Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.
v20/12 17 June 05
International and domestic considerations in Zuma's sacking
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] SA President Thabo Mbeki has earned near universal acclaim for his decision to sack his deputy president, Jacob Zuma. All political parties backed his decision, but perhaps the most significant support came from international quarters. The Financial Times commented that he "deserves to bask in the glow of a statesman and a democrat".
The opposition Democratic Alliance said Mbeki had been caught between a rock and a hard place. Most saw him making a calculation of domestic benefits and losses, yet the decision to axe Zuma came also on the eve of the Gleneagles G8 meeting, arguably the most important yet for Africa. ...
Domestic balance ...
Base for opposition ...
Ethnic balance ... >>>Full report
Views on official corruption improve - except for president's office
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] While opposition parties welcomed the sacking of Deputy President Jacob Zuma this week as a blow against corruption, it appears most South Africans may be uninterested in this element of the story and instead see it as a play between different political actors and forces.
A recent survey shows that South Africans' view of corruption in government is improving.... >>>Full report
Paean of praise for SA and call for labour flexibility
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] The International Monetary Fund has weighed in behind those in the ruling African National Congress who are seeking to make labour laws in SA more 'flexible'.
In a statement issue on June 10, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger, on a visit to South Africa, congratulated SA on its "laudable" economic achievements. ...
Increased investment ...
4 percent growth expected ... >>>Full report
World Bank gives out marks for business performance
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] The World Bank has published an updated version of its annual report on 'Doing business in 2005 - Sub-saharan Africa'. The report reviews important criteria for investors, such as employment regulation. The DR Congo is considered the place where the rigidity of employment index (which encompasses flexibility of hiring, rigidity of hours and flexibility of firing) is the highest in the region, followed by Angola and Tanzania.
In contrast Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are considered the least rigid economies in this regard. ...
Property registration ... >>>Full report
Mutiny in ANC as provincial racial balance breaks down
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] The long sustained racial balancing act in the ruling African National Congress in the Western Cape Province has finally broken down, with unforeseeable results.
Last weekend the Coloured provincial premier was ousted from his position as head of the party to make way for an African, in defiance of clear orders from the ANC national leadership. ...
Cosatu response ... >>>Full report
National strike attempt suppressed
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] An attempted national strike last week was suppressed by police roadblocks and threats to confiscate the goods and trading licences of any businesses remaining closed. However, organizers said it was half successful, and independent observers said there were markedly fewer cars and trucks on the roads.
The strike was organized by the recently formed Broad Alliance, which links civic groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change....
Official silence ... >>>Full report
Opposition leader under treason charge cloud
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] Dumped as republican vice president and recently expelled from the ruling party for attempting to challenge president Levy Mwanawasa for party president, Nevers Mumba's political ambition now faces a more serious challenge.
The clergyman is under investigation for treason, accused of seeking US$200,000 from a Congolese businessman to fund an insurgency and take over the government. He believes this is a politically motivated attack to end his challenge. ... >>>Full report
Good governance kudos may be lost ahead of G8 summit
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] Until recently Zambia was earning international praise on the good governance register and had its US$7 billion foreign debt reduced by half under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
Depending on the outcome of next month's summit of the G8 leaders it may have a 100 percent debt write-off, along with other 17 world poorest countries. ... >>>Full report
Contested constitution finally adopted
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] Parliament this week finally adopted its new constitution which guarantees some rights but continues to bar organised political opposition. King Mswati must sign off on the document before it becomes law.
The new constitution, written by a committee headed by Mswati's brother, Prince David, is the product of more than eight years of consultations including public meetings in all the chiefdoms. ... >>>Full report
Burundi's local elections raise hopes for regional stability
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] One of the first lessons of the June 3 local elections in Burundi is that they could take place despite attempts to disrupt the process by the last guerrilla group still fighting, Agathon Rwasa's Forces Nationales de Liberation (FNL).
In fact, the FNL rebels were able to prevent the election in only five communes of the Bujumbura rural province, whereas elections took place without major incidents in the 16 remaining provinces of the country. ...
Nkurunziza's party wins ...
Marginalising the FNL ...
Tutsi military ... >>>Full report
SA team for Cote d'Ivoire is new call on depleted military
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] A six-strong South African National Defence Force team was sent to the Cote d'Ivoire last week to prepare the way for a 40-member SA Military Advisory and Monitoring Team. But the new deployment is increasing concerns about the pressures being put on a force depleted by HIV.
The team's tasks will include liaison, planning assistance, monitoring and verification tasks and maintaining a presence at 11 disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration sites.\... >>>Full report
Museveni's pride dented by Rwandan patrol
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] Tensions between neighbours Rwanda and Uganda are never far from the surface. They were most recently demonstrated on the Uganda/Rwanda border where Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to boost his standing in the regional security affairs, was publicly humiliated by a Rwandan military patrol.
Museveni traveled by road to Kigali in a 12-strong motorcade including the elite Presidential Guard to hand over the chairmanship of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa - Comesa - to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame on June 2....
Western views ... >>>Full report
Election delay may spark chaos in Kinshasa
[(c) SouthScan v20/12 17 June 05] The DR Congo's National Assembly has decided to extend for an additional six months the transition period. The decision on Friday (June 17) followed a request from the Independent Electoral Commission on April 28.
Now there is real concern that the decision will inflame popular discontent and tip over into chaos the demonstrations being organized by the main opposition party for June 30. ...
Unpopular decision ...
Repeat of January riots? ...
USDP campaign ...
EU under attackTo defuse the tensions the authorities would like to show the people that they are serious in preparing for elections. By Monday the electors' identification and registration operations should start in Kinshasa and soon afterwards in the Bas-Congo province. The local and international media will give a large coverage to these operations, but nobody knows if this will be enough to defuse the tensions.... >>>Full report