The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
On paper, South Africa’s Energy Minister has near perfect credentials for the kind of person needed in that key portfolio. Primarily, Tina Joemat-Pettersson is independently wealthy, so should easily resist the lucre which too often makes politicians forget their principles. Yet despite her assertions that everything will be done above board, thinly veiled allegations of her impropriety persist. Perhaps it is because she happily flaunts a close friendship with SA’s entrepreneurial President Jacob Zuma. Or her support of Zuma’s obsessions for a nuclear deal flagged by former ANC firebrand-turned-whistleblower Andrew Feinstein as a massive opportunity for plundering by corrupt insiders. At Biznews, our concerns around the energy Minister have become even more specific – namely her indefensible role in the illogical dumping of SA’s 10m barrels of strategic oil reserves at $10 a barrel below the market price. Among the advantages of a constitutional democracy is that citizens can raise their concerns, and have questions formally answered in the right forums. Which is the route two NGOs have taken on the nuclear deal. Their questions will force Joemat-Pettersson to deal with some very uncomfortable issues around the proposed nuclear deal. In this interconnected age, very little can remain hidden for long, bringing light to dark places. Hope springs. – Alec Hogg
By Matthew le Cordeur