Wednesday, September 2, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Rosalia Matlou.
Canada's decision to grant refugee status to a South African who claimed that he was persecuted because he is white, has drawn accusations of racism from South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC).
A Canadian immigration board ruled that South African Brandon Huntley could stay in Canada, as he would stand out like a "sore thumb" owing to his colour in any part of South Africa.
The ANC states that Huntley's claims of being attacked seven times by Africans owing to his skin colour without any police intervention, are sensational and alarming. The party feels that Canada's reasoning for granting Huntley refugee status, will perpetuate racism.
Opposition party, the Congress of the People, states that Canada's decision is symptomatic of the disillusionment rife across all colour lines in ANC-led South Africa.
The United Nations (UN) World Economic and Social Survey, on promoting development and saving the planet, calls for the world's rich countries to provide between $500-billion and $600-billion a year in a "green new deal" to help developing nations fight global warming.
A government-led investment push for cleaner energy is at the core of a strategy that would allow developing economies to grow at high rates, while keeping carbon emissions low. Speaking at the ongoing World Climate Conference in Geneva, Richard Kozul-Wright, head of the Development Policy and Analysis division at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, stresses that rich countries have a responsibility to help.
Industrialised States still emit from six times to seven times more damaging greenhouse gases per capita than developing countries, which are much harder hit by climate change. The strategy to help developing countries towards a low-emission, high-growth path also includes technology transfer and more energy-related research and development. Kozul-Wright states, however, that the key is quick, upfront investment in renewables, energy efficiency, transportation and forest management.
The 2009 Taxation Law Amendment Bills will formalise an adjustment to personal income tax thresholds of R13,5-billion for individuals, said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in the National Assembly yesterday.
Gordhan said that a significant simplification of the tax treatment of lump sum payments from retirement savings and preretirement lump sum withdrawals will be implemented from this year. Given concerns about the plight of workers losing jobs in the economic crisis, the draft bills propose that withdrawal from retirement funds on retrenchment will qualify for the R300 000 exemption.
Further, treatment of travel allowances will be reformed to improve the equity of the income tax system and broaden the tax base.
Also making headlines:
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe clears Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe to return to work.
The King Committee says that the King Report on Governance and the King Code of Governance Principles should be a nonlegislative code.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai urges regional pressure on President Robert Mugabe to fulfil a power-sharing agreement, ahead of the Southern African Development Community summit next week.
And, Libya celebrates as the country marks 40 years of Muammar Gaddafi's rule.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.