David Mabuza
David Mabuza is sworn in as the new South African Deputy President at the South African parliament in Cape Town on Feb. 27, 2018. South Africa's new President Cyril Ramaphosa has reshuffled the cabinet to bring reformers to several key ministries while axing graft-tainted allies of ex-leader Jacob Zuma. (RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bitter opponents within the ANC are aiming their guns at his deputy, David Mabuza, and are working to prevent him from returning to his post after next year’s elections.

Senior sources in the ANC told the Johannesburg-based City Press that work was underway to ensure that Mabuza did not get the number two position on the electoral list when the party concludes the list process, which starts now and will end in December, the City Press reported Sept. 16.

Although this would not rule out Ramaphosa using his prerogative to appoint Mabuza, it would humiliate and weaken him immensely.

The humiliation of Mabuza would also serve as a means of “testing the balance of forces” to see whether Ramaphosa himself can be recalled at the national general council, to be held after next year’s elections.

Names being bandied about as possible replacements for Mabuza include international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu and party chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

While former President Jacob Zuma is not outwardly leading the drive, he is said to have been involved in at least three discussions in different meetings.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule had been mentioned as being among the anti-Ramaphosa plotters, but this week he denied the allegations, saying there was nothing sinister about the meeting he’d had with Zuma and others in Durban last week.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe told City Press that going forward from Nasrec, the ANC had committed itself “both in deeds and actions to the process of unity and renewal.”

“We are all investing our time and efforts towards that,” Mabe said. “The leadership collective [is] committed to the attainment of unity and renewal within our ranks.”

He said the ANC would not be “sidetracked away from our overall program, which is beginning to show positive signs, as evidenced through the nationwide #ThumaMina initiative.”

However, the ANC faction that opposed Ramaphosa’s presidency is armed with details on the party’s membership numbers in Mpumalanga having been inflated — details that would be used to challenge Ramaphosa and Mabuza’s election last year at Nasrec.

Plans for Dairy Sector Revitalization

Jamaica’s minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries says plans are being put in place for the revitalization of the country’s dairy industry, which will include technical input from overseas experts, according to a Jamaica Information Services (JIS) press release.

The minister, Audley Shaw, said he has had meetings with Agriculture Ministers from India and Argentina, who have committed to helping Jamaica in a “wide range of areas” to boost the sector.

“I am now working out the details of how we are going to appropriate that technical assistance from them,” Shaw said during a Sept. 12 ceremony for the handover of a silo packer at the Bodles Research Station in St. Catherine, which will be used in the provision of nutritious feed for the dairy cattle industry.

He noted that the government is committed to doing “whatever is needed” to revive the dairy sector, in which a number of small farmers have invested, including “putting resources in there to help.”

The silo packer will increase forage compaction, leading to better quality feed and more storage capacity. Packing forage is critical to providing the best quality feeds for animals.

It was secured under the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project, which promotes the protection of rural lives, livelihoods and ecosystems through interventions to strengthen climate-change resilience.

Ja REEACH is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The minister, in expressing gratitude, urged stakeholders in the agriculture sector to take advantage of available technology to boost productivity.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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