February 04, 2016.
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Sane Dhlamini.
Public Protector welcomes Zuma's willingness to engage.
An economist says SoNA is more important than budget 2016.
And, Maimane says DA will not settle on the Nkandla matter.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s willingness to engage on her recommendation that he pay back some of the public money spent on his private Nkandla residence.
While the amount had not yet been determined, she said she had met with her legal team yesterday to discuss Zuma's surprise proposal.
Madonsela's spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, said there were various issues mentioned in Zuma's statement which she wanted to consider with her office and legal team before taking an official stance on the matter.
Zuma announced late on Tuesday night that he would be willing to pay back an amount determined by the Auditor-General Thembekile Kimi Makwetu and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan through an order of the Constitutional Court.
The State of the Nation Address (or SoNA) by President Jacob Zuma on February 11 is more important than the budget speech, which will delivered by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan two weeks later, according to emerging markets economist Peter Attard Montalto of Nomura.
Montalto said after the political shock of three finance ministers in two weeks in December a key question had arisen as to the political power of Finance Minister Gordhan
Apart from possible protests and disruptions from opposition parties, Montalto expected a broadly left-leaning SoNA speech in terms of policy specifics outside of what it calls "National Treasury areas".
Montalto believed Gordhan was having considerable influence on parastatals and issues like modalities of funding for education, but not on core issues like labour market reforms or being able to prevent a high level national minimum wage.
The DA will not enter into a settlement on the Nkandla matter, despite President Jacob Zuma's proposal, its leader Mmusi Maimane said today.
The Constitutional Court had given the parties involved in the matter until 4pm tomorrow to reach a settlement.
Maimane said it's not just about the money but they wanted the powers of the public protector to be recognised.
It was not yet clear if the EFF or Public Protector Thuli Madonsela would agree to Zuma’s proposal.
Also making headlines:
The Department of Trade and Industry said the focus for the newly-launched Black Industrialists Programme was mainly geared towards manufacturing, industrialisation and inclusive economic growth.
Former EFF leader Andile Mngxitama and several others laid charges against former president FW De Klerk at the Hillbrow police station yesterday.
And, the EFF will today respond to President Jacob Zuma’s offer to “pay back” some of the money spent on supposed security upgrades at his private Nkandla residence.
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That’s a roundup of news making headlines today