Archive from May, 2015
May 7, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

Did you know Thabo Mbeki presided over SA’s highest economic growth rate in the past 35 years?

Marius Strydom – 06 May 2015 – SA Good News
The main measure of a country’s economic performance is the growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) from year to year in real terms (after allowing for inflation). This is often held up as the primary measure of success of a country, although it is important to look at issues such as poverty, GDP per capita, gini coefficient, education levels, crime, corruption and general happiness as well.
In this sagoodnews newsletter, I have a look at SA’s GDP growth performance over the past 35 years from 1980 to 2014. This period spans the 14 years prior to the end of apartheid and the 21 years thereafter. During this period we had five presidents and it was extremely eventful, especially during the period prior to and after the transition to majority rule. I include a very busy chart at the bottom– you may have to click on it to see all the useful detail.
During the entire 35 year period, SA had an average GDP growth of 2.4%, which puts us in line with developed economy growth rates and lagging behind developing economy growth rates,in some case meaningfully so (e.g. China).
The average growth during the final 14 years of apartheid was 1.6% and the average since majority rule has been 3.1%. The president that was at the helm when our economic growth was the highest was Thabo Mbeki who presided over an average growth rate of 4.1%. The lowest growth rate was an average of 0.6% during the tenure of FW de Klerk. Nelson Mandela at 2.7% outperformed PW Botha at 2.2% and under Jacob Zuma, we have seen average GDP growth of 1.7%, which has been particularly weak when compared with the much stronger growth under Thabo Mbeki.

Stability
The blame for weak economic growth is often placed at the feet of the government of the day and in many cases this is rightly so. It is the job of government to create an environment that is conducive to economic growth. First and foremost, it is important that a country is peaceful and that economic activity is not disrupted due to violence. The NP government prior to majority rule often failed to deliver this and it is no wonder that 3 out of the 4 recessions (periods of negative GDP growth) experienced by SA over the past 35 years fell during the pre-majority rule period.
The country has certainly become more peaceful over the past decade, but there are risks to the status quo, including xenophobic violence, service delivery protests and industrial action.
In addition to ensuring a peaceful environment, it is also important that government delivers an environment where industrial action by unions does not put undue pressure on the economy. This has been a recurring problem in SA, both prior to and after majority rule. However, this seems to have become a greater problem in SA during the presidencies of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. The fact that the major union federation, Cosatu forms part of the governing alliance limits the ability of government to effectively crack down on industrial action, although it has facilitated long-standing agreements in the past.
It is time for such agreements to again be concluded to avoid continued disruptions in an environment of weaker economic growth.

FDI
One of the main reasons why economic growth recovered so strongly in the mid-1990s compared with the last decade of apartheid was that foreign direct investment (FDI) returned to the country after being forced out as a result of sanctions. Investment in SA continued well into the 2000s, but there are now clear risks to such investments continuing at the same pace. The main hurdles to FDI are industrial action, electricity supply and weak commodity prices. Other contributing factors that have been put forward as risks to FDI are uncertainty surrounding ownership requirements (especially in the mining sector) and corruption, although I consider these as secondary factors. In addition to forming a new compact with labour unions to limit industrial action, it is imperative that government and Eskom successfully deals with the electricity crisis that we are experiencing.

Commodity prices
By far the most important factor determining relative rises and declines in GDP growth over the past 35 years appears to have been commodity prices and whether those rose or fell in the preceding years. The recessions we saw over the past 35 years all seem to have been influenced by this. The 1982 to 1983 recession was preceded by a 30% fall in gold and platinum prices in 1981; prior to the 1985 recession, gold and platinum prices fell by around 20%; platinum prices fell by more than 30% over the 2 years prior to the 1992 recession; and our last recession in 2009 followed a collapse in the platinum price in 2008. It is also interesting to note that the average increase in gold and platinum prices during Mbeki’s presidency was over 12% while for de Klerk they declined on average, explaining to a large extent why Mbeki presided over the highest and de Klerk over the lowest average economic growth. Under Jacob Zuma, we have seen 2 years of declines in gold and platinum prices during 2013 and 2014 and this has not abated during 2015.
It is therefore important to see the weaker growth under president Zuma in this context.
However, one thing that the ANC government has not been able to sustainably achieve since majority rule in 1994 is to lift trend economic growth to new levels. GDP growth rate exhibited a brief period of strong growth during the mid-2000 (averaging 5.5% from 2005 to 2007), but this was more a result of high commodity prices than due to the necessary structural changes needed to sustain the trend. The main structural issues facing SA are a low savings rate, poor education outcomes, a lack of skills, cost and availability of labour (made worse by unions and industrial action), a strong and volatile currency and increasing pressure on infrastructure (especially electricity supply).
In addition, in an environment where commodity prices are under pressure (and could remain under pressure), it highlights the need for SA to reduce its dependency on raw commodity exports. It is imperative that more is done to add value to raw commodities before exporting them while at the same time investing in parts of the economy that are less dependent on commodity prices.

Action?
Now is a time for action, but the problem seems to be that government is either;
1) satisfied with the status quo in certain areas (most problematic is education outcomes);
2) is having to operate in crisis mode (electricity supply);
3) is experiencing bottle necks with programmes that could make a difference (the National Development Plan);
4) or is taking steps that decrease (cadre deployment) or not taking steps (fighting corruption) that could increase efficiency.
As I have highlighted in a previous newsletter, the SA government is akin to an undervalued share. To revalue, we either need performance to improve from current management (think of your legacy President Zuma), we need new management to come in (start speaking out and doing more vice President Ramaphosa), or we need a hostile take-over (more power to the opposition).
I believe that the odds are in favour of moves in the right direction on all three of these fronts, but I am concerned at the time it may take to lead to positive outcomes.
What do you think? Do you accept that weak commodity prices have been a serious drag on our economic growth? Do you have other ideas for lifting trend-growth in SA? Do you think the ruling party will feel the necessary pressure to improve the situation? Do you believe they are capable? I would love to see your feedback.
In the meantime, keep your talking straight!

May 7, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

10 Critical Skills in Demand in SA Right Now

05 May 2015
South Africa’s critical skills list is a comprehensive outline of professions that have been deemed to be in demand by the country. While many of the jobs you’ll likely be familiar with, here are ten listed occupations that might come as a surprise to you
1. Sheep Shearer
As the name suggests, Sheep Shearers are charged with the duty of denuding our fluffy friends of their gorgeous wool.
2. Protein Scientist
Protein Scientists explore the role of protein in molecular and cell biology genetics, as well as evolution. Gym-bunnies don’t count.
3. Space Weather Specialist
Space Weather Specialists are responsible for identifying and forecasting major space weather events, especially those that can disrupt infrastructure and power grids back here on earth.
4. Bioinformatician
If you can pronounce Bioinformatician, then half the battle of understanding this position has already been won. The Bioinformatician endeavors to understand, process and study biological data by way of mathematics, science and technology.
5. Metrologist
Metrology refers to the science of measurement, and is not to be confused with Meteorology. The field encompasses all theoretical and practical components of measurement.
6. Black Hole Researcher
As South African citizens, we may hope that the demand for Black Hole researchers might be the country’s way of getting to the bottom of missing Government funds, but it’s more likely to do with understanding deep space phenomena.
7. Metallurgical Scientist
The field of Metallurgy explores the behaviour and composition of metallic elements and compounds. South Africa’s demand for Metallurgical Scientists is likely to do with the Rugby World Cup later this year, where the trophy’s authenticity will need to be confirmed upon winning.
8. Geomatics Technician
The role of a Geomatics Technician involves gathering and processing geospatial data, often for military purposes. So if you were unsure as to what a Geomatics Technician was before, you should still be pretty confused after that explanation.
9. Soil Scientist
Soil Scientists are responsible for evaluating and interpreting soil related data, often for the purposes of agricultural production.
10. Palaeosciences Researcher
Nowadays the word “paleo” is almost always associated with the word “diet”. However, Palaeosciences refers to an amalgamation of academic disciplines that strive to tell the story of life on earth.

May 4, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

Human smuggling in South Africa

Richard Pillay – 03 May, 2015 merinews.com
Human Smuggling is a major problem and South Africa has been identified as a Source, Destination and Transit country. South Africa has failed to effectively deal with this problem and this article reveals how SA passports can be obtained and used.
South Africa has long been identified as a Source, Transit and Destination country for both human traffickers and human smugglers. Human Traffickers and human smugglers are criminals and all of then operate in organized formations. These criminal syndicates cannot exist or operate if they do not enjoy the protection of law enforcement officials from Immigration, and protection from certain political leaders and politicians and other government officials.

In Focus
As the above matters are a well know and well established set of facts, what then inhibits or prevents the most senior government officials from acting against such human traffickers and human smugglers? It is one of the questions that each reader needs to examine in depth and draw their own conclusions.

Low morale among law enforcement personnel, unsatisfactory conditions of employment, low salaries of junior employees, incompetent supervisors, corrupt or easily corruptible senior personnel, rules and regulations that are not clear, inadequate tools of the trade, no prospects or very little prospects for promotion, male sexual predators in supervisory positions who employ females in exchange for sexual activities, untrained personnel, employment of personnel and then neglecting to train them, inadequate controls, and a few more factors are a direct cause of law enforcement in South Africa being unable to deal with human traffickers and human smugglers and some other criminals.

The factors listed in the above paragraph are to be found in the South African law enforcement agencies and they consist of the Department of Home Affairs – Immigration Unit, Counter Corruption Unit, South African Police Services, and the State Security Agency, the national Prosecuting Authority and to some extent within the Judiciary.
Illegal immigrants that enter South Africa do so because of the following factors, corrupt or easily corruptible immigration and police officials from Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. The incorrect deployment of people to manage the borders of the country that are reachable from Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Lesotho.

Corrupt immigration and police officials at other ports of entry in South Africa. The inability of the Department of Home Affairs even after they are provided with information to act decisively in dealing with corrupt and incompetent officials of that department. The inability of the Department of Home Affairs to identify corrupt officials among themselves. Their counter corruption department has lost the battle to deal with corrupt officials.
The inability of the Department of Home Affairs to manage its archiving system, as files of illegal immigrants are missing and cannot be traced.

The inability or unwillingness of the department of Home Affairs to manage its issuing of visas in several countries especially Pakistan and Nigeria where for the past 15 years they have issued visas to people that claim to be welders and such people are unable to weld, when they arrive in South Africa they work as shop assistants or street hawkers and inevitably manufacture and sell drugs as their primary source of income.

The SA High Commissioner in Islamabad is a determined person whose love for South Africa and its development is unmistakable. To his credit he has integrity that is beyond reproach. Perhaps it was for those and other reasons he was chosen to deal with a situation that existed for more than 12 years.

It is only during the past two years that the SA High Commission in Islamabad had a different person heading the mission, and he has taken some measures to deal with the matter effectively, however certain Pakistani nationals are still very involved in facilitating visas for Pakistani nationals that do not comply with any of the visa requirements for which they apply. The High Commissioner has a very difficult task at hand and he must deal with it if he needs to ensure that only those that qualify, enter SA from that country. His task is made more difficult through other factors that constantly arise.

Nationals from countries that include but is not limited to China, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, Malawi, Senegal, DRC, Uganda, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh and Cameroon flock to South Africa on a daily basis.

The following subject is a clear illustration of a human smuggler that now holds a South African identity document and a South African passport. Enabling documents that he obtained in the manner and time frames stipulated in this article.

The person’s name is Anjum Raza who was born in a town named Jhang in the Punjab province in Pakistan. His father’s name is Rehmat Masih and his mother is Yasmin Rehmat. The subject did not reach grade 10 and he does not have any skills that South Africa needed or needs. As he was a Pakistani citizen he was unemployed while he was living in Pakistan. At no stage was he involved in any political activism nor was he harassed in any way that may entitle him to apply for political asylum in South Africa. He speaks the following languages Punjabi, Urdu and learnt English in South Africa.

He is currently married to a Pakistani national. His spouse is living in Pakistan and her name Roma Raza. He got married to Roma on 31 March 2008. His previous marital status is that he was married to a South African national named Johanna Akanyang Jakkals this marriage occurred on 28-04-2004 and he divorced her on 04-08-2005. This Johanna Akanyang Jakkals is now reported to be deceased.

Anjum Raza applied for a Permanent residence permit and he was issued with a permit Number 1939/04 which was authorized by the Department of Home Affairs official named JP Buthelezi, the said JP Buthelezi issued this permit in clear contravention of all Home Affairs regulations and procedures. This permit was also co-signed by the one Department of Home Affairs official named E Mokoena. Mokoena was a junior official who reported to JP Buthelezi. After Raza received this permit he did not adhere to any of the conditions stipulated on the permit.
Anjum then applied for a South African identity document and his application was approved and it was issued on 193-09- 2005.His SA Identity Document was collected from the head office of the Department of Home Affairs by one George Mathloporo and then handed to Anjum Raza. The said Mathloporo was employed by the Department of Home Affairs at Director level and he was subsequently arrested and charged in Pietermaritzburg CAS 715/06/2006. George Mathloporo was dismissed from the Department of Home Affairs for bribery and corruption, he is now a Bishop in his own Christian church.

Anjum is currently engaged in the following activities; Being at the Harrison Street Home Affairs offices almost on a daily basis from 15.00 to meet with Johan Heunning, a black male named Bobo and a white female named Small and a coloured female named Naomi with whom the subject had, had an intimate relationship and a black male named Sipho. The above mentioned people all work as immigration officers in the department of Home Affairs except for Naomi who is a personal assistant. He solicits illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants and charges them money ranging from R10 000 to R55 000.00 for obtaining some legitimate documents acquired fraudulently. He also charges up to R70 000.00 for a combination of documents he can procure illegally by violating all existing Home Affairs regulations and procedures. He is bribing some Home Affairs Officials to procure documents that applicants are not legally entitled to.

All these immigration officers are fully aware that Anjum Raza obtained his South African documents illegally.
The time line involving Anjum Raza is as follows:
1. He arrived in South Africa in March 2004
2. He married Johanna Akanyang Jakkals on 28-04-2004
3. He applied for a Permanent Residence permit in May 2004
4. He obtained permanent residence on 13-07-2004
5. He obtained non citizenship Identity Document on 2004.
6. He obtained permission from the Pakistan High Commission to apply for SA citizenship on 10-01-2005
7. In his permit from the Pakistan his birth place is listed as Sargodha
8. He divorced Johanna Jakkals on 04-08-2005.
9. He obtained South African Identity Book that was issued on 13-09-2005
10. The time frame from his arrival then his marriage and subsequent divorce is 18 months
11. From the time of his arrival to him obtaining SA citizenship is exactly 19 month.

This matter was brought to the attention of the Department of Home Affairs and the information was provided to them in 2013. In any event the Department was supposed to have the original documents and copies in their archives.

The following action should have been taken by the Department of Home Affairs Law Enforcement Unit:
I.Anjum Raza should be arrested without any delay.
II.His 3 cell phones should be seized and down loaded
III.His driver’s licence that was obtained on the basis of a fraudulently acquired SA Identity document should be seized and cancelled.
IV.His SA Passport number 454522563 should be seized and cancelled.
V.His SA citizenship identity Document with number 7710156109081 should be
seized and cancelled.
VI.His SA non-citizen Identity Document should be seized and cancelled.
VII.He is still in possession of a Pakistani Passport
As it is well known to immigration officials he should be arrested when he is entering Harrison Street Home Affairs offices while being in possession of application documents from other illegal immigrants.

Copies of the following documents were handed to the Department of Home Affairs as some claim that his file is missing from the archives of the Department. South African passport, and South African Drivers licence based upon his presentation of documents acquired fraudulently.
i.Particulars from Population Register Form 83/BI-5 Number A4229856
ii.Letter from Pakistan High Commission that states no objection to Subjects application dated 10-01-05
iii.Permanent Residence permit number: MKS1939/04 issued by J P Buthelezi on 13-07-2005 Control Number A32846
iv.Temporary drivers Licence with identity number 7710156109081
v.Traffic register Number Certificate 402428LBT003 Number J9449054
vi.Marriage Certificate Number J996916 – reflecting names of Raza Anjum and Jakkals Akanyang Johanna dated 28-04-2004 – Hand written
vii.South African Identity Document of Jakkals Akanyang Johanna 7502010789087
viii.South African identity Document of Raza Anjum 7710156109081
ix. South African Marriage Certificate BI-5 reflecting names of Raza Anjum and Jakkals Akanyang Johanna – printed
x.Divorce decrees in Case no 2005/14418 reflecting names of Raza Anjum and Raza Akanyang Johanna (Born Jakkals) allegedly from Witwatersrand Local Division from the registrar of The high Court.
The crimes that Anjum Raza committed are:
i.Being an illegal immigrant
ii.Fraud – Instruments Used – made verbal and written declaration
iii.Alternately theft by misrepresenting himself as an immigration practitioner to wit by obtaining money from other illegal immigrants and claiming to be a legitimate immigration practitioner. Anjum Raza is indeed a flight risk as he proved to be in a previous matter where he was charged criminally, he fled to Pakistan to avoid appearing in court.
iv. When he is arrested he should be refused bail and in court any bail application should be vigorously opposed, additionally when he is arrested he should not be detained in any station in or around Johannesburg due to factors that include his involvement with several members of the South African Police Service.
People like the said Anjum Raza are able to travel to any part of the world committing crimes using South African passports and claiming to be SA citizens. It is people like these that have close links to human traffickers, human smugglers and other criminals including terrorists.

Raza has demonstrated the he is able to breach all the administrative and security procedures within the Department of Home Affairs and obtain genuine SA documents through bribing and corrupting Home Affairs officials. What then is the value of a South African passport and does the SA passport represent a security risk to other countries? Indian Security services like CBI, RAW and others should take careful note, if they too fail to take note they do so at their own risk as many people who obtained their SA passports in a similar manner to Anjum Raza travel to India as their first destination point, then to the USA, Germany, Canada, UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

May 4, 2015 - Business Permit    No Comments

Home Affairs ‘battling to deal with influx’

May 3 2015 at 07:00am
By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi – Iol.co.za
Johannesburg – The tide of illegal immigrants flowing into the country has stretched Home Affairs’ inspectorate to the limit, leading the department to plead for more resources.
Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni told MPs this week that his 700-member immigration unit was unable to cope with the “thousands” of illegal immigrants a day who entered the country.
In 2005, the department’s revamped National Immigration Branch was launched to offer a specialist, professional and hi-tech service to incoming foreign visitors and clamp down on illegal immigrants.
The inspectorate is a division of the immigration service.
Apleni told the joint meeting of the committees on police, home affairs, small business development and intelligence this week that his unit’s meagre budget of R181 million was far from adequate for the work involved in tracking down illegal immigrants across the country.
The inspectorate unit was key to stemming the influx, he said.
While some experts have put the number of illegal immigrants in the country at “millions”, Home Affairs says it has recorded more than 330 000 in the past five years.
This figure refers only to foreigners who, since 2010, have overstayed their welcome in South Africa after the expiry of their visas.
But MPs have questioned this figure, saying the true number is “much higher”.
Commenting on the sidelines of the meeting, Apleni repeated that that the R181m budget was simply too small to cope with the influx.
He said there were 700 inspectors – far fewer than the number needed.
The department was planning to appoint a further 170 inspectors.
Yet even this extra number was minuscule in relation to the need, Apleni said.
The inspectorate would need far more people if it was to cope with the growing challenge of illegal migrants.
In his presentation to MPs earlier, Apleni said the inspectorate needed far more funds.
“We have been asking all along for more resources,” he said.
“The Department of Home Affairs has 10 000 staff members, and just 700 of those are in the inspectorate.
“We have 52 million people in South Africa whom we look after from cradle to the grave.
“If you look at the police, they have 200 000 members.”
Apleni said that the SAPS and Home Affairs had huge responsibilities, but unequal resources.
There were hopelessly far too few immigration inspectors to deal with the spiralling number of illegal immigrants.
“That is what we have been crying for in the budget.”
Apleni warned that Home Affairs would need “a lot more money” if it was to meet all the challenges.
He declined to give a figure for the amount of money needed to beef up the immigration inspectorate sufficiently to slow or contain the flow.
The department was briefing MPs in the wake of the xenophobic violence in the country. It also spoke about Home Affairs’ response.
MPs expressed serious concern about the country’s porous borders.
Apleni said that the planned border management agency, which would ensure effective control, would involve all role-player departments and agencies.
It was hoped it would begin work in the next two years.
Political Bureau

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