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Will Zuma Still Be President at the State of the Nation Address?

In their new year’s resolution statement, African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts and veterans said that for the party to achieve unity, President Jacob Zuma needs to resign as leader of the country. The statement was part of the annual resolutions that ANC veterans make at the turn of every year.

Part of the statement is as follows: “In 2018 no one should ever again believe that they can avoid their day in court because of their position in society. Real action against corruption has to happen. That starts with the urgent appointment of a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority. It must be followed by the politicization of our law enforcement agencies”.

“A clear message to SA would be for our country’s president to voluntarily step down. If the president really loves the ANC and wants it to remain in power by 2019, he would assist it by handing over the leadership”.

Opposition parties have called for steps against the President to be taken before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month.

Parliament recently announced that the 2018 SONA will take place at 7pm on Thursday 8 February. The President of will deliver the Address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, marking the official start of the Parliamentary program.

SONA sets out government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead‚ highlights achievements‚ flags challenges, and outlines development interventions for the coming financial year.

The State of the Nation address is broadcast live each year on major news channels, such as eNCA, SABC News, ANN7, and Parliament Channel, as well as on numerous South African radio stations.

 

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].

S&P downgrades South Africa’s credit rating to ‘junk’

As Jacob Zuma faces backlash over the sacking of ex-finance minister Pravin Gordhan, agency cuts country’s rating grade.

Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has downgraded South Africa’s rating to junk status, as the country’s currency continued to slide following a major cabinet reshuffle.

In an unscheduled review that prompted a sell-off in South African assets, S&P on Monday cited the impact of divisions in the government of President Jacob Zuma that led to leadership changes, including the departure of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

South Africa: Protests erupt after President Zuma sacks ministers

“This has increased the likelihood that economic growth and fiscal outcomes could suffer,” said S&P, which cut its rating by one notch to BB+ – its highest non-investment grade mark – and also assigned Africa’s most industrialised economy a negative outlook.

The rand, which has fallen three percent against the US dollar since the Friday night shake-up, tumbled further after the downgrade.

S&P also said that “political risks will remain elevated this year, and that policy shifts are likely, which could undermine fiscal and economic growth”.

Following S&P’s announcement, South Africa’s Treasury expressed its commitment to a responsible fiscal path.

“South Africa is committed to a predictable and consistent policy framework, which responds to changing circumstances in a measured and transparent fashion,” it said in statement.

Moody’s, another ratings agency which has South Africa two notches above “junk” status, is expected to deliver a review on Friday.

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