Author: webmin

WEF-Africa: a gathering of tyrants, corruption-riddled state firms and banksters

WEF-Africa: a gathering of tyrants, corruption-riddled state firms and banksters

Patrick Bond – Business Day

At a time Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma personify controversies over ‘state capture,’ crony capitalism, corruption, populist rhetoric and self-serving economic strategies, will big business calm down the politicians – or just egg them on?

The Swiss-based World Economic Forum (WEF) meets not only in Davos each January but also gathers a few thousand elites in each of the main regions annually. In 1992 in Davos, Nelson Mandela was persuaded by both East Asian and Western leaders to drop the Freedom Charter and agree to subsequent pro-corporate policies.

This year’s WEF-Africa delegates include WEF-Africa partners that have recently been found guilty of serious corruption include banksters at Barclays, Citi (which to its credit last week paid the first fine – R70 million – for gaming the rand), Credit Suisse, HSBC, Investec, Morgan Stanley, Standard Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank. Other WEF-Africa financiers with terrible ethical reputations include the ‘Development Bank’ of Southern Africa, Old Mutual and Swiss Re.

Here and everywhere, the construction industry is full of swindlers, and those gravitating into the WEF-Africa this year include the Swiss-Swedish firm ABB and Nigeria’s Dangote Group, joining controversial local mining houses African Rainbow Minerals and AngloGold Ashanti.

WEF-Africa’s partners in the business services, media and high tech fields also boast prodigious records of fraud: Accenture, Baker & McKenzie, Boston ConsultingCisco, Ericsson, Ernst & Young, Google, Microsoft, McKinsey, MTNNaspers, PwC and Toshiba. And others of WEF-Africa’s multinational corporate sponsors which have bribed politicians across the world include Dow Chemical, Honeywell, Mitsubishi, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Royal Philips.

Cozy relationships between brutal state rulers and the corporate elites they serve don’t need the celebration the mass media is giving them this week at the WEF-Africa. Where there are fissures, they need to be opened up further; for example, in the debate about how best to apply sanctions against Trump and Zuma.

With 200 000 marching against Trump’s climate policies in Washington, DC on Saturday, the US government will be targeted even more by the likes of Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz (dating to 2006), journalist-campaigner Naomi Klein, and even former French president Nicolas Sarkozy who all support carbon taxes or sanctions against Trump. Would WEF-Africa dare join them?

It is in the personal sanctions against the Trump family that the social movement #GrabYourWallet is having most impact. Still, both WEF-Durban and WEF-Davos need to be challenged to stop enabling politicians like Trump, so that anti-US climate sanctions can become a wider movement – like the one that brought down apartheid 30 years ago.

As for Zuma, not only was he awarded ‘Junk’ credit rating status after firing his finance minister and deputy finance minister last month. At least one corporate chief, AngloGold chairperson Sipho Pityana, leads a Save SA movement aiming to topple him.

And from the financial industry, the most courageous voice is Magda Wierzycka of Sygnia (whose Net1-superexploitation critique makes her the vocal conscience of South African capitalism): “Business can call on the international investment community to stop propping up the South African government until corruption has been rooted out and proper governance has been restored. This is as simple as making some phone calls to large international asset managers.”

WEF-Africa elites are apparently not on board, for its website likes to tell little white lies: “The host country – the only African G20 economy – is championing reforms to eradicate extreme poverty and promote shared growth nationally, regionally and globally. The host city, Durban, which has the busiest industrial port in sub-Saharan Africa, offers insights on how trade in regionally manufactured goods can strengthen economic resilience and create jobs.”

Reality check: since pro-corporate policies were adopted here in the mid-1990s, official unemployment soared from 16% to 27% and poverty rose from 45% to 63%, along with deindustrialisation and extreme ecological destruction. As for ‘shared growth,’ last week The Guardian revealed that South Africa is unequivocally the world’s most unequal country. As for Durban’s reliance on the port for trade, sorry: container traffic shrunk from 81.2 million tonnes in 2014 to 79.8 in 2015 to 76.8 last year.

The most dangerous of WEF types may well be absent: Rex Tillerson, a frequent attendee who ran ExxonMobil before Donald Trump made him the US Secretary of State in January. He is, the Rand Corporation’s elite analyst James Dobbins observed, “the personification of the Davos Man: powerful, worldly and well connected.”

Under Tillerson’s direction, ExxonMobil went into exploration overdrive from Alaska to Siberia, and in 2014 began seeking oil and gas 3.5 km deep directly offshore Durban, in spite of repeated objections by the South Durban Community and Environmental Alliance. The site is in the middle of the Agulhas Current, the world’s second most turbulent, near a priceless coastline. Actual drilling for oil and gas will begin if world prices increase. ExxonMobil has no ethics: in 1982, its scientists discovered that climate change would cause “some catastrophic events” but Tillerson and other Exxon bosses funded climate-denialist propaganda for the next three decades.

In contrast, the ‘People’s Economic Forum’ of local social, environmental, youth, student and labour movements has been meeting daily at the Durban University of Technology since April 27. Its march on Wednesday morning against the WEF-Africa includes a protest stop next to City Hall at the US consulate. Durban activists also offered solidarity marches with US women fighting Trump’s misogyny on January 21 and with US scientists fighting defunding on March 22.

As Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett conceded at the 2017 WEF, “Davis Man has no clothes… the annual celebration of global capitalism once represented the inevitable arc of human progress. No longer.”

And in Durban too, as capitalism continues to fail the South African majority, the ICC bubble stands a good chance of bursting. In part this will be the result of excessive hot air rising this week from both the ‘Zupta’ and ‘white monopoly capital’ camps within.

Patrick Bond – Business Day

WEF ditched democratic, inclusive pretences by facilitating new G20 privatisation

WEF ditched democratic, inclusive pretences by facilitating new G20 privatisation

The World Economic Forum (WEF)-Africa conference in Durban just hosted some of the world’s most controversial politicians: not just Jacob Zuma and his finance minister Malusi Gigaba plus regional dictators Robert Mugabe, Yoweri Museveni, King Mswati and Edgar Lungu, but also the most powerful man in Europe, the notoriously-corrupt neoliberal German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble.

At a public lecture last Thursday hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Schäuble undiplomatically threatened Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, in the midst of her election campaign: “The [Brexit] negotiations will become terribly difficult for the UK. They will see it.”

Schäuble re-scrambles Africa

The next day at the WEF-Africa summit, Schäuble sold his plan for reviving multinational corporate investment in Africa. It is a priority, he said, because “In Europe, we have come to understand that Africa represents one of the most important issues for the growth and stability of the global economy.”Africa as an ‘issue’ for global economic ‘growth’ – managed by imperialist elites – dates to an earlier Berlin project: the infamous “Scramble for Africa” in 1884-85. The continent’s dysfunctional borders were drawn then, with nary an African in sight, in order to facilitate property rights for colonial extractive industries, all the better to ensure infrastructure investment. Roads, railways, bridges and ports needed to withdraw resources have been cemented into place ever since, and now require refurbishing and expansion.

In addition to imperialist aspirations, another explanation arises: Germany’s national election is in September. Schäuble’s boss Angela Merkel needs a rhetorical device to explain to voters how the million African refugees who entered Germany over the last dozen years can be kept at bay in future. Hence the ‘Compact’ with African elites.

Schäuble was speaking on behalf of a G20 bloc that will hold its annual meeting in Hamburg in two months’ time. Amongst the world’s largest economies plus multilateral financial institutions, South Africa – with only the 3rd largest African economy and sixth most populous society – represents a continent glaringly absent from view.


The ‘C20’ group of civil society critics (within which I find myself occasionally) has expressed concern not only about Schäuble’s top-down process, but “higher costs for the citizens, worse service, secrecy, loss of democratic influence and financial risks for the public… … and the multinational corporations involved demand that their profits be repatriated in hard currency – even though the typical services contract entails local-currency expenditures and revenues – and that often raises African foreign debt levels, which are now at all-time highs again in many countries.”`

In contrast to Berlin, Donald Trump’s Washington regime has proposed malign neglect: cutting the USAID budget dramatically and diverting $54 billion in state funding to the military. But while once preaching isolationism, Trump has already expanded hectic albeit low-profile “Africa Command” interventions against what the Pentagon names as belts of Islamic extremism, from the Maghreb across the Sahel to the Horn, according to researcher Nick Turse who last week analysed newly-declassified US army data.

On June 12-13, more Compact details will be shared with G20 finance ministers at a Berlin meeting reportedly to be co-chaired by Schäuble and Gigaba. In spite of the latter’s occasional leftist rhetoric, Gigaba’s record of white-elephant infrastructure promotion when he was State Enterprises minister suggests how prone Pretoria remains to offering massive public subsidies to construction and mining corporations. That tendency overlaps precisely with Schäuble’s aims.

In addition to South Africa, five countries have initially signed up to the Compact with Africa – Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia – with many more anticipated to join, so as to maintain aid and political favour with the European Union.

Euro-corruption and African infrastructure

Schäuble’s Compact was released in March in the German resort of Baden Baden without substantive African input (in contrast to Tony Blair’s 2004-05 Commission for Africa which coopted a comprador elite including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel). Schäuble  not only sidelined the more generous ‘Marshall Plan’ strategy advanced by Merkel’s development ministry, he also insisted that African governments provide more public subsidies – and take on much more risk – for ‘Public Private Partnership’ infrastructure. This typically amount to profits, pilfering and – for consumers of commercialised infrastructure – pain.

In his new autobiography and a Guardian article last week, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis described Schäuble as a hypocritical financial dictator who privately confessed that his ongoing squeeze of the Syriza government and Greek people – on behalf of the Euro – should really have been rejected by Athens. The very day Schäuble spoke in Durban, he was also busy imposing more austerity on Greece and rejecting a previously promised bail-out.

Varoufakis regrets trusting Europe’s “Deep Establishment” during the critical first half of 2015, and indeed he should have known better. Fifteen years earlier Schäuble had been expelled as leader of the Conservative Party for accepting and then publicly denying a cash bribe – the equivalent of R770 000 – from arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber (whose generosity also wrecked the once-invincible Helmut Kohl’s reputation.) A comeback thanks to Angela Merkel’s generosity gave Schäuble first the German Home Affairs and then Finance portfolios.

Likewise, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde is a close Schäuble collaborator and endorser of the Compact with Africa. Less than six months ago, she too was convicted in French courts for a €403 million payout to a major conservative party contributor, Adidas owner Bernard Tapie, when she was finance minister. Her comeback was far faster than Schäuble’s: she continues in her present job, even gaining a re-endorsement on the day of her Paris conviction by IMF directors including those representing the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa bloc.

Meanwhile African infrastructure has failed to attract anywhere near the investment in the manner envisaged in the African Development Bank 2010 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa and the wildly overoptimistic 2012 Southern Africa Development Community regional master plan.

But this not only a function of weak local systems – including widespread corruption in Africa’s construction sector – but another factor for which Schäuble, Lagarde and other elite financial managers are partly responsible: an utterly unreformed, chaotic world economic system.  Africa faced commodity price hikes of 380% from 2002-11 and then crashes by more than 50% in 2014-15, to unprofitable levels. And no Compact with Africa aiming to incentivise multinational corporate investment merely with state supply-side subsidies can reverse those inherent crisis conditions within global capitalism.

Given the financial imperialist-subimperialist alliance, WEF-Africa readily hosted the politicians Schäuble and Zuma (still facing 783 corruption counts) along with South Africa’s rancid state-owned enterprises (Eskom CEO Matshela Koko is under investigation for R1 billion+ nepotism while Transnet’s CEO Siyabonga Gama – one of five WEF-Africa co-chairs – was found  guilty of multi-million rand corruption by Transnet in 2010), plus dozens of corporations whose fraud records are prolific and – especially in South Africa – largely unpunished.

The WEF-Africa sponsoring partner Hitachi, for example, was hired to build boilers at Eskom’s R200 billion Medupi Power Plant. But 7000 welds needed redoing at what is the world’s largest coal-fired power plant under construction (with the World Bank’s largest-ever loan), a project now eight years behind schedule. Aside from the payoff to Hitachi’s local 25% shareholder Chancellor House (the African National Congress investment company via then Eskom chairperson and ANC finance committee member Valli Moosa), Medupi’s main beneficiary will be big corporations who pay a below-market price for power. BHP Billiton, the largest mining house on earth, gets electricity at 1/10th the price ordinary poor and working-class people pay thanks to the continuation of apartheid-era deals.

Bubbling up from this swamp of corporate corruption, WEF-Africa issued some mild-mannered rhetoric about inequality, to balance the standard neo-liberal pro-corporate pablum. Last year in Rwanda, WEF-Africa promoted a coming high-tech ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ – though only a third of the continent’s population has home electricity – and this year’s follow-up was a nod to the ‘internet of things’ which “could be the key to Africa’s development” (yeah right, unless Central Intelligence Agency hackers take over).

One illustration of how the WEF’s technology fetish has harmed Africa is the group’s virulent defense of Intellectual Property Rights and with it, corporate branding. Applied to life-saving medicines, this philosophy was debilitating, costing HIV+ patients more than $10,000/year at the turn of the century. Life expectancy plummeted from 65 to 52. Treatment Action Campaign activists began demanding free generic medicines for 40 million HIV+ people globally, of whom six million live in South Africa (and more live in Durban than any other city on earth).

Though the call was made most forcefully in 2000, at the same Durban convention centre – then hosting the international AIDS convention – it took another 18 months before World Trade Organisation leaders consented to the supply of much cheaper generic drugs to Africa, and another four years before the South African government agreed to roll out treatment. But thanks to perseverance by those activists, SA’s life expectancy rose back to 62 today.

Still, in 2010 at the WEF-Africa summit in Dar es Salaam, nine activists who peacefully protested outside for sustained public funding for treatment were arrested and deported.

Another faddish narrative is ‘inclusive growth,’ in part because the international charity Oxfam played a WEF-Africa co-hosting role. WEF’s website now includes ideas like a guaranteed Basic Income Grant.

WEF-Africa wants peace, quiet and Oxfam International

Such rhetoric notwithstanding, WEF-Africa is regularly accused of exclusivity, a charge I too would make after my media application to cover the event for Cape Town-based Amandla! magazine was simply rejected, with no explanation.

Protests against Lungu and Mugabe were held near the convention centre last Thursday. On Wednesday, led by Durban anti-pollution activist Des D’Sa, a People’s Economic Forum (PEF) march of several hundred activists recalled protests held against the same meetings here in June 2002 and June 2003. (During the 2003 protest, police horses knocked down famed poet Dennis Brutus.)

That march included a stop to protest at the US consulate near City Hall; Durban activists had also offered solidarity marches with US women fighting Trump’s misogyny on January 21 and with US scientists fighting defunding on March 22.

The previous day, May 2, Oxfam officials had explained to dozens of concerned community activists why its international chairperson, Winnie Byanyima, had decided to enrol as one of five co-chairs of the WEF-Africa, thereby giving the 1% elite renewed legitimacy. The charity’s insider route was unconvincing, and even Oxfam staff ruefully conceded the truth of the open letter signed by Byanyima three years earlier, when top international NGO officials confessed the dangers of insiderism at a South African meeting co-convened by Durban activist and former Greenpeace leader Kumi Naidoo:

“We are the poor cousins of the global jet set. We exist to challenge the status quo, but we trade in incremental change. Our actions are clearly not sufficient to address the mounting anger and demand for systemic political and economic transformation that we see in cities and communities around the world every day…
“A new and increasingly connected generation of women and men activists across the globe question how much of our energy is trapped in the internal bureaucracy and the comfort of our brands and organisations. They move quickly, often without the kinds of structures that slow us down. In doing so, they challenge how much time we – you and I – spend in elite conferences and tracking policy cycles that have little or no outcomes for the poor.

WEF-Africa’s divide-and-rule tactic was evident: providing invited spaces for civilised society supposedly representing oppressed people, versus its disregard for those not considered worthy of being inside. After PEF complaints about WEF spokesperson Oliver Cann’s refusal to meet the marchers, eventually a South African Treasury spokesperson accepted their memorandum, again signifying how close the WEF is to political power.

In contrast to Oxfam International’s ineffectual WEF-assimilation strategy, PEF activists (many of whom were generously supported by Oxfam South Africa, itself led by battle-hardened activists) will continue uncompromising resistance to multinational corporate predators’ profits at the expense of African societies and ecology.

For example, Zuma still yearns for R1.3 trillion worth of nuclear reactors from Moscow-based Rosatom (now already benefiting the notorious Gupta brothers and Durban’s Vivian Reddy patronage networks). From the standpoint of climate change, just as distressing are ExxonMobil’s attempt to drill for oil offshore Durban (a project begun under US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s leadership in 2012); the frack-attacks on in the Western Cape’s sensitive Karoo region (by Shell) and Drakensburg mountain ransge (by Rhino from Texas); the R250 billion plan for a new Durban Dig Out Port plus container-trucking depot, mega-refinery and doubling of the main oil pipeline to Johannesburg; and the extraction and export of 18 billion tonnes of coal (benefiting Anglo American, ArcelorMittal, Exxaro, Sasol  and other multinational corporations) at the expense of the climate.

The latter is Transnet’s and the National Development Plan’s first mega-project. The network of Mining Affected Communities United in Action, led by Matthews Hlabane (founder of the South African Green Revolutionary Council) and Zama Ntuli (from one of the main coal-field struggles, near the historic iMfolozi nature reserve), pointed out the combined local devastation of the R200 billion plan to local lungs, water, land, air and climate change.

In practicing their arguments against the world elite’s pro-corporate event last week in Durban, PEF activists will inexorably also confront the G20 – the throne behind the power of world capital – when Schäuble’s Compact with Africa becomes more widely known. Such contradictions must also make leftist-sounding Pretoria politicians squirm when describing imperialist power dynamics to their constituents, when simultaneously South Africa is meant to loyally represent Africa’s best interests within the G20… but when in reality Zuma and Gigaba cannot help but do the very opposite.

Activists march at ‘elitist’ World Economic Forum in Durban – Business Day

Activists march at ‘elitist’ World Economic Forum in Durban – Business Day

by NCE MKHIZE – Business Day

On Wednesday, scores of activists marched through Durban to protest against the “elitist” World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, as well as corruption in SA and on the continent.

Under the banner of the People’s Economic Forum, marchers demanded their voices be heard as the forum kicked off with a discussion about finding solutions to the challenge of inclusive growth.

There was a heavy police presence during the march to Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre where delegates, including African heads of states, government officials and captains of industry are converging for the three-day forum.

Marchers sang freedom songs and carried placards decrying the effects of corruption, the looting of African resources, as well as rising poverty, the lack of water and sanitation, and decent housing.

They also denounced preliminary nuclear energy agreements reportedly signed between SA and Russia, but which were set aside by the Western Cape High Court earlier this month, citing a lack of public participation.

Desmond de Sa, a prominent Durban environmental campaigner, said they decided to take their march to the WEF on Africa as they wanted those discussing the future of the continent to take the issues affecting the poor into consideration. He said that the conference was nothing but an elitist gathering aimed at helping the rich to make money at the expense of the poor and marginalised.

“We are marching today to tell the leaders that they cannot take decisions about us without consulting us. We are saying that all these big projects that they are discussing must benefit the poor. At the moment, all the big projects are benefiting the few,” De Sa said.

Sbongiseni Mhlongo, an activist from Inanda, said they wanted to show the leaders that their job is not to enrich themselves and their families but that they are elected to serve the poor: “We want to tell presidents like [President Jacob] Zuma they cannot continue like everything is normal. Our people are poor, our people are unemployed and very soon they will revolt against them. There is a crisis out there and they need to act and act urgently.

Ben Thomas, an activist from Uganda, said: “It is a pity that we are not invited to attend WEF on Africa and influence the policies that affect our everyday lives. Africa is poor because its people are not consulted. Big business [is] benefiting and profiting because our leaders are colluding with them. They are profiting from our resources because we don’t take a stand.”

by NCE MKHIZE – Business Day

Protest ahead of World Economic Forum opening in Durban – City Press Article

Protest ahead of World Economic Forum opening in Durban – City Press Article

Paddy Harper for the City Press

A small but enthusiastic group of protesters has marched through the centre of Durban ahead of the official opening later today of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 by President Jacob Zuma.

Several hundred marchers, led by a wide range of community and environmental organisations, had earlier participated in the People’s Economic Forum taking place at the Durban University of Technology involving civil society organisation opposing the holding of the gathering in the city.

The WEF meets in Davos, Switzerland, each January and later in one of the main regions and this year brings together about 2 000 delegates from governments and multinational corporations, for the Durban meeting.

Protesters, among them members of the Association for Rural Advancement and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), carried banners and placards calling for a more equitable international economic order.

They sang struggle songs and chanted anti-capitalist slogans while gathering in small numbers at the City Hall before making their way past the US Consulate to the International Convention Centre, where the WEF meeting is taking place.

Addressing the marches, SDCEA chairperson Desmond D’Sa said that international capital, led by US President Donald Trump, was responsible for the ordinary residents of Durban and other cities around the world being excluded from the economy and being denied the right to land and jobs.

“In our communities we are being denied our rights to live in a clean environment. We know that the multinationals are polluting our communities and destroying the areas we live in.

“Here in the ICC we have the leaders of the US, some of the worst polluters on the planet,’’ said D’Sa.

D’Sa said that civil society needed to “watch out” for the deals being concluded at the WEF which were aimed at enriching multinational corporations and oppressing working people by making the basic commodities, like food and accommodation, unaffordable.

“We need to unite and stop these people from denying us our rights,” D’Sa said.

D’Sa said the people of South African had overthrown the system created by the National Party to oppress black people and now needed to fight against the legay of Donald Trump, “a racist who hates anybody who is not white.”.

Paddy Harper for the City Press

WEFAfrica17: ‘Delegates not welcome’

WEFAfrica17: ‘Delegates not welcome’

Arthi Gopi – African Independent

Durban – Durban civil society groups have called for WEF Africa delegates to leave the city – saying they were not welcome.

Hundreds of residents from across Durban, calling themselves the People’s Economic Forum (PEF), gathered at the space known as “Speakers Corner” adjacent to the Durban ICC to present a memorandum to WEF organisers.

Local community activist, Desmond D’Sa, of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, one of the organisers of the forum, said it was time for people to stand up.

“The WEF is clearly on an arc of human and ecological destruction. No dressing up of the WEF Africa with a civil society co-chair can disguise the roles of other delegates who are contributing to climate change in Africa,” he said.

He called for “people over profit”.

He said companies found to be corrupt must pay compensation for their destructive presence on the planet. A heavy police presence secured the site.

A representative from finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s office, Monale Ratsoma accepted the memorandum and said he would make sure the WEF and South Africa delegates would it.

Media Release: People’s Economic Forum March on the World Economic Forum, WEDNESDAY 3 MAY, 9 AM

Media Release: People’s Economic Forum March on the World Economic Forum, WEDNESDAY 3 MAY, 9 AM

 

On 3 May at 09h00 there will be a People’s Economic Forum march from Durban City Hall to the US Consulate and then to the International Convention Centre where 2000 selected business and business economic elites will be meeting for the World Economic Forum on Africa to shape policies, negotiate trade deals and make investment decisions that benefit themselves at the expense of all us.

With South Africa amongst the most unequal countries in the world, due to overwhelming power by rich elites and multinational corporations, we must support a genuine Radical Economic Transformation which rejects corporate-centric mega-projects, pro-rich economic policies and anti-environmental deals such as-

* the 2010 World Cup which still drains tens of millions of Durban ratepayers money every year that should be used for water and sanitation systems, schools, hospitals, education, housing, roads, electricity, environmental investments and public space;

* the secret nuclear energy agreements that the Zuma regime illegally signed with Russian, US and Korean salesmen;

* the Medupi and Kusile power-plants, funded by the World Bank, which are the world’s largest coal-fired generators now under construction, thus contributing to climate change, as well as being cesspools of corruption and local ecological devastation;

* the National Development Plan’s two main mega-infrastructure projects, to export 18 billion tonnes of coal via Richards Bay with a new R802 billion rail line and associated infrastructure, and the R250 billion Dig Out port and port-petrochemical expansion here in South Durban.

 

The WEF on Africa will also be attend by South African and African political elites who talk Radical Economic Transformation but make deals with big business that benefit themselves at our expense. THE PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC FORUM MARCH is an opportunity for people who are opposed to state capture, corruption and looting of state resources by political and economic elites to enrich a few at the expense of the rest of us. It is a chance to say “No!” to the Trump regime’s trampling on climate, women, Muslims, people of colour and world peace.

The purpose of THE PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC FORUM MARCH is for people, organisations, communities, movements, campaigns to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with corruption and looting in South Africa, in the rest of Africa and across the world, by self-interested and self-serving political and business elites.

Secondly, the march is an opportunity for people to demonstrate against the rising poverty, inequality, food prices, cost of education; lack of water, electricity, housing, sanitation; and to show their support for a government and economy that serves the needs and interests of people rather than a privileged few.

Lastly, the purpose of the march is for We, the African people who are not invited to attend WEF on Africa and influence the policies that affect our everyday lives, to show our power and have our own meeting on the streets of Africa.

THE PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC FORUM MARCH will start at 9h00 at the City Hall and proceed via the US Consulate to the International Convention Centre and end at Speaker’s Corner on Braam Fischer and Walnut Road at 12pm. From 12pm to 3pm at Speaker’s Corner, there will be an “unwelcoming party” for the looters and polluters of Africa and their supporters who will be arriving at The Durban ICC for the WEF on Africa. Everyone is welcome to join the march at 9am at City Hall and the rally at 12 pm at Speaker’s Corner to show show that the power of the people is greater than the self-interested, elite group of people in power. People can bring their friends and colleagues, flags, banners, posters, drums and other musical instruments, food, snacks, water and wear purple for people power.

 

 

PEF breaking news: Zwelinzima Vavi joins us on Sunday 30 April (2:30-4pm) on the topic OPPOSING STATE CAPTURE

PEF breaking news: Zwelinzima Vavi joins us on Sunday 30 April (2:30-4pm) on the topic OPPOSING STATE CAPTURE

Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the SA Federation of Trade Unions will speak and encourage discussion on Sunday, 30 April, 2:30-4pm, on the topic:

Opposing Capitalist State Capture – whether by Zuptas or White Monopoly Capital

Sunday, April 30, 2:30-4pm
Durban University of Technology
51 Steve Biko Road, Block C, Room BC 0204, above library

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WEF team’s hard work pays off: SA still #1 in the world!

WEF team’s hard work pays off: SA still #1 in the world!

 

Inequality index: where are the world’s most unequal countries?

Inequality isn’t all about income. Here’s a guide to different ranking systems – from wealth distribution to the World Happiness Report – and which countries rate best and worst under each

Measuring comparative levels of global inequality is far from straightforward. Is it fair to focus only on financial inequalities, or should we consider quality of life too? If so, how do you measure it?

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WEF on Africa slammed for ignoring civil society voices

WEF on Africa slammed for ignoring civil society voices

SABC article by Fanele Mhlongo on Thursday 27 April 2017 21:20

The People’s Economic Forum (PEF) says it will protest at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Durban next week. The forum comprises a group of community activists and civic organisations.

The forum, which was been launched in Durban on Freedom Day, aims to create a space for people to learn and share information and solutions for economic and financial inclusion.

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