Thursday December 2, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Brad Dubbelman
Service delivery protests have reached a record, with 107 protests this year, the latest data released by research company Municipal IQ showed on Wednesday.Last year, 105 service delivery protests were recorded, which was a big increase from only 27 protests in 2008. Since Municipal IQ started compiling the report in 2004, the calmest year was 2006, when only two service delivery protests were recorded.Municipal IQ MD Kevin Allan said that given that 48% of the 2010 protests took place in informal settlements, which were now a strong feature of the urban landscape, it was likely that issues of poverty and inequality would continue to drive protests in the future.The company’s yearly municipal productivity index also showed that the productivity levels of municipalities across the country had dropped.
In an effort to strengthen the fight against HIV/Aids, the European Union (EU) has announced a 10% increase in contributions to the Global Fund setup for the disease. EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said that the increase would allow the Commission to contribute around R12,35-billion over the 2002 to 2013 period. "Without a healthy population, it is impossible to create inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries to reach the Millennium Development Goals," Piebalgs said in a statement on Wednesday. "Aids remains one of the most deadly diseases and we have to increase our efforts in preventing the spread of this virus." Piebalgs said that the increase also applied to tuberculosis and malaria (GFATM), to which the EU is already the largest donor, providing 52% of resources. Nils Jansons, deputy head of the EU delegation to South Africa, said: "We are committed to the fight against HIV and Aids in South Africa.”
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) will discuss the possibility of one election date for local, provincial and national elections at an upcoming summit, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday. "We are looking into whether it is advisable... to have one set of elections," Mantashe told reporters at the party headquarters in Johannesburg. The ANC would host a three-day summit on provincial and local government elections in Midrand from Thursday. Mantashe said that there would be advantages and disadvantages to a one-date election. "The current system keeps political parties moving all the time. If only one election was held every five years, an element of complacency will creep in", he said.
Currently, local government elections were held separately from provincial and national elections.
Also making headlines:
Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil, is expected to become one of South Africa’s top-20 trading partners, said a leading South African official on Wednesday.
President Laurent Gbagbo's party has asked the top legal body in Côte d’Ivoire and the election commission to cancel still unpublished results from a poll that it says rebels rigged for rival Alassane Ouattara.
The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act may be insufficient to shield South African mining companies from the impact of this week’s far-reaching Constitutional Court judgement.
And, stimulus and bail-out packages undertaken to cope with the economic crisis can have an impact on trade and investment and need to be managed carefully, according to the head of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.