Tuesday December 06, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah
South Africa's central government took direct control of parts of several provincial administrations in a clampdown on profligate spending and to try to iron out long-running problems with shoddy public services. A Cabinet statement said Pretoria had assumed authority over nearly every area of administration in the troubled northern province of Limpopo after it asked for a R1-billion overdraft to pay civil servants' salaries. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is under pressure to keep public spending in check in Africa's biggest economy, said his department had been concerned for several months about "financial management and the potential for overspending".
Deputy Energy Minister Barbara Thompson said that the pace would need to be stepped up if the millennium development goals (MDGs) were to be met globally by 2015. Speaking at a seminar focusing on meeting the MDGs and financing energy access, Thompson said that the progress towards achieving the MDGs, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/Aids and providing universal primary education, “did not paint a good picture”. She added that most countries were “far away” from providing for the basic needs of its people as prescribed through the MDGs.
Economic crisis and the top three polluters China, the US and India, loomed as obstacles to a new global deal at the start of a second make-or-break week of UN climate talks in Durban. After a first week of preliminary discussion, serious doubt hangs over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period on tackling climate change expires at the end of next year. The other major issue for debate is how to drum up finance to help poorer nations adapt to a warmer planet, while the developed world wrestles with sovereign debt problems.
Also making headlines:
Clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday as diplomats scrambled to defuse tensions ahead of the country's full election results.
The poor will likely suffer more under the proposed National Health Insurance system, the Democratic Alliance said.
And, the ANC youth league leader Julius Malema's lawyers have received correspondence from the ruling party's national disciplinary committee of appeals.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.