Thursday August 18, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah
The debate on the country's new Chief Justice must not impugn the dignity of the judiciary or demean the integrity of the nominee, says the Presidency. President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson, Mac Maharaj says the facts regarding suitability and experience should not be disregarded in the debate. The Presidency reiterated its respect and high regard for the judiciary and for the Constitutional Court as an arbiter for disputes in the country. Maharaj says Zuma welcomes the debate but there are "disappointing inaccuracies" and "distortions" in the response to Zuma's nomination of Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as Chief Justice.
Meanwhile, Britain says hundreds of thousands of children could starve to death in Somalia if the international community does not ramp up its response to the famine. Britain has already pledged more than £80-million to help tackle what aid agencies are calling the worst drought in decades to hit Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Britain's International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell called on other countries, at a news conference in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, to put their shoulders to the wheel and ensure that the famine does not claim up to 400 000 children.
And, South Africa's plan to overhaul healthcare and give the poor greater access to medical services could eat into profits of domestic insurers if one of the biggest reforms by the ruling ANC since 1994 is implemented. Under the National Health Insurance plan, being discussed by the government and other parties in the country's healthcare sector, every South African will be forced to pay into the scheme, regardless of whether they already have private insurance. People are saying that they are going to be paying an additional tax, however, Anban Pillay, the Department of Health’s head of financial planning and health economics says government does not see it as an additional tax, all they see is the redirecting of medical aid contributions into the fund.
Also making headlines:
The Department of Water Affairs officials were unable to tell MPs whether the health of South Africa's rivers was improving or worsening, but a rash of red spots across maps presented by the DWA suggests the latter.
Integrated housing developments could play a key role in assisting government in tackling its housing backlog,says Calgro M3 Holdings CEO Ben-Pierre Malherbe.
And, rebels to the west and east of Libya's capital fought forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for control of oil facilities that are vital to winning the six-month-old civil war.
That’s a roundup of new making headlines today.