Flash Briefing: SAA disaster; MEC Msibi to step aside after murder charges; Treasury bans imported cement

  • Less than three weeks after taking to the skies again, South African Airways is already facing a backlash from staff, cancelled flights, and support problems. In the latest blow to the airline, SAA workers represented by the South African Cabin Crew Association and Numsa will picket outside the Airways Park office in Kempton Park on Tuesday. These workers are unhappy about unfair working conditions, including a 35% pay cut and the airline’s bloated management structure. Making matters worse, there is no deal yet between the SAA’s new equity partner, Takatso Consortium, and the Department of Public Enterprises.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for Mandla Msibi to immediately step aside, after the MEC of agriculture in Mpumalanga appeared in the Nelspruit magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of murder as a result of a deadly ANC branch meeting in August. Msibi was remanded after handing himself over to the police. Business Day reliably understands that he was involved in a violent incident at an ANC branch meeting that left two people shot dead, and two others wounded. Upon election as party president in December 2017, Ramaphosa called for the end of factions. But the problem has persisted amid competition for nominations into local positions and the potential to access tenders if elected to public office. Factionalism, accusations of vote rigging and violence have also marred the ANC’s process to select candidates for the polls.
  • National Treasury has prohibited the use of imported cement in all government-funded projects, giving a significant boost to local producers. Treasury issued a circular this week detailing the new limits, which call for 100% local procurement. All state entities, including national, provincial, and local authorities and state-owned enterprises, must, from November 4 this year, stipulate in tender invitations that only South African produced cement, produced with locally sourced raw materials, be allowed. The move forms part of the government’s plan to boost jobs and local economic activity through localisation.
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