Today's Big Stories

Parly: confidence vs no confidence in President Zuma

The vote of no confidence in the President

In the National Assembly, the party Agang SA will at two o' clock introduce its motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. The debate is going ahead despite a bid from Agang to go to court to delay it so that it can try and remove Baleka Mbete from the position of Speaker for the debate. The last few months have seen chaos in the National Assembly with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) caucus being forcibly removed from the chamber during the State of The Nation Address. President of Agang SA, Andries Tlouamma:

We did give a notice of a motion of no confidence, because we believe he is no longer fit to run the country. As you know, we now have load shedding, his name is tainted with scandal after scandal. This is a matter of principle and not a matter of majority. What we are asking MPs to do is to vote following their conscience. This is a matter of fighting for justice and the truth, accountability. Even if we might lose this, people need to see that we are not just in Parliament for nothing, but we are fighting for justice. If they (ANC MPs) use their conscience, they will not vote for their stomachs, but will vote for the truth.

EWN Parliament's Gaye Davis:

I think we are going to see the ANC come back to defend the President, including putting a counter-motion expressing their confidence in the President, because they are a majority. This should pretty much play itself out like it did last year with the Speaker, Baleka Mbete. I've heard Agang SA's Andries Tlouamma say they will ask the Speaker (Baleka Mbete) to recuse herself from proceedings and we don't know if this won't cause any disruptions here.

Cosatu CEC minus Vavi

In Joburg this lunchtime, we have Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting is still underway without its General secretary zwelinima Vavi – and seven other unions – who’ve decided to boycott the meeting after the expulsion of the metalworkers union, Numsa. Political Analyst, Professor Somadoda Fikeni:

It's not going to be easy when the 8 other affliates have joined the boycott, especially when the issue of unity talks was one that was on the table. They may decide to take action against him, or they may ask to have a split within Cosatu, but they can't go on to address issues around unity without outside help. You do have veteran unionists who were in the leadership of Cosatu - some of whom have taken strong positions in the current crisis, some of whom haven't - they could play a role here, because the lack of consistency in the ANC's intervention role is almost viewed as having been done in preparation for the elections.

[DEVELOPING] Cape fire update

Massive fires are still raging in some areas of Cape Town and are now near a part of the suburb of Tokai. EWN's Natalie Malgas:

From where I'm standing on an elevated position in Fishoek, there's still a haze here and Theo Layne of CPT Fire Services says that the head of the fire has been contained, but the fires are still raging on, with additional assistance brought in from the Eastern Cape, the Free State and the North West.

IEC electoral education during exits

Underway in Cape Town this week is a seminar being held by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) about how to make an environment conducive to voting. Vice-Chair of the IEC, Terry Tselane:

The integrity of the Electoral Commission plays an integral role in ensuring that elections are free and fair. (Despite top leadership exits amongst commissioners) we are still able to function because we are able to reach quorum, even after Former Commissioner (Raenette) Taljaard's leaving to attend to her academic career. Even when we are operating as three commissioners, we are able to function.

Shuttleworth wants the state to 'pay back his money'

In the Constitutional Court this lunchtime is billionaire Mark Shuttleworth who is arguing that the Reserve Bank and the Finance Ministry were wrong to charge him a 10% exit fee when he moved R1,5 billion out of the country in 2009. ‎Executive Director of International Tax Services at Ernst & Young, Ide Louw:

It'll be very interesting to see what will happen in terms of the Constitutional Court. The tax against Mr Shuttleworth was incorrectly imposed, and there is now no exit levy any more. The crux of the matter here is, for those who would have exited SA up to now, what will the implications for them be?

Burger King seeks to conquer SA fast food market

Several reports this morning note that the company running the Burger King chain here wants to have around 200 over the next few years. CEO of Burger King SA, Jay Sinclair:

It's been 21 months that we've been operating and we are rolling out our stores as fast as we can, some of which are down to planning approvals and we're on track for our target in June. We chose to rollout out or larger-format drive-thru's, which do take a lot longer than going into shopping centres and in-line stores.

Gauteng's gridlocked future

A comment on Monday by Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi is that if people don’t start using public transport, parts of the province’s big cities will face total gridlock during peak hour traffic. Head of the University of Johannesburg's Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, Professor Jackie Walters:

Yes, I do agree that we are not quite public transport users per say, if you look at cities in Europe and elsewhere, but we also should consider the working class population who make use of the Prasa platforms. If you look at the Sandton CBD, there's only the Gautrain that's operating there, yet there are people from all over the province who come and work in Sandton. The problem is also with working after hours, where there's a lack of transport there. It's not coordinated and government needs to take leadership on these matters.

Adoption the decline in SA

A report this morning is that the number of children being adopted by families has declined by around 51% over the last eleven years. Consultant at the National Adoption Coalition SA, Dee Blackie:

Unfortunately, what we have seen in this decline is one of our greatest frustrations. What this means for the child is that they often have no sense of identity, where they would get a sense of belonging to a particular family or identity. What we've found in SA is that it's become almost impossible to adopt children and even getting a sense of inheriting anything from parents. The legislation is fantastic in South Africa, but the problem lies in how we implement these laws.

Tensions rising - US, Iran, Israel

In the US, President Barack Obama says the deal his administration is currently trying to reach with the government of Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons programme would stop that country from getting atomic bombs for the next decade or more. This interview comes just before the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to speak to the US Congress. US Policy Expert and Associate Editor at the Daily Maverick, Brookes Spector:

It's either a pre-emptive strike or an extended family argument. There are separate but interlocking arguements including the US trying to reach a nuclear weapons deal with Iran by the end of March. There's Israeli-Iranian tussles as well in the middle of this. At the same time, we have Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahufighting it out ahead of the upcoming elections there. There's also fighting between the Republicans and the Democrats vis-a-vie the President in trying to assert some influence in diplomatic relations. The tension between Obama and Netanyahu is also evident, with many saying the two don't like each other much.

ICC 2015: The Proteas clobber the Irish

South Africa's national cricket team has won their game against Ireland today. Cricket commentator, Jeremy Fredericks:

Yes, it was expected, but South Africa have also done very well. Getting 402 in successive games, following each other was an amazing feat. (On the upcoming game against Pakistan) I just hope that from a South African perspective, we get a proper working over from Pakistan, to be stretched to the limit so we can be prepared for the Quarter Finals.



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