Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) Snapshot

The new prime minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) has been quick to announce a raft of austerity measures and a fight against corruption in the economically-depressed country. Prime minister Ambrose Dlamini, formerly the head of MTN’s operations in the country, was appointed by King Mswati in late October, soon after September elections, where political parties are not allowed. Dlamini’s appointment was followed by the appointment of six royal family members to the House of Assembly and eight to the Senate, according to reports. Dlamini announced he is putting an end to first class air travel and allowances for senior officials, …

The European Union commits to fixed direct investment in South Africa

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Morocco Snapshot

Morocco’s new coalition government has focused on pro-poor reforms, job creation and implementing the country’s industrialisation strategy, which aims to increase the industrial sector’s share to 23% of GDP by 2020 from 18.5% in 2016. Evidence of its aspirations and success in this regard can be found in the automotive sector, where, in 2017, it overtook South Africa as the continent’s largest producer of passenger cars. A Who Owns Whom report on the Motor Vehicle Industry indicates that South Africa accounted for 56.4% of Africa’s 2017 total vehicle production, and, with 601,178 units, produced significantly more vehicles than Morocco’s total vehicle production of 376,286.

A call for disclosure of beneficial ownership and public access in the Companies Amendment Bill

Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan recently said that a lesson learnt from the OECD’s anti-corruption initiative is that “beneficial ownership of entities is concealed so that it becomes impossible to identify the actual owners of companies”. The 2008 global financial crisis, money laundering, terrorist funding and the Gupta, VBS Bank and Steinhoff delinquencies make a compelling case for maximum corporate transparency. South African company law has historically favoured those wishing to obscure corporate ownership. The clandestine section 15A of the Companies Act of 1973 allowed apartheid ministers of Trade and Industry to disallow the disclosure of certain categories of subsidiaries in the annual reports of companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) where such publication was deemed to be not in the ‘national interest’. …