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Manyi’s PPF: We are not funded by the Guptas

In a previous version of this story, Fin24 referred to Siphile Buthelezi, secretary general of PPF. Buthelezi alerted Fin24 to the fact that he has resigned from this role. Cape Town – The Progressive Professional Forum (PPF) “is not owned or funded in any way illegally, or legally or clandestinely by the Gupta family”, it said in a statement on Monday. PPF president Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi, who is a former ANC spin doctor, is also head of policy at the Black Business Council (BBC) and leads the Decolonisation Foundation. These organisations are spearheading a drive to tackle a lack of economic transformation in South Africa and the BBC gave a presentation last week at Parliament’s hearings into the banking sector’s progress on the topic. However, the source of their funding has come under the spotlight, with Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier seeking information from state-owned entities and departments to see who is funding the organisations. So far, parliamentary responses to Maynier’s questions by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies revealed that government has been funding the PPF and BBC. Brown revealed that Eskom and Transnet sponsored the PPF with R840 000 in donations, while Davies disclosed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gave the BBC R7m over the past three years. Regarding the BBC donation, Maynier said in a statement that “it looks like the DTI is funding a dodg
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There’s another royal baby on the way!

The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall are expecting their second child! A Buckingham Palace spokesperson recently revealed the exciting news but according to The Mirror, has given no further information. The pregnancy comes one year after the couple tragically lost their second child in December 2016, just weeks after Zara (36) announced her pregnancy. The baby would have been the Queen and Prince Philip's sixth great-grandchild. The pair has a three-year-old daughter named Mia. The happy news comes just after the couple celebrated Christmas in Australia with little Mia. Former rugby player Mike (39) once said that Mia gave them the strength to get over the miscarriage. "One thing you do learn is how many other people have to go through the same thing. The biggest thing you can have is an outpouring of support. Social media was a good thing for once,” reports The Mirror. The Queen and the royal family are "very pleased" to hear the couple's news, reports Metro UK,
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Real matric pass rate is 37.3 %, says DA

The real matric pass rate is closer to 40%, if the number of Grade 10s from 2015 who later became dropouts is taken into account, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday. "The 2017 national matric pass rate for candidates who wrote the exams was 75.1%, while the 'real' pass rate – the number of Grade 10s from 2015 who passed Matric 2017 – was only 37.3%," DA MP Nomsa Marchesi said in a statement. "This is cause for serious concern, rather than celebration." According to Marchesi, 41% of students who in 2015 enrolled for Grade 10, did not make it to matric.
"It is clear that the schooling system is failing our learners not just in matric, but long before they reach the final years of school." Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma welcomed the improvement in the pass rate from 72.5 to 75.1%. "The president has noted the consistently improving pass rate since the dawn of freedom and democracy in the country,” read a statement from the Presidency. Zuma said that those who failed or did not achieve a university pass should not lose hope. "There are still plenty opportunities to be explored to fulfil their dreams." He reminded those who failed that they would have a chance to write supplementary exams – and those who did not make it to university, that they should approach Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and other vocational training centres. 'Obsession with the matric pass rat
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5 important things happening in South Africa today

  • Minutes from a recent Eskom meeting show that the Gupta-owned Tegeta mining group is threatening to cut coal supply to the power utility, just as it was discovered that thousands of tons of coal have gone missing. Tegeta is demanding that Eskom pay more for its coal, meanwhile, Eskom is threatening legal action.
  • National treasury is working on introducing strict new conditions for its guarantees to state-owned companies. Ratings agencies highlighted guarantees being dished out by government as one of the biggest risks on SA’s books. One of the restrictions will be a limit on how big the guarantee can be, and another is to force re-application rather than simply rolling over.
  • Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi says there is no way that over R9.2 billion worth of e-toll debt owed by motorists will be written off. He said that any decision to do so would have to be done at cabinet level, and there was no intention to do so. The e-toll default bill is increasing by R230 million every month.
  • Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk says that the accusation leveled against Multichoice, around apparent kickbacks paid to the SABC to influence TV laws, is Multichoice’s problem, not Naspers’. He said Multichoice is one of 100 companies under the Naspers umbrella, and needs to deal with its own problems.
  • South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar on Tuesday, holding near a five-week
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65 000 people applying for 1 500 JMPD jobs ‘shows desperation’

The fact that 65 000 people applied for 1 500 Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) trainee positions shows the youth are desperate for decent jobs, the Inkatha Freedom Party said on Wednesday. Unemployment figures would continue rising if government continued to ignore its responsibility toward South Africans, in particular the youth, national chairperson Blessed Gwala said in a statement. Youth unemployment could result in crime and drug and alcohol abuse. "Why are they being told that they are future leaders of the country while they languish in abject poverty and share a crowded house with their parents? It will be difficult, if not impossible for our youth to take on responsible positions if they are left without hope at this age," Gwala said.
The IFP believed the private, government, and education sectors needed to collaborate to determine what knowledge and skills young people should be taught to find rewarding work.
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Zuma announces free higher education for poor and working class students

President Jacob Zuma has announced that government will subsidise free higher education for poor and working class students. He said in a statement on Saturday that the definition of poor and working class students will now refer to "currently enrolled TVET Colleges or university students from South African households with a combined annual income of up to R350 000" by the 2018 academic year. The Higher Education Minister would revise this amount periodically in consultation with the Finance Minister. "Having amended the definition of poor and working class students, government will now introduce fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South African undergraduate students, starting in 2018 with students in their first year of study at our public universities," Zuma said.
"Students categorised as poor and working class, under the new definition, will be funded and supported through government grants not loans." This effectively means that Zuma has overruled the recommendations of the Heher Commission into the Feasibility of Fee-Free Higher Education and Training. Zuma's announcement comes on the day the ANC's watershed 54th elective conference is expected to begin. A new leader of the party will be elected at the conference. The Heher Commission had previously found that there is currently no capacity for the state to provide free tertiary education to all students. The report re
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South Africa President Zuma’s New Year message

President Jacob Zuma has called for renewed efforts to boost inclusive economic growth and improve the lives of poor and working-class South Africans. In a statement released on Sunday, he touched on the country’s economic woes in 2017 and said improving the quality of life of the South African people, especially the poor and the working class, remained a key priority of the government. “Significant strides” were made in 2017 in fighting poverty, inequality and unemployment, Zuma said, without addressing rising unemployment further. “Despite serious challenges on the economic front, together we made substantial progress in providing basic services such as electricity, housing, roads, water and sanitation, healthcare, social grants, as well as accessible education. He touched on free tertiary higher education for low- and middle-income families, but again failed to discuss how it would be funded.