Connect with us

Government

Zuma Under Fire as S. African Unions Call Anti-Graft Strike

Published

on

South Africa President Jacob Zuma
  • Zuma Under Fire as S. African Unions Call Anti-Graft Strike

South Africa’s biggest labor organization urged workers to strike on Wednesday to protest against what it called “the cancer of corruption” spreading among business and government leaders and threatening the nation’s democracy under President Jacob Zuma.

The action is the boldest step yet by the Congress of South African Trade Unions to pile pressure on Zuma, whom it helped to win control of the ruling African National Congress in 2007 and then turned against after he fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in March. That move prompted S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. to downgrade the nation’s credit assessment to junk.

“This strike is about sending a message to both government and private sector that as workers and citizens we are tired of corruption,” Bheki Ntshalintshali, general secretary of the 1.7-million-member Cosatu, told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday. At least 13 marches will take place across the nine provinces, with demonstrators voicing their grievances and bringing criminal charges against corrupt officials, the confederation said.

The labor action will place further pressure on Africa’s most industrialized economy, which the central bank expects to expand 0.6 percent this year. It may also further dent business confidence, which fell to its lowest level in more than three decades last month.

The National Union of Mineworkers instructed all its members to either protest or stay away from work, Livhuwani Mammburu, acting national spokesman, said by phone. “We will be fully participating in the Cosatu national strike,” he said.

Cosatu is taking to the streets just three months before the ANC is scheduled to elect a new leader to replace Zuma, 75. It’s backing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to replace Zuma when he steps down as ANC leader in December, while the president’s favored successor is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife and former chairwoman of the African Union Commission.

Communist Support

The strike has the support of the South African Communist Party, which like Cosatu is a member of the country’s ANC-led ruling coalition. The protesters aim to show Zuma, who’s been implicated in a succession of scandals, that they want him to quit, according to Solly Mapaila, the party’s deputy secretary.

“He is at the center of this corruption that is taking place in government,” Mapaila said. “He is the buffer, the main protector, the main distributor, the main person who makes it possible.”

Zuma has faced almost daily reports of new details on his friendship with the Gupta family and its alleged influence over his administration which is known locally as “state capture.”

The scandal has affected global companies such as accountants KPMG LLP and consultancy McKinsey & Co., which have been implicated in facilitating, being party to or turning a blind eye to their deals. Public relations firm Bell Pottinger LLP collapsed after it was found to have mounted a racially divisive campaign while work for the Guptas. Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing.

Phumla Williams, the acting director-general of the Government Communication and Information System, didn’t answer calls to her mobile phone or respond to a message seeking comment.

Business Unity South Africa urged employers to allow workers to participate in the protest on a no-work, no-pay basis and said they can’t be dismissed for taking part unless they’re employed in essential services.

“Busa is not endorsing protest action by Cosatu, although it supports the call against state capture and corruption,” Tanya Cohen, the business lobby group’s chief executive officer, said by email.

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

Government

Ekiti Governor Unveils Multi-Billion Naira Relief Programmes Amid Economic Crisis

Published

on

Biodun Oyebanji

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, has announced a comprehensive relief package aimed at alleviating the hardship faced by the people of the state.

The relief programs encompass various sectors to cushion the impact of the economic downturn.

One of the key initiatives entails clearing salary arrears amounting to over N2.7 billion owed to both State and Local Government workers.

This move signifies the government’s commitment to addressing the financial burdens faced by its workforce.

Furthermore, Governor Oyebanji has approved a substantial increase of N600 million per month in the subvention of autonomous institutions, including the Judiciary and tertiary institutions.

This augmentation is intended to enable these institutions to implement wage awards in alignment with State and Local Government workers’ salaries.

In addition to addressing salary arrears, the relief programs extend to pensioners, with the approval of payments totaling N1.5 billion for two months’ pension arrears.

Moreover, an increase in the monthly gratuity payment to state pensioners and local government pensioners will provide additional financial support, totaling N200 million monthly.

The relief initiatives also encompass agricultural and small-scale business sectors.

The allocation of funds for food production and livestock transformation projects underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing food security and economic sustainability at the grassroots level.

Governor Oyebanji emphasized that these relief programs are part of the state’s concerted efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of the economic downturn and foster shared prosperity.

The comprehensive nature of the initiatives reflects a proactive approach towards addressing the challenges faced by Ekiti State residents.

Continue Reading

Government

President Tinubu Orders Immediate Settlement of N342m Electricity Bill for Presidential Villa

Published

on

power project

President Bola Tinubu has directed the prompt settlement of a N342 million outstanding electricity bill owed by the Presidential Villa to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

This move comes in response to the reconciliation of accounts between the State House Management and the AEDC.

The AEDC had earlier threatened to disconnect electricity services to the Presidential Villa and 86 Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) over a total outstanding debt of N47.20 billion as of December 2023.

Contrary to the initial claim by the AEDC that the State House owed N923 million in electricity bills, the Presidency clarified that the actual outstanding amount is N342.35 million.

This discrepancy underscores the importance of accurate accounting and reconciliation between entities.

In a statement signed by President Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, the Presidency affirmed the commitment to settle the debt promptly.

Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila assured that the debt would be paid to the AEDC before the end of the week.

The directive from the Presidency extends beyond the State House, as Gbajabiamila urged other MDAs to reconcile their accounts with the AEDC and settle their outstanding electricity bills.

The AEDC, on its part, issued a 10-day notice to the affected government agencies to settle their debts or face disconnection.

This development highlights the importance of financial accountability and responsible management of public utilities.

It also underscores the necessity for government entities to fulfill their financial obligations to service providers promptly, ensuring uninterrupted services and avoiding potential disruptions.

Continue Reading

Government

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Issues Ultimatum to 86 Government Agencies Over N47bn Debt

Published

on

Power - Investors King

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has issued an ultimatum to 86 government agencies, including the Presidential Villa, owing a collective debt of N47 billion.

The notice comes as a response to the prolonged failure of these agencies to settle their outstanding electricity bills.

According to the public notice released by the AEDC management, some of the highest debts are attributed to prominent entities such as the National Security Adviser (owing N95.9 billion), the Chief of Defence staff barracks, and military formations (indebted to the tune of N12 billion).

Also, several ministries, including the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory and the Ministry of Power, have sizable outstanding bills.

The AEDC has expressed its frustration over the inability of these government bodies to honor their financial obligations despite previous attempts to facilitate payment.

In response, the company has warned of imminent disconnection of services if the outstanding debts are not settled within 10 days of the notice.

The outstanding debts are attributed to various factors including the devaluation of the naira, cash scarcity resulting from demonetization programs, high inflation rates, removal of fuel subsidies, and foreign exchange challenges.

These financial burdens have adversely impacted the operations of the AEDC, contributing to a loss of N99 million in foreign exchange alone.

As the deadline for payment approaches, government agencies are under pressure to address their outstanding debts to avoid service disruptions.

The AEDC remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that all entities fulfill their financial obligations, underscoring the importance of prompt payment for uninterrupted electricity services.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending