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Zuma Under Fire as ANC Bleeds Support in South Africa’s Cities

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South Africa President Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma will face renewed pressure to quit after partial election results showed his African National Congress losing outright control of the capital, Pretoria, and Johannesburg in its worst electoral showing since apartheid ended.

The ANC and the Democratic Alliance were running neck and neck in both towns, with about 86 percent of votes counted from Wednesday’s local government election. The ruling party conceded that it lost the southern Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, a key port and vehicle manufacturing hub.

“Whichever way you look at it, people are saying they are dissatisfied with either Zuma or the way the ANC is dealing with its leadership crisis,” said Abdul Waheed Patel, managing director of Cape Town-based Ethicore Political Consulting.

Calls for Zuma, 74, to resign have mounted since the nation’s top court ruled in March that he violated the constitution by refusing to repay taxpayer money spent on upgrading his private home. He may also have to face 783 charges of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering, following a high court decision that prosecutors erred when they decided to drop a case against him just weeks before he became president in 2009.

Yet, Zuma’s allies in the ANC National Executive Committee and in the government may shield him for being replaced before his current presidential term ends in 2019.

“It’s not going to be a quick process,” said Patel. “I don’t think it’s going to be an automatic exit for Zuma just because the ANC has done so dismally. He still has some sway; I don’t think he becomes powerless.”

The ANC also has little appetite to oust another leader after the party’s removal of Thabo Mbeki in 2007 allowed Zuma to take over the leadership, Peter Attard Montalto, an economist at Nomura International Plc, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“All sides have already agreed they cannot remove another president,” he said.

Rand Strength

The rand gained 0.2 percent to 13.6812 per dollar at 9:50 a.m. in Johannesburg on Friday. It was the best performer of 24 emerging-market currencies monitored by Bloomberg on Thursday. The currency is still down about 40 percent against the dollar since Zuma took office on May 9, 2009.

Besides unhappiness with Zuma, the ANC has also come under criticism for failing to reduce a 27 percent unemployment rate, improve living standards and reignite an economy that the central bank projects will post zero percent growth this year. Communities staged 102 protests against a lack of decent housing, education and other services in the first seven months of the year, up from 89 in the same period last year, according to Municipal IQ, which monitors the municipalities.

“We can’t blame President Zuma,” ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said. “The party leadership will take collective responsibility.”

Pretoria Vote

The ANC fell behind in Tshwane, the municipality that includes Pretoria, with 42.3 percent of the vote, narrowly behind the Democratic Alliance with 43.4 percent, partial tallies released by the Independent Electoral Commission show. In Johannesburg, the ruling party had 42 percent support compared with the DA’s 41.7 percent. The DA was well ahead in Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes the city of Port Elizabeth, with 46.7 percent support, compared to the ANC’s 41.2 percent, and increased its majority in Cape Town.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, which advocates the nationalization of mines, banks and land, holds the balance of power in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Like the DA, it has said it is prepared to enter into coalitions with other opposition parties, but not the ANC.

With 13.1 million, or about 86 percent of the estimate of proportional representation votes cast nationally in the election counted as of 8:20 a.m. on Friday, the ANC had 54.7 percent of the total support, followed by the DA with 26.6 percent, according to the commission. The Economic Freedom Fighters stood at 8 percent. The ANC garnered 62.9 percent support in the 2011 municipal election. Including votes for ward councilors, the ANC had 54.3 percent overall support.

“We will not lie and say that we are not worried when we lose a metro like Nelson Mandela Bay,” the ANC’s chief whip in parliament, Jackson Mthembu, said in an interview in Pretoria. “We need to jack up our act.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Government

Ibom MRO to Bring in Forex to Nigeria 

Akwa Ibom State to open a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport

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U.S dollar - Investors King

The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has announced that the state is close to opening a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport and that this will generate foreign exchange for Nigeria. 

Investors King has also learnt that an MRO facility for aircraft would be operational from January.

This comes on the heels of praise from his Edo State counterpart, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, who attended the Tuesday reception in Uyo for two additional A320-200 Airbus aircraft that the state’s Ibom Air fleet had leased from a European company.

Speaking at the event, the governor of Akwa Ibom said that while there were already efforts underway to persuade the government to lease the MRO, the MRO is an investment because it was built with naira, despite its current depreciation, and will therefore generate income.

The Akwa Ibom governor said “Our terminal building is world-class in Africa, our MRO is world-class. If you find one today in the entire Gulf of Guinea, tell me I’ll disassemble this one and build another.

“Look at our MRO; what you see here can accommodate two 747 aircraft as well as eight CRJ aircraft, which we are flying for servicing at the same time.”

“This is the only MRO in this part of the world today, and these facilities are not built with local currency, but we are building this MRO with naira that has no value.”

“I invest in areas where we can see a return on our money. Right now without blinking an eye, I can make over $ 30 million with this MRO if we decide to sell but we are not selling, we will make a foreign exchange from this investment.

“Airbus is on us to come and lease our MRO for all their regional flights, but we are not selling.

“We are going to open up this place ( MRO facility) from January next year for commercial activities and we are going to earn in dollars.”

He thanked Ibom Air’s Board of Directors, Management, and Staff for making him proud, emphasising that “they have done very well.”

Gov. Obaseki, who spoke at the event, stated that Akwa Ibom has become the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and make significant strides in the aviation sector.

Obaseki described Akwa Ibom as the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and expand the aviation sector. “Ibom Air is always completely booked.” Let me thank you on behalf of Nigerians,’’ Obaseki said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Ibom Airlines., Mr Mfon Udom announced plans to begin regional flights in 2023.

Udom said the new addition to the fleet of Ibom Air would expand its carrying capacity and boost employment opportunities in the state by 40 per cent.

“With this new capacity coming on board, we are delighted to inform our passengers that we have increased our offerings, providing more frequencies for their convenience.

“The Uyo-Lagos and Uyo-Abuja routes now have three frequencies each every weekday, while our Lagos-Abuja passengers will have seven frequencies to choose from both ways, every weekday,’’ he said.

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Lagos State Boosts Food Supply With Mass Sale of Rice and Cooking Oil

LAISA has commenced the massive sale of rice and soya bean vegetable oils ahead of the December festival

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bags of rice

Lagos state government through the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) has commenced the massive sale of rice and soya bean vegetable oils ahead of the December festival.

The sale which is taking place at different locations in the state is already attracting massive buyers. 

According to the General Manager of LAISA, Mr Bolaji Balogun, places where potential buyers can get the products include New Farm Service Oko-Oba Centre, and Gengeto Bus stop, Abeokuta Road, Lagos.

While speaking to the press, Balogun disclosed that available products include 50kg of rice and 1-3 litres of soya vegetable oil all sold at affordable prices. 

The GM added that the food sale event was a response to the yearnings of Lagosians who demanded affordable rice and cooking oil for the yuletide festival. 

He noted that several people came to LAISA stand for the request at the just concluded Lagos Trade Fair. 

Investors King understands that the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) was established with the mandate to boost food supply in the state and also provide the necessary support such as farm tools to farmers. 

” As a responsible agency of government, LAISA will continue to provide customers/farmers with high quality and healthy food supply at affordable prices as and when available. We also intend to continue to support and encourage farmers on the best farming practice as well,” Balogun noted. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has replied to a statement credited to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria will face food crisis in 2023.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development opposed the position of the global financial institution stating that Nigerians should not panic nor worry about the projection. 

The ministry added that several measures had been put in place to forestall any scarcity of food in Nigeria. 

It added that the government had approved a five-year tax break as an incentive to encourage private investments in the agricultural sector and increased food production, processing and marketing.

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U.S 2024 Elections: Donald Trump Declares For President

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has once again showcased interest to seek the oval office after he failed re-election in 2020.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has once again showcased interest to seek the oval office after he failed re-election in 2020. Trump will be expected to tussle the Republic ticket with other potential nominees. 

At his private beach on Tuesday night, Trump said “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States”. 

Trump’s ambition might however not be “Uhuru” as his party, the Republican failed to perform as expected in the midterm election. Although the Republican has been projected to win the majority seats in the house, the party, however, lost the senate including key states. 

In addition, the former US president will likely face stiff opposition from his party as potential co-contestants include his former Vice President Mike Pence and the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, who won a resounding reelection victory on November 8.

Unfazed by the opposition and confident in his large following, Trump said “This is not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement.”

Investors King could recall that in 2020, Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden (Democrat). 

After his exit from office, there have been a number of investigations into his conduct before, during and after his first term as president which could ultimately result in his disqualification.

He is also investigated for inciting violence which led to the drastic attack on the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

Meanwhile, analysts and observers are divided on Trump’s potential comeback. 

The mid-term election result shows that voters rejected candidates who backed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in 2020, and many of his high-profile picks for office struggled or lost out in the race. 

It could be recalled that Donald Trump alleged manipulation in the 2020 presidential election which produced President Joe Biden. Trump claimed he was rigged out and tried to establish a conspiracy to back up his claim.

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