Flash Briefing: Ramaphosa prepares ANC for Zondo report criticism; ConCourt rules 2021 elections to proceed; SA consumer confidence

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to prepare the ANC for anticipated criticism in the Zondo Commission report – to be published in October – and ‘to engage with and prepare ourselves for implementation of the recommendations’. Ramaphosa was speaking at the party’s National Executive Committee lekgotla on Saturday. He said: ‘The ANC and this government will be criticised in the main due to an exaggeration of the role of the deployment committee and misrepresentation of its ambit, as well as for the management of the work our MPs do in parliament and parliamentary structures. The president noted that there ‘is a palpable feeling of anger towards and disillusionment with this government, which we must not underestimate. The people in this meeting bear the bulk of the responsibility for turning this around. It is our collective duty to address this.’
  • South African consumer confidence ticked up in the third quarter as the reintroduction of temporary welfare measures and a public-sector wage deal countered the adverse impacts of deadly riots, looting and arson that disrupted supply chains and put thousands of jobs at risk. “The public sector wage agreement that was reached at the end of July in all likelihood bolstered the confidence levels of the more than a million civil servants in South Africa, most of whom fall in the high-income category,” said Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, a senior economist at FNB. While civil servants will only receive a 1.5% pay increase, the deal includes monthly non-pensionable cash allowances of as much as R1,695 that will be backdated and lead to a “significant boost” in September remuneration, he said. 
  • The Constitutional Court has ruled that South Africa’s 2021 elections will go ahead on schedule and should be held no later than 1 November 2021. This has placed the ANC in a difficult position, analysts say, as the party has failed to register candidates in many wards. Given the ConCourt ruling, legal opinions say the ANC will not be allowed to register ward candidates where they have missed the deadline in 93 wards.
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