Wednesday, November 3, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Mary-Anne O'Donnell.
The African National Congress (ANC) leadership was paranoid in interpreting a civil society conference as an attempt to effect regime change in South Africa, said Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi on Tuesday.
Commenting on the ANC's statement that said that Cosatu had taken an "oppositionist" stance toward the ANC-led government, Vavi said that it was "inconsistent, incoherent, reflective of something that is not anywhere close to Cosatu's."
The ANC noted that it and the tripartite alliance members were not invited to the conference. This positioned the conference "as an alternative bloc to the alliance," said ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, adding that the ANC "thinks that it is a dangerous populist approach to disagreements and is intended to create a crisis where there is no crisis."
Disenchanted US voters swept Democrats from power in the House of Representatives and strengthened the ranks of Senate Republicans on Tuesday, in an election rout that dealt a sharp rebuke to President Barack Obama.
Two years after Obama won the Presidency, voter anxiety about the economy and discontent with his leadership fuelled big Republican gains that toppled Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from power and ushered in a new era of divided government.
Projections show that Republicans will pick up at least 50 House seats, more than the 39 that they need for a majority, put Republicans in charge of House committees and slam the brakes on Obama's agenda. It is the biggest shift in power since Republicans gained 54 House seats in 1994, when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.
Republican control of even one chamber of Congress will likely spark legislative gridlock, weakening Obama's hand in fights over the extension of soon-to-expire income tax cuts and the passage of comprehensive energy or immigration bills.
South Africa's economy is not growing fast enough to make a significant dent in the country's 25% unemployment rate, said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday.
Speaking at a business dinner in Durban, Gordhan repeated concerns that quantitative easing by some developed nations to buoy their economies posed the risk that investors would pour money into higher yielding markets like South Africa, then pull it out suddenly.
The Treasury estimates that if South Africa sustains 7% growth for ten years, national income would double and the economy would generate 5,5-million jobs, which would slash unemployment from the current levels of 25%, and reduce poverty. "If we carry on with [the current] 3% to 4% growth, we are not going to create the jobs that we require," he said.
Also making headlines:
The Pietermaritzburg High Court will today hear an application from Inkatha Freedom Party chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, who wants to stop her party from hauling her into an inquiry that may result in her expulsion.
Preliminary results of a referendum show that voters in Niger overwhelmingly back a new constitution meant to pave the way back to civilian rule.
Outgoing Chamber of Mines president Sipho Nkosi says that the South African government would have been accountable for a R67-billion postmeltdown deficit if the mining industry been nationalised.
And, the head of Côte d'Ivoire's army calls for calm as the first Presidential election results are released.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.