August 22, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus says South Africa is unlikely to make a dent on joblessness.
Global lenders see higher food prices but no crisis yet.
And, Togo police fire teargas at opposition protesters in the run-up to elections.
Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said South Africa is unlikely to make a significant dent on its high level of unemployment even if the economy manages to grow at higher rates.
Marcus said the bank had been cutting its growth forecasts for the past year with GDP growth now expected to average about 2.7% this year and 3.8% in 2013. The challenges facing the domestic economy, partly due to the global downturn, are "daunting", she said.
President Jacob Zuma has singled out one of South Africa's biggest challenges as the jobless rate which has persisted around 25% for the past year. The rate was at 24.9% in the second quarter, according to the latest official statistics.
Global financial lenders are advising countries to prepare for the possibility of higher food bills in the coming months. However, for the moment the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank see few signs of a widespread food price crisis as was seen in 2007/8.
The worst drought in half a century in the United States and poor crops from the Black Sea bread basket have lifted prices of corn, wheat and soybeans. The price of rice has so far been unaffected.
Director of the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Juergen Voegele, said as long as food stocks are so low, price volatility will not go away easily.
Police in Togo fired tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse thousands of opposition protesters in the capital Lome on Tuesday, as tensions over upcoming legislative elections boiled over.
Opposition leaders organised the protest march to try to press demands for reform ahead of a parliamentary election in October, defying a government ban on demonstrations in commercial centres.
The opposition says the country's constituency boundaries, which were redrawn in May, favour the ruling party. It is challenging a move to increase the number of seats in parliament to 91 from 81.
A witness said at least one protester was struck by a rubber bullet.
Also making headlines:
Egypt's deployment of armour in Sinai worries Israel.
South Africa says welfare spend is sustainable, despite rising debt.
And, Eskom is still weighing its tariff request to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.