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A retired Army general is leading a new political party into the national elections next year (2024). He is General Maomela “Mojo” Motau, the former Chief of Defence Intelligence. General Motau speaks to BizNews ahead of the launch of his party, Africa Africans Reclaim (AAR), in Soweto on Saturday 7 October. He says the country “is falling apart”; there is “clear sabotage” of the economy; and people are “losing confidence in democracy”. He believes a return to national service is needed to reskill the youth, bring back discipline and fight unemployment and crime. The general predicts the ANC may get even less than 30% of the vote. – Chris Steyn
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Relevant timestamps from the interview
- 00:00 – Introductions
- 00:38 – What does AAR mean
- 09:07 – Main policies in founding manifesto of AAR
- 15:59 – How would AAR address issues like unemployment
- 19:07 – Predictions for next years election
- 22:13 – Conclusions
Highlights from the interview
The motives behind Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s rejection of the ESKOM board’s recommendation for a new CEO have been questioned.
Ghaleb Cachalia, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises says that the Minister seems to be looking for somebody who meets his “specifications” rather than those of the board, which he himself had appointed.
Speaking to BizNews Cachalia says: “Mr. Gordhan has, at the 11th hour received, seven months later, recommendations from the board that he appointed…and he has kicked that down the road as well. Now, one can only infer from this that he is looking for somebody who meets his specifications, not the board’s specifications, his specifications.”
Cachalia points out that representatives on the ESKOM board were “vetted and appointed” by the Minister himself. “These are people whom he trusts. The chairman of the board is an old acolyte of the minister. He has put him in places in the past all over the show to do business on his behalf. He’s put him now in a very important position, but he doesn’t value what he says. We need to know why.”
He points out that the African National Congress (ANC) government in the past has put in place CEOs who have been “frankly disastrous” and brought the country to this particular state that ESKOM is in now. “You can go back and look at the history… and you will get a little bit of a horror story. Now what is the minister up to? Who is he looking for? And why is he kicking this down the road?”
Cachalia says, given that ESKOM is in a very difficult position “which imperils the economy and livelihoods in this country of ours”, it is “untenable” that the situation has to take this amount of time.
“This is all happening while the lights are dimming. Now, you know, to coin a phrase, Mr. Gordhan must get a life.”
As for who would be most suitable for the job, Cachalia says: “It’s not just a question of having the expertise to do so. It’s a question of being able to stand up to political interference and to say thus far and no further, because I want to implement what is right and what I’ve been hired to do on these lines for these reasons.
“Now, when we had a CEO who did that seven months ago, he got shown the door effectively – his life threatened by the way.”
Asked who would be keen to take on the job after former CEO André de Ruyter’s acrimonious departure, Cachalia says: “Well, it’s a hospital pass of note and people would be very circumspect about taking it on. However, they would be properly remunerated, I presume. The money is not inconsiderable. And if they were able to say, in order to do my job, I need these particular assurances that these things will not stand in my way, and that I have a clear line of sight to the board, and that I will be able, we together will be able to fashion the future of this entity in a proper way, which is what I have been tasked with. Now, those qualities don’t come easily. You need to have…nerves, shall I say, rather than the other word, of steel.”
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