Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Ministers’ Resignations from 6th Parliament

Former ministers choose fat pensions over mandate to serve the people! 

One thing that came to define the start of the 6th Democratic Parliament are the resignations by former members of the executive from the National Assembly.

There are of course various speculations on why these former ministers and deputy ministers resigned, and these include pension consideration and rumours of redeployment to other focus areas. 
One thing that is certain though is that all these former Cabinet members and parliamentarians resigned because they were not considered for the still bloated national executive. 

When the correct history of South Africa’s Parliament is told in years to come, it should be highlighted that Jeff Radebe, Bathabile Dlamini, Siyabonga Cwele, Derek Hanekom, Thokozile Xasa, Nomaindia Mfeketo, Mildred Oliphant, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Susan Shabangu left Parliament when they were not considered for the personally benefiting and self-aggrandising roles of being members of the executive. 
This is however not the first time ANC members who are removed from Cabinet left Parliament. 

In plain revolutionary terms, these members care more about material benefits accruable to them when they are in Cabinet than service to the country.

So when presented with two choices, one being of service to the people as legislators and overseers of the executive and its entities and self-aggrandisement, they boldly choose the latter.

This is no surprise because that’s what post-colonial political office bearers from so-called liberation movements have become. They only partake on service and sacrificial work that comes with personal benefits. So it is safe to affirm that we don’t expect much from all the liberation movement politicians because to them, it’s “me first and the rest shall follow”, the rest includes revolutionary principles, sacrifice and commitment.

This is also particularly true of what has become of the character of the erstwhile SACP, now a faction for positions, supporting leaders only if they accommodate them in the executive and not for what they stand for.
With that said, the resignations also confirm the fact that Parliament in its current design and form is of lesser value and significance.

The resignations from Parliament confirm the systematic subordination and trivialisation of the first arm of the state, which is Parliament. The reality is that the status of being an MP is miles below ministerial positions in terms of political, legislative mandates and structured support systems. 

These are the reasons why Parliament is insignificant and subordinate to other arms of the state. Despite the fact that Section 73(2) of the Constitution allows ordinary MPs to introduce private members bills, more than 99% of legislation in South Africa’s Parliament is introduced by the executive.
MPs are not provided with adequate research capacity and content support, and ministries can employ as many advisers and researchers as they wish. Parliament does not have adequate capacity to oversee the executive despite section 55(2) of the Constitution obliging Parliament to play an oversight role. Virtually all court judgments that speak about Parliament have highlighted its perennial incapacity to effectively oversee the executive.
MPs from the ANC have limited space to play their oversight role because whenever ministers come to Parliament, they feel obliged to close ranks and defend executive members who belong to their own party, regardless of the evident incompetence and damage they may be causing to the state.
This was the case when ANC MPs defended Jacob Zuma for years, even after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had violated the Constitution.
Structurally and despite imaginations that they live in laps of luxury, MPs are accommodated in apartheid style two-bedroom houses which the Department of Public Works can gain access to without MPs’ approval/knowledge. They are fetched every morning by common buses and cannot travel anywhere else except where the buses are headed to.
They are not paid the ridiculous amounts which newspapers claim they get. From a potential R50 000 nett salary, virtually all MPs have to pay party levies, which range from 7% to 15%. 
They must belong to a compulsory Medical Aid Scheme called Parmed, which charges more than R4300 per adult per month. Meaning that a member can pay as much as R25 000 if parents, spouses and older children are added. Basic research and an analysis of an MP’s actual income can confirm this. 
So being an MP, particularly for the ANC, a person becomes an impecunious zombie that cannot initiate legislation, cannot legislate, and cannot effectively oversee the executive outside of the study group (caucus) position. Most times, the things that the zombie MPs read as speeches in the chamber are mediocre notes taken from Wikipedia by the ANC’s underpaid and largely mediocre back office of novice researchers. 
So between this and a fatter pension, the former ministers chose the pensions and some will accept deployment to foreign missions. Despite the fact that Parliament has an important role to play in South Africa. Parliament still has a backlog of hundreds of apartheid legislations that must be repealed.
By its very nature, Parliament needs a generational mix of people from different backgrounds. In this, there must be a mix of those that have experience in the executive and those who have been in Parliament for a longer period so that they are able to provide some institutional memory. 
Complete withdrawal of those who have some degree of experience deprives the younger generation of institutional memory of what was done previously and what was avoided. 
On many occasions, Parliament traverses the same journey of issues dealt with by previous Parliaments and written memory does not have the same impact as would those with first-hand experience on what happened.
As a legislative body, Parliament should dynamically use its combined capacity to legislate and pass laws, and among its members, should be politicians and activists who are senior to those in the executive.
This aspect is important because senior political leaders use their seniority to avoid being held accountable. One of the excuses Zuma used to evade Parliament was his seniority as a freedom fighter and president of the ruling ANC.
There is therefore a long overdue need for substantial political, ideological and structural change towards Parliament. Its generational composition, gender balance should almost exactly be a microcosm of society, and all who take up the responsibility should be willing to serve.
In terms of support systems, Parliament should strive towards equalisation of MPs (core of legislators and overseers) and members of the executive because the current imbalance trivialises Parliament, reduces it to mediocrity and subordinates it to the executive. 
Equalisation should mean equal administrative support, not too distant salary structures, and no one should be given a house as both MPs and members of the executive should stay within the people. There is really no substantial contributions that these ministers are doing which MPs cannot do, hence they are chosen from among them. 
The EFF founding manifesto speaks this point in relation to the government, and says, “as a broad and cogent principle, the EFF’s approach to public representatives (those occupying political office through elections) is that because they are there on the mandate of the people to serve, the many perks associated with political office should be limited”. 
“Representatives should live like ordinary people. Because they are responsible for the allocation of resources, and the implementation and monitoring of services, public representatives and their dependants should be compelled, by law, to use only public services, particularly schools and healthcare facilities and services. 
“This should apply to all public representatives from the president of the republic to a local municipal councillor.” 
Without a strong and properly supported Parliament, the democratic project will be undermined, and the biggest casualties will be ordinary people because government officials will undermine accountability and transparency prescripts in full knowledge that Parliament is weak, and Parliamentarians are powerless.
Floyd Shivambu is the deputy president of the EFF.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019



Floyd Shivambu 

The pitiful attempt by Rebecca Davis to give a critique of the EFF’s Election Manifesto is lousy, yet we we will provide a clear response to what quite frankly is claptrap disguised as analysis. The EFF welcomes and encourages engagements including disagreements with the commitments on what people said should be our plan of action when we takeover government after 2019 elections. The despicable attempt to vulgarize the wishes of the people, which they raised publicly in community meetings, letters, emails, messages and through the experience of EFF representatives in legislatures, must be called what it is, nonsense!

Rebecca Davis claims that the EFF has broken with the unspoken social contract of opposition parties’ approach of reasonable response about the policy pledges they present before elections. She goes further to make an absurd claim that the manifesto ‘is filled with unforgivably vague pledges, sketching the picture of a healthy, educated, employed and happy South Africa zipping along 10% economic growth with no plausible details as to how this can actually be accomplished’. She accuses the manifesto of being a dishonest document. But in reality, she is the one who is being dishonest because the people’s manifesto and a clear detail plan of action has details such that it is the first of its kind, something even Davis has not seen in a manifesto. She’s blinded by class and possibly racist prejudices which seek to provide a critique before she reads and understands. 

Firstly, the EFF is unequal that we were not part of the 1994 elite pact, and not signatory of the CODESA compromise that handed over political power to black people, yet solidified unequal propert relations between white and black people. For us to continue with the tradition of political parties to approach election with the so called cautious policy commitments would be to continue with the postponement of our people’s true liberation. The EFF Manifesto emphasizes the NOW! because we are a different generation, with new demands which will not be postponed. We want our land and jobs NOW! Secondly, the inability to see millions of South Africans, who in the main are young and black, healthy, educated and employed like it is the case with most European developed nations in a plan of action from a five-year-old organization led by young black intelligentsia reflects Davis’s own bigotry.

On agrarian reform

Agrarian reform is the cornerstone of our agrarian vision of promoting and protecting local agricultural industry. The thrust of the EFF’s vision is that the country must only import food products that we practically cannot produce, to supplement what is locally produced. In essence, our aim is to maximally use all arable land for food production, with the aim of building adequate capacity to fully feed ourselves. On basic food products that are essential yet with ecological litigations in terms of production capacity, we should explore the rising agricultural technology with the aim of producing enough to feed ourselves. This is important for two reasons:
Firstly, our country’s agricultural sector is a constricted sector, controlled by only a tiny minority of players. As a result, many commercially oriented small-scale farmers are kept outside of the mainstream markets for agriculture. The EFF government commits to developing alternative markets for these growers, by obliging the State to buy from small scale farmers for their consumption needs (food for schools, hospitals, clinics prisons etc). Whatever is produced by small scale farmers must find a market, and the State must buy 100% of its food requirements from local small-scale producers, except for products that cannot be produced in the country. 

Secondly, since the deregulation and liberalisation of agricultural trade in South Africa, from the late 1970’s, but intensified by the ANC after 1994, we have observed a rapid reduction of active participants in agriculture, and a reduction in production. This is made manifest by real reduction in the number of commercial farms registered for tax purposes, from about 90 000 in 1971, to just over 60 000 in 1991, 45 000 in 2002 and to about 35 000 by 2016. Some of these farms were consolidated into single, bigger family farms, some struggled to such an extent that they were bought by bigger, more capitalised farmers who easily integrated into the global agricultural value chain.

Trade liberalisation also had an impact on the volume of food produced and consumed in the country. The percentage of imported wheat increased from 20% in 2007 to about 60% by 2007, while at the same time local production was reduced by about 54%. So, imported wheat dislodged local production of wheat. It is as a result of these dynamics that some academics have argued that South African agriculture is the “least protected agricultural sector in the world”. The EFF argues that this is not the way to develop agriculture and catalyse rural job creation, therefore, we will through tariff and non-tariff measures promote the rejuvenation of local agriculture. It’s not rocket science, it’s a basic and pragmatic programme of action, one anyone with a juvenile understanding of the country’s agrarian economy will understand, but it is clearly way above her comprehension.

One jobs

On “One Degree, One Job”, Davis radically misses the point and based on some incoherent out of context scenario courageously demonstrate her ignorance when she says the EFF will need to guarantee 13 million jobs. What she does not say is that the EFF manifesto specifically says the EFF government commits to absorbing all unemployed graduates and place them into areas relevant to their qualifications. The 13 million figure she cites is a number of mostly children who are in primary and secondary school. While our long term objectives include absorption of all learners into quality post secondary education and training, the commitment about “One Degree, One Job” seek to immediately absorb those with qualifications now into full time employment and with the gradual abolition of tenders, such is possible.

Furthermore, an impression is given that it is all graduate that will depend on government for employment as if private sector will stop employing graduates. Currently, according to Stats SA latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), 6.4% or 504 000 of graduates are unemployed, and not all of them have degrees. The EFF intends to abolish tenders and make it compulsory for all spheres of government to directly provide services in areas that are inherent functions of the state. The expansion and capacitation of state, including retaining ownership of all state-owned companies and entities, have the capability to absorb all unemployed graduates, a coherent articulation linked with state capacity which in her vilifying state ownership and intervention, she clutches on unintelligible conclusions and misses the link. So Davis developed an illusion and critised the imagination as if it’s EFF policy. We forgive her ignorance. 

On basic education

Davis proceed to claim other significant factors related to teacher morale and training, administrative problem and the contention SADTU together with inadequate infrastructure which plays a role on the poor quality of education as if the EFF manifesto does not concretely address these issues. 

Firstly, the teacher morale and training challenges facing South Africa’s education are not inherent to the system. One of the challenges crippling public services, including education sector, is the decline in real value of public servants’ salaries in particular teachers, police officials, solders and general workers while the senior government officials’ salaries have increased drastically matching those of private sector. The EFF government will review and upgrade the salaries of teachers to start addressing some of the challenges. But also, to address the issues of morale, the EFF government will launch a yearlong #TeachersMatter campaign, starting in 2020, to look at both professional and personal needs of teachers, including training in soft skills, emotional wellness, financial literacy, assistance with debt management etc. a clear and practical program of action. 

Secondly, she nit-picks the point about the appointment of one orthodontist per school, which she ridicules insinuating that it is unnecessary and we don’t have enough through a misguided out of context linear calculation. What the EFF manifesto emphasizes is the need to have an orthodontist allocated to each school. This does not mean that we will have one orthodontist in each school present every day of the week. What we actually mean is to have each school allocated an orthodontist, but this orthodontics may be responsible for many schools in particular districts, region or province given the available resources. Clearly this is a level of sophistication and imagination which Davis does not have. It is practical to have one orthodontist responsible for 10 schools or even more depending on the dental challenges of children in schools. 

On fee free education

Davis elevates the World Bank right-wing economic approach of income-contingent loans instead of free fee quality higher education which include free accommodation, two free meals a day, free transport and laptop while increasing funding for research. As the EFF, we have consistently criticized the government of relying on National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which has been badly managed instead of resolving the higher education and vocational training funding crisis. 

Fee free higher education for all deserving students is affordable through proper prioritization. What is required is political will and a commitment to introduce free quality education for all. We make a proposal of 2% of total company revenue education and training taxes in addition to skills levy as one of the means to fund fee-free quality education, proposal which Davis ignore completely asking where the EFF will find money as if we did not provide a clear fiscal framework. She possibly did not see this funding model because added to the budget directly appropriated for the department of higher education, NSFAS, and the 2% education tax, there will be enough resources for all students to gain access to quality fee free higher education.

On social grants

Davis makes another incoherent conclusion that if there was money available to dramatically increase social grants, you can be pretty sure that the ANC government would be doing so. She says this as if she has been absent from the country when BOSASA former executive were giving evidence of grand scale looting, Gupta industrial scale thieving and the current theft that is taking place at Eskom through Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is not a demonstration that the money is there but the problem is the ANC. 

Davis further turns a blind eye on the EFF’s Fiscal Framework Chapter in the Manifesto which commits to maximal tax collection and dealing decisively with illicit financial flows, base erosion, and profit shifting. She obviously had not read the part that introduces a long term financing structure for infrastructure in order to lesson the fiscal burden on short term but impactful funding needs such as social assistance programmes.

Given that we come from a very low baseline, the EFF government will double social grants. Social grants have demonstrated that they have the potential to be an immediate solution to poverty in the short term, and can ignite some degree of heightened local economic activity. The money that is wasted in corruption irregular expenditure and maladministration will be redirected to social grants. In addition, the overhaul of the fiscal framework will also expand allow for expansion of social services broadly. 

Additionally, the EFF’s cogent jobs plan will mean that the number of social grants recipients will drastically decline, so the calculation that is based on the current unemployment crisis misses the point.

On Sovereign Wealth Fund

Again, Davis makes another mistake of mixing issues pretending to understand the context in which a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is created when clearly, she is clueless. In the past, we offered a comprehensive perspective which we demonstrated that for a country that is rich in mineral resources, SWF will be a dynamic, important instrument and mechanism to save and redistribute wealth. Countries like Norway, China, Singapore through multipronged state-led development, have successfully build some of the strongest SWFs within a similar context which we are proposing considering South Africa’s distinctive characteristics. We said a South African SWF should be established with the following features:

a. Relative autonomy from political micromanagement,
b. Account to Parliament,
c. Only 15% of gross profits should be deposited into national revenue fund
d. A combination of shareholders including state-owned companies.
e. And, an investment policy which brings about a delicate balance of asset management and private equity.

A SWF is not the same as Foreign Direct Investment, and clearly there is conceptual confusion in Davis’ critique of the EFF’s position. The SWF will fill the void of domestic investments in the productive economic sectors, because FDI has largely invested in speculative and non Labour absorptive capital.

These are the details contained in the EFF plan of action and commitments to our people. However, individuals like Davis, who write some dishonest drivel make it their mission to misunderstand the EFF so that they can spread lies, slander, gossip and pure caricature of what the economic emancipation movement stands for. These individuals and groups are often blinded by racial and class prejudices and choose to drown in ignorance even in the face of superior logic. 

EFF supports, members and ground forces are correct to be inspired by their own voices which have been captured with such clarity. After all, it is the people’s manifesto. At best, it is a cogent and clear program of action. The doomsayers and reactionaries will shout from the sidelines, but in the EFF, we know that for privileged groups, calls for equality sometimes sound like calls for oppression.
We will never retreat nor surrender. Down with reactionary and shallow criticisms Down! 

Floyd Shivambu is EFF Deputy President 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019



Floyd Shivambu 

One of the biggest failures of  the post 1994 Government has been the inability to create jobs, in particular for able, willing and young people. South Africa has more than 22.6 million people who can work, of which 16.4 million are employed and 6.2 million are unemployed. These figures do not include the more than 2 million people who looked for work, could not find work and now they have given up in looking. In expanded definition, which is the real definition, close to nine million South Africans are jobless. All aspects and sectors of the EFF 2019 manifesto have jobs dividend, and this article only focuses on the industrialisation and procurement jobs plan contained in the Manifesto.

Historically and currently, the most effective way to create jobs is to build sustainable industries to produce things that people consume on a daily basis and involve people in all stages of production. South Africas semi-colonial character has positioned the country to be the importer of almost all finished goods, products and services, and exporter of natural, and semi-processed products. The domestic consumption of goods and services therefore create and sustain jobs of many people in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Europe and America. It is not Gods instruction that all cars, electronics and textile used by South Africans should come from the oceans. The massive and almost complete importation of finished goods and products is man-made and the EFF carry the political and ideological will to fundamentally change that. 

The post 1994 Governments industrial policy has failed drastically because the kind of industrialisation pursued was not the kind of inward industrialisation needed to build sustainable Labour absorptive factories for production of daily consumables. This failure was made worse by the fact that the movement of investors money that come to South Africa was less regulated and shaped, as a result a larger component of foreign capital in our country came in as speculative capital, which do not have the much-needed jobs dividend. 

The failure of the ANC led Government can be seen by the fact that in the last 25 years, only five special economic zones i.e. Coega, Richards Bay, East London, Saldanha Bay and Dube Port are functional. The direct state investment in the SEZ for the entire 25 years is around R10 billion, and thats insignificant for a country that expends more than R150 billion on social assistance annually. Just under 14 000 jobs has been created by the SEZs, which if massively expanded, protected and supported could end SAs socio-Economic crisis of joblessness. 

As an interim measure of poverty alleviation, social grants are a progressive intervention, but can not and should not be a permanent solution to South Africas developmental, poverty, and inequality challenges. Social assistance programmes must be accompanied by an equally aggressive Labour absorptive industrialisation, and this is the argument contained in the EFFs Founding Manifesto and clearly located in the 2019 General Elections Manifesto. 

Firstly, to create sustainable jobs, the EFF industrial policy will focus on inward industrialization with export capacity. The policy of inward industrialisation will also aim to depopulate high density populated cities such as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town through creation of Labour absorptive industries in parts that have not realized any form of economic development since time immemorial. 

To achieve this, the EFF government will declare zero company taxes in multiple special economic zones in various regions in South Africa, starting with 35 areas and the whole of Northern Cape Province. The multiple special economic zones will gain special economic zones benefits such as tax incentives and factory building allowance. The non-negotiable and legislated basis of each company gaining access the SEZ benefits will be employment of a minimum of 2000 workers per company per investment area. 

As the EFF we studied areas that have immense potential either informed by historical infrastructure, market and resources to identify viable special economic zones. Some of the special economic zones will be declared in Qwaqwa and Thabanchu in the Free State, Butterworth and Mbizana in Eastern Cape, Bushbuck Ridge and Enyibe in Mpumalanga, Shayandima and Groblersdal in Limpopo, Kagisano and Moses Kotane in North West, uMhlabuyalingana and Maphumulo in Kwazulu-Natal, Cape Agulhas and Beaufort West in Western Cape amongst others. 

Any investor who can commit to a minimum of 2 000 sustainable jobs, pay employees a minimum wage and employee benefits will have access to these multiple special economic zones benefits. The EFF government will spend a minimum of R100 billion annually in pursuit of massive inward industrialisation. An emphasis is placed here that the form of inward industrialisation we will pursue will not be the same as the one of many post-colonial societies, which substituted imports with inferior domestic products. The inward industrialisation pursued by the EFF will necessarily have maximum quality controls with export capacity. 

The underpinning belief of the EFF industrialization policy is creation of jobs and any investment must clearly demonstrate commitments to jobs to access special economic zones. These tax free multiple economic zones alone have the potential to generate a minimum of 400 000 by 2024 if each zone can attract in average between five to ten companies who will commit to sustainable 2 000 jobs per investment per area. 

The industrialists in all these sectors should primarily be South Africans whom the State should incubate, guide and finance with an appreciation that not all industries will be immediately profitable. Developmental Finance Institutions must be positioned to finance and support not less than 30 000 initiatives annually, and a 60% success rate in this regard would have created many jobs. 

These industries will not be producing daily consumables only but will leverage on the domestic beneficiation of South Africas natural resources, with a firm legislative framework that ensures that a minimum of 50% of all-natural resources are added value domestically. Massive and decisive industrialisation will in turn develop financial and professional services sector and boost other household industries because many people will have work and in need of other consumables. 

Secondly, the EFF government will decisively use state procurement in all spheres of government including state-owned entities (SOEs) and local government to guide industrialization including in these multiple special economic zones. A conservative estimated is that all spheres of government including SOEs spend above R1 trillion every year in procurement, and this should be the enabler of industrialisation and localization. 

The EFF government will amend the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) to compel national, provincial and SOEs to procure 80% of all goods, and products from local producers of which 50% should be owned and controlled by women and the youth. Products such as glasses, cups, plates, spoons, tiles, energy efficient building materials, furniture, washing products, electronics, textile products that government use on the daily basis must be produced locally through labor absorptive means. 

The EFF government will leverage the economies of scale to purchase commonly used products such as motors, linen and garments for hospitals, clinics and correctional services facilities, food and other consumables to expand on the value for money to use government budget to have a maximum impact on industrialization and job creation.

At the core of the EFF industrial policy that is underpinned by employment dividends is the call for quality work and living wage. Those South Africans that work but continue to live in poverty because they are paid low wage, many are as good as unemployed. Any industrial policy that intends to create jobs but does not emphasis quality of work and living wage will fail to address South Africa problems of unemployment, inequality and poverty. 

It was for this reason that the EFF in Parliament objected to a R40 national minimum wage across all sectors and strongly called for sectoral determinations. For far too long, the value of wages continues to decline unabated while companies continue to make millions in profits for the shareholders. 

The EFF government will marry closely the need to create jobs through inward industrialization with quality export capacity, maximally use state procurement capacity and fast-track the process of industrialization and at the same time, the quality of work and a living wage will also be a key priority. Added to the comprehensive job creation plan that will come with the abolishment of unnecessary tenders, the EFFs plan on jobs is cogent and a decisive departure from what the post 1994 Government has been doing. The people of South Africa should give the visionary EFF political power and will gain economic power as a result. 

Floyd Shivambu is EFF Deputy President and Parliamentary Chief Whip. 

Monday, January 14, 2019



Floyd Shivambu

The African National Congress launched its 2019 General Elections on Saturday the 12th of January 2019 in KwaZulu Natal. As part of the hot air blown by its President, one of the most devastating promise, particularly for the unemployed youth, is a promise to create 275 000 jobs per year over the next 5 years. What this promise entails is that between 2019and 2014, the ANC wishes without a clear and concrete plan,to create only 1 375 000 jobs. The wish is part of the many wishes in previous ANC Manifestos, growth plans and policy confusion that defined the party since 1994. 

Despite the fact that the job wish is insufficient and that it certainly will not change the unemployment crisis of more than 9 million unemployed people in South Africa, it also undermines another ANC policy confusion called the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP is a product of the National Planning Commission, which Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa was Deputy Chairperson of, and said its intention is to create 11 million jobs by 2030, which makes it 550 000 jobs per yearThe target of 275 000 effectively displacing the accompanying commitments made around economic growth and development linked to job creation, and of course undermines plans around the reduction of poverty and inequalities. 

It is a known fact that in a post-modern industrial and capitalist age, a job is the most primary means of access to basic livelihood. For a South Africa that is defined by black landlessness, heavy indebtedness and almost complete no ownership of the means of production, this fact is even more relevant.  Without a job and recurrent interval income, many people would be living in absolute poverty and this includes the so called black middle class. A job brings some degree of dignity and respectability, and in many instances, the only way ordinary people gain access to food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare and general safety. 

The wish to create 1 375 000 jobs between 2019 and 2024 is made against the fact acknowledged by the ANC President that when taking the expanded definition, the number of unemployed South Africans is more than 9 million people. It is a statistical and scientific fact that an absolute majority of the unemployed is young people. These are people who still have a lot of energy, will and determination to earn a wage in exchange of their labour power. The wish happens against the reality that joblessness is South Africa’s biggest crisis. Even when South Africa was growing at an average of 5% during Thabo Mbeki era, unemployment crisis was not resolved.

It is clear that the number of unemployment is likely to remain at 9 million in the next 5 years. The ANC only wishes to create 1 375 000 jobs over the same period. This means that a whopping 7 625 000 people will remain jobless. This is without taking into account that more and more young people will enter the labour market in search for jobs, creating a possibility that even in 5 years’ time, and if the ANC wins the 2019 elections, South Africa will still have more than 9 million unemployed people in 2024. Why should the ANC cling onto power even when it has made a public announcement that it cannot resolve the unemployment crisis? 

The ANC’s wish to create only 1 375 000 jobs over 5 years does not take into account that some of the labour intensive sectors like the assemblage of automobiles have spent billions rebuilding their assembling plants into robotics in order to reduce their Labour Force. When BMW was replenishing itsplant in Rosslyn, the ANC Government issued a celebratory statement, welcoming the labour reducing robotics as a positive investment. There are still many factory belts, automobile assembling factories and production lines, which over the next 5 years, will be replaced by artificial intelligence, robotics and a variety of capital intensive industrial and manufacturing modes. 

Now that the ANC has spectacularly illustrated that it does not have a believable and cogent plan to create jobs, it is safe to conclude that they collectively and individually carry no sophistication to understand the labour reduction potential of the the 4th industrial revolution. This therefore means that they will not be able to reposition the schooling system, the state and workplace to adapt to the massive technological changes defining the world now. Despite phrase mongering around 4th industrial revolution, there is absolutely nothing lucid from the manifesto that says how jobs in the revolutionizing manufacturing belts will be saved.

As a result, the ANC cannot and should be the future of South Africa because it has publicly admitted to its incapacity to create jobs. The massive joblessness that will come as a result of the ANC’s incapacity, incompetence and directionlessness will have a huge negative impact on South Africa’s social , economic and political stability. Massive joblessness is a primary ingredient of social and political implosion, and the ruling party does not know what to do with it. 

In 1994, South Africa’s population was about 40 million and in 2019, the population has increased to 57 million. In its 2019 Manifesto, the ANC celebrates that 7 million jobs happened during the 25 years of population growth and of course due to increased demands for spaces in public sector, food retailers, trade of consumables, security, domestic services, etc. The ANC cannot however point to significant industrial and manufacturing employment created as a result of their industrial, trade or procurement policy. This is despite the fact that since 1994, the ANC has been promising millions of jobs to the people of South Africa. 

In 1994, the ANC Elections Manifesto said, “The millions of people without jobs will be at the top of the ANC government`s agenda. In establishing a dynamic and growing economy we will employ various means to create more jobs and opportunities“. This was obviously not achieved and perhaps they can be forgiven for they knew not what they were saying or going to do. 

In 1999, the ANC Elections Manifesto said, “An ANC government will immediately start a national public works programme which will address community needs and create jobs. Through this programme alone we will aim to provide employment and training for about 2.5-million people over the next ten years, building roads and providing water, electricity, schools, clinics, housing and meeting other needs”. This did too not happen. 

In 2004, the ANC Elections Manifesto said, “the ANC will reduce unemployment by half through new jobs, skills development, assistance to small businesses, opportunities for self-employment and sustainable community livelihoods”. Because the unemployed population in 2004 was about 5 million people, halving meant the creation of minimum of 2.5 million jobs for the 5-year period and it did not happen. 

In 2009, the ANC Elections Manifesto said, the ANC will Make the creation of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods, the primary focus of our economic policies. We will make maximum use of all the means at the disposal of the ANC government, to achieve this. This objective should be reflected in the orientation and programme of development finance institutions and regulatory bodies, through government procurement and public incentive rules, in industrial, trade, competition, labour market and other policies”. This did not happen, instead procurement was not used as an instrument for job creation, but an instrument to create a Gupta criminal syndicate that devoured the State for selfish purposes. 

In 2014, the ANC Elections Manifesto said, “the ANC will Consolidate the public works programme, creating 6 million work opportunities by 2019. Many of which will be of a long duration”. Furthermore, the 2014 Manifesto said, “As a contribution to boosting local manufacturing and creating jobs at home, the state will be directed to progressively implement the target of buying at least 75% of its goods and services from South African producers. The state’s buying power will support small enterprises, co-operatives and broad-based black economic empowerment“. Despite the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Submission that the laws that govern State procurement should be amended, the ANC in Parliament and Government refused. Of course, the  wish of 6 million work opportunities by 2019 was an unscientific hogwash with no plan and political will to realize. 

All of the wishes of the ANC on jobs did not happen in as much as the lousy and uninspiring wish to create 275 000 jobs per year will not happen, save for the population growth which will be more than 60 million in 2024. In the 25 years of its management of the State on behalf of the capitalist class, only 7 million jobs happened, and these were largely due to the increase of South Africa’s population by more than 15 million people and the expansion of the state. The dynamic nature through which a growing population absorbs a fraction of its population as workers is almost always a permanent feature of growing population, but the complexity of creating jobs, expanding industry and revenue base needs a logically superior government and the ANC is not. In the 25 years since 1995, South Africa had an average of 280 000 jobs per year, and always maintained crisis levels of unemployment. So the ANC’s wish of 275 000 jobs is even a reduction of jobs that were, in anyway, largely happening as a fraction of a growing population. 

Overall, majority of the 16 million South Africans that have jobs in 2019 cannot claim to have decent jobs because it is largely underpaid domestic workers, farm workers, mine workers, security guards, petrol attendants, public servants and variety of other low paying jobs In its 25 year rule the ANC Government has not been able to create quality decentjobs particularly in the manufacturing and self-employmentsectors. The attempt to create jobs in the manufacturing sector through the industrial zones and special economic zones produced less than 20 000 jobs in the entire period of the ANC’s mismanagement of the State despite massive industrial subsidies and tax incentives given to mostly foreign and multinational investors. 

What the ANC Manifesto basically says is that the Centenarian organization is too old to could bring about cogent, believable and implementable plan to create jobs for millions of unemployed people, in particular youth. The ANC has demonstrated and publicly announced on the 12th of January 2019 that it is has no solution to the crisis levels of unemployment, which in our age, is the major contributor to high levels of poverty, and starvation.

We will patiently and consistently demonstrate to young people who might be fooled to believe that the ANC can create jobs that it is not going to happen in their lifetime. It is only the Economic Freedom Fighters, as part of its cardinal pillars that will create sustainable and quality jobs for all. This jobs plan will be unveiled on the 2nd of February 2019 in Soshanguve when the EFF launches its programme of action, the People’s Manifesto for the next 5 years. Forward to Creation of Quality Jobs for All! Viva The EFF Viva! 

Floyd Shivambu is EFF Deputy President.

Friday, October 19, 2018



Floyd Shivambu 

Immediately after the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Press Conference, on Tuesday, 16thOctober 2018, which dispelled the allegations that the EFF and its Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu, received money from the VBS Mutual Bank as part of the reported; “Great Bank Heist”, one of Minister Pravin Gordhan’s protégés sent me a direct text message. Amongst other things it said; “with due respect Floyd, this obsession with PG or any individual in the ANC will change the character of the EFF”. My prompt response to this nonsensical and out of context text message was; “I honestly don’t care about that and suggest that you should share that with your friend, Pravin Gordhan”. 

This polemical piece will demonstrate that Pravin Gordhan, current Minister of Public Enterprises, has constituted for himself a parallel state and a source of authority in much the same way he did during the period of the United Democratic Front (UDF). As will be cogently illustrated with empirical evidence in the perspective here, PG, as his protégés refer to him, employs a combination of narcissism, self-righteousness, manipulation and threats to domesticate African comrades and achieve his selfish ends. His overarching and abiding intentions are the protection and empowerment of people primarily of Indian descent - all of this he does under the cover of transformation. Toward this parochial end he finds a ready ally in the white capitalist establishment.   

As will be argued, Pravin (and his Cabal) employs political blackmail to slander political opponents and then hold his actions and articulations up as a modular example of political virtue and duty. In an article published in 1917, Lenin warns against political blackmail, which he defined as; “the extortion of money under threat of exposing certain facts or invented “stories” which may be disagreeable to the person concerned, or under threat of causing him some other unpleasantness. Political blackmail is the threat of exposing, or the actual exposure, of true, but more often invented, “stories” with the aim of causing an opponent political damage, of slandering him, of depriving him of the possibility of engaging in political activity, or of making it difficult for him”. 

Instructively, Lenin argues that; "if our Party were to consent to the suspension of public activities by its leaders because they had been slandered by the bourgeoisie, the Party would suffer terribly; it would cause harm to the proletariat and make its enemies happy. For the bourgeoisie have many papers; they have even more blackmailing, venal pens (like those of Zaslavsky and Co.), and it would be only too easy for them to "suspend" our Party workers! The bourgeoisie is not interested in examining the case, in getting to the root of the matter. That won’t do, comrades! We must not give in to the clamour of the bourgeois press! We must not please those blackmailing scoundrels, the Milyukovs, Hessens and Zaslavskys. We must rely on the proletarians’ verdict, the verdict of the class-conscious workers in our Party, which numbers 240,000 internationalists. We mustn’t forget that internationalists are persecuted throughout the world by the bourgeoisie allied with the defencists, through lies, slander and blackmail”. 

The perspective offered here is formulated as a polemic because throughout political history and in revolutionary literature, polemics are important instruments to enlighten society. Vladimir Lenin used polemics to expose the theoretical and ideological weaknesses of the opponents of the socialist revolution in Russia, and they have come to constitute a critical and important component of the body of theory that aided the revolutionary and progressive forces. Lack of polemical work in South Africa’s public political discourse, has somehow deprived society, of such a critical vehicle for understanding in-depth, how fractions of Capital manipulate the system for self-gain. And this polemical contribution is a gesture towards addressing that deficit in our body politic. .

1.    The Cabal and Pravin Gordhan

For the benefit of those who do not know, Pravin was for the longest time a member of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC), which in turn was a member of the UDF in the early to late 1980s, and most of the early 1990s. To exert his authority in the UDF, he led a small grouping inside the UDF, called the Cabal, whose operations included slander of leaders and components of the Mass Democratic Movement (MDM). The report on the Cabal titled; “Report of the Commission on the Cabal” presented to the MDM, amongst other things says; “the Commission was unanimous in our belief that it [the Cabal] manipulates strategy, lacks democratic practices and stifles free and open debate necessary for the growth of the organization and for the advance of the struggle".

The report further states unambiguously that; “[P]reliminary investigations and enquiries by the ANC and the UDF followed up by the talks with those comrades ridiculed, isolated and discredited by the Cabal, has led to the following persons being identified as former or current members or supporters of the Cabal: Pravin Gordhan, Zac Yacoob, Alf Carrim, Yunus Mohammed, Farouk Meer, Jerry Coovadia, Billy Nair, all members of the NIC. The Transvaal connect of the Cabal was Ismail Momoniat”. 

The Cabal was basically an Indian Cabal that was put in place to slander the character and standing of African comrades in the MDM, and it was led by Pravin Gordhan. The report enlightens us further that; "Black comrades in Natal who suffered at the hands of the Cabal as far back as 1985 were amongst others, Ian Mkhize, Samson Nkosi, Kwenza Mlaba, Nozizwe Madlala, Russel Mapanga and Pius Langa.  At the recent ANC meeting in Paris, Pius was purposefully excluded from closed MDM/ANC meetings due to the influence of Valli and Cachalia, labelling him as not "being part of the MDM". 

The Cabal also slandered and diminished the role of stalwarts in the Transvaal.  Amongst others; Essop Jassat, Ismail Mohammed, Aubrey Mokoena, Curtis Nkondo, Thozamile Gqweta and Sam Kikine were isolated and diminished as leaders in the struggle. We believe that it is important for us all to appreciate and understand that even the ANC does not impose its will on mass democratic organizations. 

Even when the MDM was confronted with a common enemy – the white settler colonial state – Pravin was keen on sowing divisions within MDM structures, undermine and denigrate the role of mostly African leadership in the mass movement. The essence of Pravin’s ideological and political outlook was and remains collaboration with existing capitalist interests and undermining the overall leadership of the movement.

Despite the Cabal's divisive tendencies, a process to realize the transition from apartheid happened without their direct influence. The Movement's leadership in exile and in prison reached all sorts of broad agreements on what should constitute the contours and drivers of negotiations for a new South Africa. One of the distinct features of the Cabal under the leadership of Pravin was domestication of African comrades. And this phenomenon continues to define how he relates with African leadership in the ANC up to this day. 

2.    Transitional Executive Council (TEC)

Realizing that they never had a clearly defined leadership role in the transition itself, Pravin Gordhan submitted his name to be part of those who were to be in the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), representing the Indian Congress. The TEC is “a multiparty body in South Africa that was established by law to facilitate the transition to democracy, in the lead-up to the country's first non-racial election in April 1994”. 

Whilst the role of the TEC is not widely written about, it entered a variety of long-term commitments and took decisions which solidified South Africa's neo-liberal path in the post-apartheid era. Some of the agreements entered into by the TEC include; taking a loan from the IMF, which came with conditions on what form of economic policy post-apartheid SA should adopt. These included measures such as deregulation, austerity and the independence of the South Africa Reserve Bank. Yet another bizarre decision of the TEC, was to sign the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs three days before the general elections in 1994. 

Those who continue to deny that the systemic crises of racialized poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa were primarily caused by the rushed, unguided and unmitigated integration into global and capital markets may need closer politico-psychiatric observation. Post-apartheid South Africa, which was emerging out of the 1993 trade balance deficit and massive drought could never have integrated into the global economy in a balanced and job-protective way. South Africa entered the global economy as a horse in a horse-jockey relationship to be ridden by the global capitalist establishment.  

When elections happened, Pravin had wished that he would be part of the Executive under President Mandela but was excluded because, despite his inborn and narcissistic factionalism, there were other prominent and more important comrades of Indian descent such as Mac Maharaj, Kadar Asmal, Dullar Omar, Jay Naidoo who were prioritized. It bears mentioning that he did play a role though in the conceptualisation of South Africa’s Local Government system, which is proven by historical and empirical observation to be the most dysfunctional form of local government. Its only achievement is nothing but reinforce apartheid spatial resource distribution. In their current design, form, content and funding, municipalities are inherently incapable of responding to the developmental demands of their communities including delivery of basic services. 

3.    South African Revenue Services (SARS)

Pravin Gordhan, whose training and background is pharmacy chose to go to South African Revenue Services (SARS), which is a strategic institution and would later be used for a variety of political purposes and entrenchment of his narcissistic agenda. It is a fact that during his tenure as Commissioner of SARS, businesses that were owned by people of Indian descent benefited the most. Professionals of Indian descent were promoted into higher and strategic positions, and some even left the employ of SARS only to re-emerge as service providers of SARS. 

The case in point is the promotion of Ivan Pillay, a Matric-less fellow from KwaZulu-Natal, who was associated with the Cabal in the 1980s. He was frog jumped above-qualified professionals in SARS to a position of Acting-Commissioner. The Africans who would gain promotion and protection in SARS were only those Pravin could domesticate in the same way pets are domesticated and communicated with through snapping fingers or through one-word instructions.  

As a revenue collector, he bought himself various forms of shares in more than 40 corporations and conglomerates. He has shares in the following companies and benefits from them; British American Tobacco, all the Banks, Richemont, MTN, Pick n Pay, Steinhoff, Growth Point, Naspers, Tiger Brands, Grindrod Bank, and Aspen amongst many others. How a SARS Commissioner or Finance Minister can objectively act in the common interests of all South Africans whilst exposed to so many private interests, escape our imagination. Because capitalist mannerisms and logic are what guide him, he undoubtedly would prioritise private interests over national interests. 

4.    The Rogue Unit

Under his watch, an unconstitutional and unlawful unit was established, as a means to illegally collect intelligence against targeted individuals. A report commissioned by Ivan Pillay as SARS Acting Commissioner as part of its findings says; “[w]hile SARS remains an efficient and effective organisation, the unlawful establishment of a unit that operated ostensibly in a covert manner, has created a climate of intrigue, fear and subterfuge within the organisation”. 

As SARS Commissioner, Pravin presided over an illegal unit which transgressed the bounds of the permissible, interfering with people’s personal and private spaces, in the name of revenue collection. The key individual in the Rogue Unit was a certain Johan Loggerenberg, who currently works with a company that continues with unlawful intelligence services and gets paid by State institutions for such activities.   

The Sunday Times ran articles about the rogue unit and recently withdrew the articles and apologised because Pravin is in power. Ex-Sunday Times Journalist, Piet Rampedi’s 2016 resignation letter from the Sunday Times, published after the Sunday Times retracted the rogue unit reports places this into context. In the letter directed to the Sunday Times Editor, Rampedi says; “[I] hereby tender my resignation from the Sunday Times. The reasons for my resignation are, among other things, what I consider to be unethical conduct by the Sunday Times editors and/or Times Media Group in entering into an underhanded deal with Ivan Pillay, Johann Loggerenberg, representatives of Minister Pravin Gordhan and other former SARS officials that my colleagues and I have been investigating for the past two years for their alleged roles in the setting up and running of the rogue unit".

In the same letter, Rampedi further says; “[P]uzzling to me is what could have changed between the beginning of December 2015 when the TMG and Sunday Times editors were unanimous with the appeal process only to secretly dump it along with myself at the beginning of January 2016, and suddenly find it fit to enter into a deal with Minister Gordhan and other former SARS officials which seeks to discredit me and all the evidence that may point towards them in respect of the alleged rogue unit activities?

Is it because the political the landscape was altered with Minister Gordhan’s reappointment as head of Treasury in Mid-December? It is rather troubling that in the SARS saga the media (and now seemingly also Sunday Times) have been co-opted to tell only one side, which seeks to present former SARS officials implicated in the illegal activities of the rogue unit as victims and everybody else as evil”. 

5.    PG as Finance Minister

In 2009, Pravin was appointed as Finance Minister by former President Jacob Zuma, because they had a trusting and intimate working relationship. The Deputy Minister to Pravin Gordhan was Nhlanhla Nene who also had a trusting and intimate relationship with former President, and this is important to highlight. One of the earlier clashes we had with Gordhan was through a statement issued by the President Julius Malema led ANC Youth League in 2010. In part the statement read as follows; “the African National Congress Youth League is gradually losing confidence in the unelected Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan. The Minister continues to behave as if he is the only person who understands the developmental problems and challenges of South Africa.". The statement went further to say; "[T]he ANC YL will in the next meeting with the leadership of the ANC strongly raise our concerns with the Finance Minister, whom we cannot seem to locate because he is not accessible and not in leadership structures of the ANC. The ANC Youth League will forever be impatient with government bureaucrats who ignore the suffering of young people in South Africa and instead choose to be creative with the mandate of the African National Congress”.

In the ANC, National Executive Committee (NEC) that followed the issuing of this statement, an irate President Jacob Zuma condemned the leadership of the Youth League with the strongest vitriol and demanding that the Youth League should never question the authority and decisions of the Finance Minister. Because we were not easily cowered, we continued to robustly raise concerns about the nature and role of the National Treasury under the leadership of Pravin and Nene.

In the build-up to the ANC 53rdNational Conference in Mangaung, one of the central strategists for Zuma’s re-election as President of the ANC was Pravin. In a typical Cabal fashion, he was amongst the voices that called for the extinction of the ANC Youth League, and what he imagined were sources of funds for the ANC Youth League leadership and the anti-Zuma faction. Gordhan was willing to do everything in his power in defence of Jacob Zuma and to guarantee his re-election in Mangaung 2012 elective conference.  

Placing Limpopo Provincial Government under administration was a resolution proposed by and led by Pravin in Cabinet, and the politics of it was to thwart and undermine any formidable opposition to the re-election of Jacob Zuma. Gordhan knew that with the humiliation of being placed under administration due to massive corruption and looting, the ANC leadership under Cassel Mathale would not have the integrity and credibility to successfully convince branches of the ANC countrywide to vote against Jacob Zuma. 

For convenience, Gordhan argued that there was theft of money from the Limpopo Provincial Government, and that the stolen money would be used to defeat Jacob Zuma’s re-election as President of the ANC in December 2012. All suppliers and service providers to Limpopo government, including suppliers of essential healthcare necessities were cut off from the payment systems and their businesses collapsed. The only businesses that survived the Limpopo administration are businesses of those who went to kneel before Pravin Gordhan, and the condition of them being retained was that they should partner with business people from Durban. Those who care to know should further investigate which businesses partnered with Durban businesses in the aftermath of Limpopo government’s administration.  

In all his parliamentary addresses, Gordhan would repeatedly mention Zuma as if the word ‘Zuma’ was a punctuation mark in the budget speeches and Medium-Term Budget Policy Statements (MTBPS). When Gordhan placed Limpopo Provincial Government under administration, he hired a luxury bus for journalists and news reporters and drove with them to Limpopo Province to spectacularly announce the dissolution of Limpopo government due to massive looting, and when done, went back to Gauteng, depriving those slandered an opportunity to respond to allegations that they looted the provincial government.   

Amidst all of this, Pravin knew that Zuma was a lackey of the Gupta criminal syndicate and that the deputy minister in the ministry he led was a regular visitor at the Gupta compound as part of a wider Gupta-led state capture network. When closing what he imagined were sources of the anti-Zuma campaign, Pravin knew that the Gupta criminal syndicate was the biggest funder for Zuma’s re-election campaign in Mangaung. The Gupta criminal syndicate continued to be the main funder of Zuma’s faction even post Mangaung, and Pravin knew of their activities because he was Finance Minister, who constantly received reports from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).

Like Nhlanhla Nene, Pravin did not see anything wrong with the criminal syndicate as long as they did not interfere with his control of the National Treasury and three of its most important institutions; SARS, the Reserve Bank and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). It is through these institutions that Pravin gained access to established capitalist interests and thus intimidates opponents into submission and domestication. The manner in which his interests are entrenched in these institutions is such that he cannot imagine life outside of micro-management and control of these institutions. 

When he was not re-appointed as Finance Minister in 2014, Pravin was disorganised and knew from the onset that the Gupta criminal syndicate had played a role in side-lining him from the National Treasury replacing him with his companion and friend Nhlanhla Nene. This was a turning point in his relationship with former President Zuma, whom all of a sudden became a major opponent because he did not appoint him as Finance Minister, but Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). It was during Pravin’s tenure as Minister of CoGTA that a number of municipalities placed deposits with VBS Mutual Bank, despite COGTA and the National Treasury’s being aware that municipalities can only deposit money and lodge investments with Banks registered in terms of the Banks Act of 1990. VBS Mutual Bank is not established through the Banks Act but through the Mutual Banks Act.  

Despite his removal from the National Treasury, Pravin continued to pay particular attention to SARS and was interested in all developments related to the institution and its entities. Through the same method of using SARS's unlawful intelligence services, the PG group and parallel intelligence were able to blackmail Oupa Magashule, who was SARS Commissioner. The private information gathered around and about Magashule was gathered illegally and yet used as a basis to bring him down. This created a platform for Ivan Pillay to be appointed as acting Commissioner, who amongst others appointed Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane to investigate if there was the much-reported rogue unit or not. Sikhakhane Report confirmed its existence despite the fact that the initial intention was to dispute its existence. 

The biggest fallout came when former President Jacob Zuma appointed Tom Moyane as SARS Commissioner. In the criminal Cabal of Pravin, Zuma graduated himself from being an opponent to an enemy who must be destroyed because he touched the power foundation of Pravin. Tom Moyane re-affirmed the Sikhakhane process and started the process of dismantling the illegal units created under Commissioner Pravin. As Commissioner, Tom Moyane also suspended or expedited the resignations of the protégés of PG, some of whom knowingly accepted bribes from cigarettes companies in Sun City. 

When capitalists reinstated Pravin as Finance Minister following the dramatic firing of Nhlanhla Nene by his friends, the Guptas, his exuberant first stop was SARS Head Office. When he got to the SARS Offices, he walked like an excited child in a candy shop loudly saying, "I am back" and out rightly dismissed everything the then Commissioner of SARS was doing. He immediately discontinued the long-held tradition of inviting SARS Commissioners to joint press conferences before the MTBPS and Budget Speech. He instructed the SARS Commissioner to reverse all the decisions taken causing a huge irrevocable divide between National Treasury and SARS.  

The massive differences between SARS Commissioner and the National Treasury became public, and then President Zuma was called upon to intervene. Throughout these differences, SARS Commissioner Moyane, bombarded the Standing Committee on Finance (SCoF) with a flurry of complaints of spying and surveillance by unknown forces. One of these incidents even led to the killing of Moyane's bodyguard and allegations of poisoning. All of this was brought to the attention of SCOF, and the majority of us were not sympathetic because Moyane was an extension of an equally dangerous and disastrous Zuma and Gupta criminal syndicate, involved in a different kind of institutional mutilation. It was very difficult to sympathise with Moyane because he was on the side of charlatans whose rapacious looting of state resources was callous. 

6.    PG as a Member of Parliament

When he was fired as Finance Minister, Pravin chose to remain in the back benches of Parliament as part of a broader fight back plan against Zuma. He played a significant role in feeding information to civil society and academics who produced guidelines for the committees that were dealing with state capture. When opposition parties tabled a motion of no confidence against Zuma and demanded a secret ballot, Pravin was one of the key lobbyists from the ANC's side who convinced virtually all minorities in the ANC to secretly vote against Zuma. 

In a true Cabal fashion, Pravin pleaded with ANC Members of Parliament (ANC MPs), to vote against the President of his own organisation and country, and not because of principle, but because he was not invited to the dinner table of the Gupta criminal syndicate. As a matter of fact, if Gordhan was not replaced as a Finance Minister in 2014 by Nhlanhla Nene, he would have vociferously defended Jacob Zuma’s reign of terror, maladministration and corruption in government and all state-owned companies like he did when he was a Finance Minister. Zuma's enemy status in the logic of the Cabal came as a result of the exclusion of Pravin from Finance Ministry and appointing a SARS Commissioner he did not approve of. 

It should be mentioned that when he was Finance Minister, Pravin manipulatively used FIC reports to expose the money matrix of the Gupta criminal syndicate through a Hight Court application. The FIC is by law forbidden from using its financial intelligence reports for litigation purposes, but the man used the loopholes to expose the money movements of the Gupta criminal syndicate. Even when he was no longer Finance Minister, Pravin continued and continues to gain access to FIC reports and uses the rogue unit in exile to pursue his opponents and those who question his authority. 

7.    Rogue Unit still exists

The rogue unit still exists and continues to illegally gather intelligence and incriminating information against the opponents of Pravin. The unit exists in the form of a private forensic investigation company called Basileus Consilium Professional Services PTY Ltd (BCPS). In a report they compiled for the Passenger Rail of South Africa (PRASA), BCPS says their functions included inter alia the following; “surveillance of individuals and/or entities identified during the investigation process (individuals and/or entities suspected of having an interest in the transactions under review)”.

BCPS was irregularly appointed by Werkmans Attorneys in the PRASA investigations and went on to illustrate in their report that they possess sophisticated intelligence systems. They even followed identified individuals to their homes and private spaces in the name of investigating irregular expenditure in PRASA. The irony about BCPS and Werkmans investigations of irregular expenditure in PRASA is that they were irregularly appointed to conduct the investigations and were paid R179 million, and the Auditor General made an adverse finding in this regard.

BCPS is owned and controlled by Warren Goldblatt, who regularly meets with Pravin Gordhan and always engage in forensic business dealings with Ivan Pillay and Johan Loggerenberg.  Ivan Pillay and Loggerenberg own a company called Ukhozi Forensics, which works with BCPS on a subcontracted basis, and has illegal intelligence capacity and methods. Almost everywhere Werkmans Attorneys is appointed, they bring along BCPS, and a company called FACTS Consulting PTY Ltd. In some instances, they bring a black Advocate, mostly Senior Counsel to be the figurehead of forensic investigations reports they compiled through illegally acquired information.

Werkmans Attorneys, BCPS and FACTS are currently conducting forensic investigations in TRANSNET and were irregularly appointed under the chairmanship of Popo Molefe, who played a role in their appointment in PRASA. Popo Molefe was during UDF periods of the 1980s domesticated by the Pravin led Cabal and was recently appointed as chairperson of the Board of TRANSNET. Without demonstrating any form of governance understanding and sophistication, Popo Molefe's arrival in TRANSNET came with Werkmans Attorneys, BCPS and FACTS, and many attempts to fire Group Chief Executive Officer: Siyabonga Gama.  

Werkmans Attorneys, BCPS and FACTS are the same companies that compiled and wrote the VBS Mutual Bank Report, issued under the name of Advocate Terry Motau, SC. The strange aspect about the VBS Mutual Bank Report is that it concludes that VBS Bank cannot be resuscitated despite the fact that such was not the mandate of the forensic investigation. The decision on whether the bank should be resuscitated should be recommended by the curator and resolved by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

There is, however, an anomaly in the SARB of power imbalance, wherein Governor of the SARB is far outweighed by the Deputy Governor: Kuben Naidoo, whose appointment into the central bank came as a result of Pravin's deployment. Kuben Naidoo is the Banks Registrar, the Chief Executive Officer of the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which is amongst others responsible for Bank supervision. In terms of actual exercise of authority and guidance of the SARB, there evidently has been a power swap, which resulted in the juniorisation of the Governor and elevation of Kuben Naidoo into de facto Governor. 

The matter of VBS Mutual Bank is a subject of many Court challenges and information on what led to the public issuing of the report prior to engaging those implicated will possibly be explained in the course of the judicial review process. There are however contextual reasons why the report was hurriedly issued, and these reasons coincide with why the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in the Governance of SARS was hurriedly issued. In the case of SARS, the hurry to issue a report borders on insanity because Commissions cannot and should not issue conclusive reports that demand action on certain aspects before they finalise their work. 

The reason why the VBS Mutual Bank Report and the SARS Commission Report were hurriedly issued is because the Cabal under the guidance of Pravin fear that they are going to lose control of the National Treasury, and particularly SARS, the FIC and SARB. In the case of VBS Mutual Bank, the report was issued in order to slander those who exposed Nhlanhla Nene's proximity with the Guptas. Pravin knew all along that Nhlanhla Nene had some degree of proximity to the Guptas and used that for purposes of political blackmail. Gordhan used Nhlanhla Nene's dark secrets to run and control the National Treasury and its major decisions. For this, he relied on his old-time friend and Cabal Member Ismail Momoniat, whom we correctly characterised as undermining African leadership in the National Treasury. 

Since the EFF publicly called on Nhlanhla Nene to honourably and truthfully respond to the letter we wrote to him about his association with the Guptas as early as May 2018, the Cabal moved in to run and control the National Treasury on the basis of blackmail. What Nhlanhla Nene does not know is that the information that he had a close relationship with the Guptas came from the Pravin controlled Cabal and its domesticated Africans. The fact that Pravin wrote the terms of reference for the commission of inquiry in governance in SARS, prepared and signed an affidavit which was meant to come from the National Treasury and gave oral submissions are evidence enough that he was in charge. 

As a matter of fact, the current SARS acting Commissioner was imposed against the advice of the President of the Republic. Of course, the Presidency will deny the fact that the President and lame duck Minister Nhlanhla Nene agreed on who should be acting SARS Commissioner, and due to the Cabal’s interception and influence, a different acting Commissioner was appointed. In all fairness, the only proper characterisation of the acting Commissioner is that he is a puppet of the Pravin led Cabal.

The Commission of Inquiry into Governance of SARS was established with the sole purpose of exonerating Pravin from the sins he committed whilst he was SARS Commissioner. These include illegal contracts, including on the e-filing system, illegal tenders and building purchases, and establishment of an illegal intelligence unit. 

The hurried release of the SARS Commission Report, which recommends that Tom Moyane must be dismissed and replaced by the acting SARS Commissioner is an attempt to strong arm the President into appointing a puppet of the Cabal. Their greatest fear is that the new Finance Minister will not take their instructions because he is relatively autonomous and will not be easily domesticated. The only way the Cabal can force him into submission will be through blackmail if he has made financial and other private mistakes in the past.

8.    The Cabal still exist.

The fact of the matter is that the Pravin Gordhan Cabal, continues to exist, and engages in more or less the same activities that characterised their existence during the UDF years - the 1980s. The inner circle of the Cabal includes; Pravin Gordhan, current Minister of Public Enterprises and the main pillar of the Cabal, Ismail Momoniat, the Deputy Director General in National Treasury responsible for everything. Kuben Naidoo, the Deputy Governor in the South African Reserve Bank was deployed in SARB to look after the Cabal’s interests. Trevor Manuelprovides the link between the Cabal and the Capitalist establishment in the private financial services sector. 

Other Members of the Cabal include Johan Loggerenberg, the points man in the SARS Rogue Unit and Adriian Lackay, former SARS spokesperson and current spokesperson of Minister of Public Enterprises. There are African leaders who have been domesticated to the control of the Cabal and some of them lead very important institutions. Some are Ministers or Deputy Ministers of strategic ministries in the current Cabinet. Other leaders find themselves in the service of the Cabal, knowingly or unknowingly.

With the recently reconstituted boards and executives, the Cabal currently controls all State-Owned Companies under the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), in particular ESKOM. The Board of TRANSNET is composed of deployees of the Cabal, some of whom are former colleagues of Pravin Gordhan at SARS and some were forwarded by ABSA. Their intention in ESKOM is to incapacitate the entity and subsequently present an empirical case for ESKOM’s privatisation. In TRANSNET, the intention is to get rid of Executive Management, particularly GCEO: Siyabonga Gama, so that they can deploy at that level. 

The Cabal’s strategic interest and focus is also the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). When he was fired from SARS, Lackay was deployed to the PIC, and now has been returned to be the spokesperson of Minister of Public Enterprises. The Cabal controls the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), which provides financial intelligence to the Minister of Finance. Whilst the ANC has a deployment committee, chaired by its Deputy President, the Cabal has overridden the deployment committee and made so many strategic deployments without organisational mandate. The role of a deployment committee is understandably a mechanism of avoiding Cabals and often used to achieve geographic, gender and skills balance. The Cabal does not work in that fashion, they hire and fire without mandate.

One of the modus operandi of the Cabal is their control of certain sections of the media. A closer critical reading of Tiso Blackstar titles such as; Sunday Times, Business Day, Sowetan, and Financial Mail, will reveal that these platforms are nothing but newsletters of the Pravin Gordhan led Cabal, and are often used to slander opponents and protect their allies. The editorial direction of these newspapers is guided by the Cabal. The Daily Maverick is one of the platforms the Cabal uses to publish the so-called investigative reports, which are nothing, but largely concocted lies gained through illegal means and presented as fact. 

Sunday Times, recently declared the largely factual exposes about the SARS Rogue Unit, the Cator Manor Death Squads and Zimbabwean renditions as fake news and even committed to return the wards won due to these exposes.  The reason they did so is because the Cabal is hard at pains and wants to exonerate itself from the historical sins and maladies. The journalists who conducted the investigations and wrote the stories have come out to emphatically distance themselves from the editor of Sunday Times. 

Ex-Sunday Times reporter Piet Rampedi, who largely wrote on the SARS Rogue Unit, specifically says in a resignation letter he wrote in 2016, that Sunday Times is submitting to the pressure of Ivan Pillay, Johan Loggerenberg and Pravin Gordhan. This is not fiction, it is real developments that define a manipulative Cabal that instructs a respectable Sunday newspaper to withdraw factual reports without consulting the reporters that conducted the investigations and published the reports under their by-lines. 

9.    What is to be done?

The fragrant dominance of the Pravin led Cabal in South Africa is due to the fact that we have an absent President, who is largely indifferent to important matters of the State. The President has left a vacuum, and the Cabal has occupied such a vacuum and will engage in activities which will compromise many capable South Africans. Before the President is forced to act on certain questions due to electoral dynamics in 2019, he must as a matter of urgency re-assert his authority and provide leadership to our country.

In the immediate, this is what should happen;

a)    Arrive at a settlement with the current commissioner of SARS Tom Moyane and appoint an African as SARS Commissioner through an open and transparent process. 
b)   Instruct the Police to shut down all the illegal intelligence services that exist in South Africa in the hands of private companies. 
c)    Instruct the Ministry of Finance to come with a cogent plan to rescue VBS Mutual Bank and keep it away from former shareholders and management.
d)   Expedite and finalise the amendment of the Banks Amendment Bill to allow for the creation of a State-Owned Bank. 
e)   Instruct the Governor of the SARB to reclaim the central bank as preparation towards the Reserve Bank nationalization as we conclude the amendment to the South African Reserve Bank Act through CIC and President Julius Malema private member bill.
f)     Remove Pravin Gordhan from any form of government responsibilities and dismantle the Cabal. 

10. Conclusion

This insightful polemic is an illustration that in the course of class struggle, there are subjective, opportunistic and narcissist elements that can undermine the form, pace, nature and content of the struggle. South Africa’s developmental burdens are massive and some of the dominant elements in the present conjuncture will not assist the revolution to move forward. The success of South Africa revolution will be gauged by the extent at which black people and Africans in particular own and control their economic resources. The ownership of land, banks and all strategic sectors of the economy should reflect the demographics of South Africa. 

We in the economic emancipation socialist movement are well aware that as leaders of a generation that has set itself the task of total economic emancipation will from time to time be in the receiving end of polemics, judgments, slander and all sorts of character assassinations. Such is historically definitive of all those who seek to fundamentally disrupt economic status quo. We therefore should never retreat, nor surrender. We should, at all times provide thorough scientific diagnosis of what constitutes our immediate and long challenges.  All the information used here is publicly available and verifiable information and as the Cabal always says, just connect the dots. The dots are connected.