Cyril Ramaphosa, the new South Africa’s President, is going to face a political issue but also an important economic challenge.
During Jacob Zouma’s term, the economy of South Africa decreased a lot. For exemple, the inequalities, in terms of wages or social integration between black and white people are still significant in the country, in spite of the end of the Apartheid.
How is the economy working ?
We all know that South Africa is an emerging country, we say that since 20 years. But if we check the country’s economic growth’s rate, we can see that this one never exceeded 1.4% in the last ten years. For many European countries, it could be considered as a good rate, but an emerging country should have a rate of 5% at a minimum.
To illustrate this situation we can check the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is a rough and ready indicator of average living standards. This one, has declined…
What about the employment ?
The unemployment rate is one of the worst in the world. In 2017, this rate was about 27.7 %. In 1994, it was close to 15.6 %. So in 24 years this rate practically doubled !
The degree of inequality is extraordinary. A measure that’s often used is the Gini coefficient, which ranges theoretically between zero for complete equality and 1 where all the income goes to a single person.
In the most equal countries, Nordic and some other European countries, the figure is in the mid to high 0,20s, for the UK it’s around 0,30 and the US around 0,40. For South Africa, it’s more than 0.60.
Because of these reasons, Cyril Ramaphosa will have to work a lot on the economic subject. But the illustrations we showed are not the only economic problems in South Africa. The issues that need to be targeted are all energy, education, or government dealings.
Valentin Demay, IEJ3C
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen accused banks of closing accounts that belong to her and her party, saying she has been the victim of a “banking fatwa” meant to silence National Front.
The decision made by HSBC comes amid heightened scrutiny of political accounts. Société Générale, France’s second-largest bank, asked National Front to close all its accounts after a 30-year relationship. In France, banks are allowed to close accounts without notice or explanation.
Le Pen said the closures were a political decision designed to “stop the National Front taking part in democratic life and to cause the conditions of its ruin and collapse”. She blames financial oligarchs for “stifling” the opposition. She would be lodging complaints against Société Générale and HSBC.
Société Générale specifies its decisions were based only on banking issues, and a respect of banking rules “without any political consideration”.
This is yet another problem for the French far-right leader who has been put under formal investigation over a European Parliament funding scandal. Earlier this month she was stripped of immunity from prosecution over a series of grisly images she published on Twitter.
Sharon Goncalves, IEJ 3F
Uber admitted yesterday being hacked in October 2016, and hiding this information from its users for a year. The data of 57 million users of the platform were hacked and the company preferred to hide the fact from the US authorities.
Executive director Dara Khosrowshahi announced that an internal investigation had been opened. The investigation allowed the dismissal of the director of computer security and a lawyer. Security practices need to be rethought with the help of a former adviser to the US intelligence agency.
According to Uber, “two individuals” took personal information (name, e-mail address, phone number and other) of 50 million customers and 7 million drivers. However, they could not access the credit card number and details of the ride.
A month after this discovery, the company reached an agreement with these hackers: they were paid 100,000 dollars (85,000 euros) in return for the promise to erase the stolen data.
Uber has broken dozens of US laws, according to which companies need to notify their users in such cases. Uber has indeed acted several times on the limit of ethics. The company has created software to spy on rivals and the police forces to verbalize the drivers in the cities where the service was prohibited.
Grégoire Moisan, IEJ 3F
British bank, HSBC paid a fine of 300 million dollars to France to avoid a trial. This kind of procedure appeared in December of 2016, and had been applied for the first time with the HSBC’s case.
For the tax fraud in France the bank no longer needs to go on trial, but has to pay a huge fine. HSBC agreed to pay it this Monday. Michel Sapin, Minister of Economy during François Hollande’s presidency, voted a law, named “Sapin II” in which, the “Judiciary convention of public interest” allowed it. The companies just have to plead guilty.
The efficiency of the law is discussed by the anti-corruption association Anticor which denounced “a gift to the bribers”. On the other hand, the prosecutor of the national financial parquet of Paris, Eliane Houlette argued that this law would punish the bribers more and would “allow us to obtain quickly what we would never have obtained at the Criminal Court”.
Paying in order to avoid a trial never happened in France. The inefficiency of the justice to condemn tax fraud has lead them to this law. Some can perceive this as a failure of the tax administration.
Benjamin Cuneo, IEJ 3F
Elon Musk, founder and managing director of the company Tesla unveiled the first electric semi-truck on Thursday, at an event in Los Angeles. This eagerly awaited prototype nearly self-driving is supposed to be more efficient and less costly than the diesel trucks. And of course, it will emit no exhaust.
It has been well received as Tesla created an electric heavy weight filled with technology and 800 km of autonomy. The company even announced a fast load, by means of a “megacharger”, allowing to recover more than 600 km in 30 min. Finally, thanks to the electric engines, the heavy weight of the truck would be capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 kph in only 5 seconds.
After the revolution of electric cars undertook by Elon Musk, it is a great ecological challenge that has been taken up. According to Tesla, the production of this futurist truck should begin in 2019.
It is however necessary to moderate the general enthusiasm as the firm is nowadays in trouble because of its latest vehicle, Model 3, produced sparingly. Also, the competition is not outdone regarding electric truck by numerous announcements these last months, signed Volvo, Uber, Google etc.
Let us hope that Tesla will avoid a bad remake of Transformers.
Alice Bolantin, IEJ 3E groupe 2
Yesterday, a family from Staten Island posted a video on “Youtube” to denounce the system “Face ID” of Apple. The video was simple, the young boy tries to open his mother’s phone with the face ID. After six attempts the opening is a success.
This accident is a real problem for Apple because the question of security of its system is once again pointed at. Is the new Apple X the best phone ever created ? According to the company, yes, but nothing it’s sure.
For many specialists, the system is maybe too smart. It learns from its mistakes and can correct possible errors. So, for the analysts of Apple, the boy was successful because he had used the system several times. After six tries, the phone substituted the real owner by the young boy. Apple says that just one mobile phone in one million mobile phones are defective.
This story is a true opportunity for the Korean brand “Samsung” , Apple’s most important rival, to surpass the American brand in terms of sales of mobiles phones.
In Vietnam, hackers have also defeated the Apple system by an original strategy. They scanned the face of their victims and printed them in order to fool the Face ID system. With success.
Finally, Are we sure to be protected by the technology?
Busuttil Lucas IEJ3E
After the Dubai Airshow this Wednesday, Airbus company made their biggest trade with Indigo Partners. Indeed, the US firm asked for an order of 430 airplanes, most precisely from Airbus’s A380 family. The Dubai airshow was a difficult week for the biggest European company, but thanks to this order, Airbus is going to catch up its main competitor, Boeing.
Furthermore, the same day, just a few hours later, Boeing hit back with a “historic” order between the company and Gulf airline Flydubai : 225 medium-haul of 737 MAX aircraft’s model. A big announcement for the airplane industry and also for Airbus which doesn’t want to fall behind the American company. Even if Indigo’s order will bring more benefits for the French company, Boeing puts an additional pressure on them. Today, this is more a war of orders – Airbus and Indigo’s trade stand with 49 million dollars against 27 million dollars for the trade between Boeing and Gulf Flydubai.
To beat its American rival Boeing is the biggest purpose on Airbus’s mind. The French company doesn’t want to be the second or the third but the only one. Over the years, Airbus and Boeing are competing with each other, and this could be observed during the Dubai Airshow. Indigo’s order for Airbus intensified, once again, the commercial war between the two companies. Before the airshow, Airbus was in crisis and far behind Boeing. Now, the rivalry is present more than ever.
Julia SOLANS, IEJ 3F Groupe 1