Parliamentary pains: it's been a stormy and difficult week in Parliament, with session going late into Thursday night, as MP’s from various parties tried to reach some sort of agreement to get the National Assembly working again. At issue was a budget process that had to be voted on by MP’s to make sure government departments could spend their budgets. But the EFF, the DA and other opposition parties also wanted to stop the ANC from pushing ahead with its plans to suspend the EFF MP’s for their role in chanting 'pay back the money' to President Jacob Zuma last month. In the end, the ANC had to compromise. Independent Political Analyst, Dr Somadoda Fikeni:
I do think they (the ANC) realise that the numbers alone are not the way to go because other parties could use the rules and other ways including filibuster to hold Parliament. A party as big as the ANC does have some kind unanimity on some issues and some division on others within the caucus. They have seasoned politicians are dealing with new terrain in the area of the EFF, which needs new approaches and innovation to address them. We see the EFF - despite their lower numbers - being very active and the DA has had to up their game and it would seem they have had to be bed fellows, in adopting similar strategy to put pressure on the ANC.
Post Office strike latest: confirmation from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that neogiations to resolve the almost four month strike have broken down once again. CWU President, Clyde Mervin:
We started engagements on Wednesday and the company took time out to consult the principles and we have taken it down to 7,5% and later down again to 7% (increment). If they want to pay the back date, they can spread it over a period of three months.
What happened at the Business Day with Petro SA CEO?: news breaking during the Money Show on Thursday night is that the new chair of Petro SA Tshepo Kgadima had to be ejected from the offices of the Business Day newspaper after he started threatening journalists. Business Day Editor, Songezo Zibi:
I'm bemused and puzzled by what happened at my office. We didn't expect that kind of behaviour from someone who heads up an institution such as Petro SA. We'd been looking for him without much success, he wasn't returning our calls. When he later presented himself to my office, he asked me if he could record our conversation and he proceeded to take video of me while asking questions such as 'Are you the editor of the Business Day?', 'Are you a member of SANEF?'. It was bizzare. But he continued recording the entire encounter until I called security to escourt him out of my office.
Foodie battles - Cape Town or Joburg?: the final ceremony this week in the annual Eat Out Awards saw special awards being given to eateries in Joburg and Cape Town. Editor of Eat Out, Abigail Donnelly:
It's a huge challenge and a humbling experience to judge these restaurants that are pushing boundaries and doing well. It's an emotional journey, but at the end of the day, we have a score card. I know my favourite places within Joburg - it's a different eating environment (to Cape Town). As much as I love it back home in Cape Town, I do enjoy the energy in Joburg.
SA middle class doing well?: a comment by former Business Day Editor Peter Bruce in his column today is that the position of the South African middle classes hasn’t actually changed that much over the last few years while the position of many middle class people in Europe and the US has deteroriated because of the great recession. Chief Economist at Stanlib, Kevin Lings:
The situation for middle class in SA is not too bad, but you've got to consider the picture, provided that the person has got a job. Property prices have done well, and where a person has been gainfully employed, they've definitely been living a better life better than someone in Europe.
TB a no show: in Nigeria, Founder and Head of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor TB Joshua now faces arrest after failing to appear before an inquest into the church collapse that killed 81 South Africans. EWN Nigeria Correspondent, Samson Omale:
That's the question that remains to be answered, because yesterday was the second day he was summoned to appear at the inquest and he wasn't. The coroner got angry, because it's always his lawyers that appear in court and not him. So an arrest is unlikely.
Google bobbing about remote areas: news that a sheep farmer has found what looks like a massive Google balloon in the Karoo. MD of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck:
Project Loom is an attempt by Google to provide internet access to remote areas in developing countries and even in developed countries, such as New Zealand, which also has a lot of rural areas despite its developments. It's equivalent to satellite technology such as 3G in speed, which isn't very encouraging. It is possible for them to get wide reach, but as the Karoo crash has shown us, it isn't a very reliable piece of technology.