Best of opinions: Is the Public Protector right about Absa?

2017-06-21 16:03
Absa. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Absa. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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The youth vote could topple the ANC

Across the world the impact of the votes of the 18 to 29-year age group is increasingly being noticed. In the recent American election, the Bernie Sanders campaign started drawing media attention for its appeal with the youth voters. Analysis after the Brexit referendum showed the huge discrepancy in the feelings of the younger voters compared to the older sections of UK society.

Recent Zupta shenanigans aside, it is true that politicians respond to the demands and needs of the majority of voters. As long as the youth vote remains such a small share of the total the politicians will not pay attention to the demands and needs of young people. 

The equation is simple for political parties: if it will not make much difference in the next election, it is irrelevant. Given that the youth form such a huge percentage of our population this must change. The Soweto uprising of 1976 taught us that young people can forever change the history of a country. That can happen again, if the youth of today sign up and show up for the next election, writes Melanie Verwoerd.

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The Public Protector is right - amend the Constitution

As it currently stands, section 224 states that the primary objective of the South African Reserve bank “is to promote balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic” and by that SARB expresses its mandate as primarily to ensure price stability and to protect the currency.

That means any and all prioritisations that the Reserve Bank makes in its day to day functions is guided by the question “What best protects the currency?” Sadly, what best protects the currency doesn’t always include the long term socio-economic rights of the poorest of the poor (this is not to suggest that it doesn’t include it at all). Importantly, the answer to “What best protects the currency?” is almost always discretionary and speculative, at best, writes Oliver Dickson.

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Mkhwebane's masterful trap

If Mkhwebane wins the case then she will have achieved what Zuma has tried for years. And that is the capture of the Reserve Bank.  
If she “loses” then she successfully limits the power of the Public Protector. This is vital for Zuma’s case where he is determined to oppose the finding of the previous Public Protector and to limit her powers.

No matter how you view it, Zuma wins and South Africa loses. The trap is set and we are about to walk right into it, writes Howard Feldman.

Read more.

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