Bob’s Weekend Paper Wrap – 8 November 2015
Quite a lot of interesting stories in the papers this weekend and that includes the Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs walk to the Telkom finals, AGOA, and we’ll get back to that in a moment, the Moyo’s burial of their daughter and the Nqakula family’s final goodbyes to their son. The ANC in KZN has a new leader and it seems everything went down swimmingly. Let’s start with AGOA – African Growth and Opportunity Act, is meant to give most African countries a break on tariffs to exporting to the US. This Thursday past, the President of selfies – yes, him Barack Obama, caught SA napping when he announced his decision to suspend trade concessions on South Africa’s agricultural goods IF issues regarding meat trade were not resolved in 60 days. Now, this isn’t just about Pig, Chicken and Beef crossing into our shores; lets not forget that even with AGOA intact, the vast majority of our exports to the Yanks do not qualify for this pact. The City Press reports that of SA’s roughly R70 Billion in exports to the US last year, about 27% benefited from AGOA – most of these exports consisted of BMWs. The Western Cape may suffer more than any other province since the province exported R1.47Billion to the Yanks last year under AGOA. With all that in mind, our Rob Davies is in panic mode and has assured us that relations are cordial and Obama’s announcement can be reversed. This is not a small thing, my friends, and at a simplistic level. I just cannot believe that Obama turned on us.
The next story has to do with Pick n Pay as well as the Business Times reports about the #FeesmustFall protests and the accusation of big business not playing ball. Well, Pick n Pay Chairman Gareth Ackerman has raised his hands. He declares that his company has been waiting to help but business needs – yes, say it with me now; Guidance and Leadership from government. He says that what business does get from government is ideologically driven, ill informed and often contradictory policies that create uncertainty, drives potential investors away AND demands for more money. Well, guess who Gwede will be responding to this week and what Chinese proverb he is going to pull out the hat. Pity he can’t ask Julius to march to the Pick n Pay for him – tsk tsk!!!
And finally. A story on the front page of the City press, screaming “R4 billion VIP Jet for Zuma”. Let’s end it this way – that money should go to education, BUT for heavens sake, do not call it President Jacob Zuma’s jet. It’s not like when he retires to Nkandla, he is going take it with him. The front page story is misleading.