Left

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] In a generally well received state of the nation speech to   parliament last week President Thabo Mbeki appeared intent on assuaging the concerns of some of his white countrymen and women, after increasing criticism of his Black Economic Empowerment policy and other elements of 'transformation'.

His message, recalling repeatedly the line in the Freedom Charter and the constitution that "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white", seemed an olive branch. ...

Skills shortage ...

BEE announcements ...

Regional developments ...>>>Full report

SA politics:

Police rescue ANC leaders from protest over services

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] Police reinforcements were this week sent to a Free State township after days of public demonstrations and violence about service delivery failures and corruption by the local African National Congress council.

The incidents are worrying the government. Last week President Thabo Mbeki promised to "deal with" lazy civil servants who deny citizens the service they deserve, but also issued a warning that violent protests would be met "with the full force of the law". ...>>>Full report

SA politics:

Bid to uncover party donations goes to court

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] A court bid to compel the four largest political parties to reveal the source of large private donations received in 2003 and 2004 began this week.

The Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) said the application was intended to establish the principle that political parties are obliged to give details of their substantial private donations to those asking for the information. ...>>>Full report

SA development:

Official AIDS figures awaited

[© SouthScan 11 Feb 05]   The government is preparing its response to the publication of mortality figures in South Africa which activists believe may indicate high AIDS death levels. Figures from a number of other sources have shown higher levels than officially admitted.

Last month the SA Medical Research Council (MRC) released a report claiming AIDS deaths in South Africa were being under-estimated by Stats SA.

The report has been delayed repeatedly since mid-January, prompting criticism from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). It may now be published by the end of the month. ...>>>Full report

SA economy:

Cheap banking deal shows   'informal' accumulation levels

[© SouthScan v20/03 11 Feb 05] A scheme to bring 'informal economy' businesspeople into the formal banking sector appears to be beating all its targets. The Mzansi bank account for low-income, previously unbanked people, saw 557,439 accounts opened by the first week in February, the Banking Council announced on Wednesday. SA has 13 million bank account holders. The new customers brought R160 million into the formal banking sector, with an average of R290 currently held in each Mzansi Account.

The data will give a fillip to President Thabo Mbeki's aim of bridging the gap between the 'first' and the 'second' economies. It also gives a new picture of the unregulated 'informal' economy as a sector accumulating large amounts of capital and now needing the infrastructure of the 'modern' first economy. ...>>>Full report