10 January 2019

South Africa: Mzwanele Manyi - Valuable Addition to Parliament's Back Benches - or a Gupta Stooge in the House?

analysis

Mzwanele Manyi has quit the ANC and announced that he has joined the newly minted African Transformation Movement party. The party will contest the elections nationally and while Manyi is not its leader, he is its most visible and well-known face. The party was started in October 2018 and it is clearly well-heeled if its T-shirts, caps and media platform strategies are a symbol of a well-stocked election kitty.

There are two ways to view the possibility of Mzwanele Manyi becoming an MP.

A valuable addition to Parliament

One thing Mzwanele Manyi has going for him is the gift of the gab. A second thing is that he knows his stuff - he researches assiduously and has been a director-general and a corporate executive, though not without glitches in both of those roles.

He is an eloquent spokesperson for empowerment and, as the policy is being placed on a back burner by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Manyi will be an important voice to ensure that a vital policy is not downgraded in the political imagination.

Manyi is an architect of modern empowerment laws and knows all the different components very well, from equity stakes to employment equity and procurement. Each driver...

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