Wednesday, January 13, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Mary-Anne O'Donnell.
It is better for South Africa to swallow the "bitter pill" of an electricity tariff hike now, said Eskom's acting CE Mpho Makwana at hearings on proposed price hikes in Polokwane yesterday.
Speaking before the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Makwana said that all South Africans will ultimately benefit. Eskom wants a 35% tariff hike each year for the next three years. The acting CE explained that Eskom believes it has mitigated the adverse impact on the economy and job losses by choosing a longer time period to achieve cost-reflective tariffs.
Contributing to the hearings, the Democratic Alliance said that
"mismanagement at the utility is no excuse to increase rates", while the Congress of South African Trade Unions spoke out strongly against Eskom's application.
Guinea's ruling military junta has begun talks with opposition parties, after the army backed the idea of a civilian Prime Minister to lead the unstable West African country to elections.
Defence Minister Sekouba Konate, who has assumed control while junta chief Moussa Dadis Camara recovers from last month's assassination bid, said that he wanted an opposition figure as Prime Minister.
Konate's offer has been cautiously welcomed in the region, where neighbours are concerned that tensions in Guinea could spark wider ethnic strife. The United Nations is backing Konate's move towards the establishment of a transitional government.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) party insisted on an answer from the Presidency yesterday, on whether Schabir Shaik and Eugene de Kock were being considered for a Presidential pardon. The official opposition cites contradictory statements from the Presidency on the matter.
Party spokesperson on correctional services James Selfe said that Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya had claimed that President Jacob Zuma never denied that Shaik had applied for a Presidential pardon. This came after President Zuma in a television interview, refuted claims that Shaik had applied for a Presidential pardon. However, the DA quotes an October 2009 statement from the Presidency, confirming that Shaik had applied for a pardon.
Also making headlines:
Britain says that Sudan's first multiparty elections in 24 years needs credible monitors.
Zimbabwe's Attorney-General seeks to impeach a State witness in the case against Movement for Democratic Change official Roy Bennett.
And, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calls for more discussion on an antigay bill that has become a "foreign policy issue".
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.