Wednesday December 1, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Schalk Burger
The independence of South Africa's Reserve Bank is not undermined by new economic growth proposals unveiled by the government last week, governor Gill Marcus said on Tuesday. In a speech posted on the central bank's website, Marcus also said that it was not always possible to achieve low, stable inflation, a competitive exchange rate and low interest rates simultaneously. Marcus reiterated that the central bank, which has cut interest rates by 650 basis points since December 2008, with the latest 50-basis point reduction put in place earlier this month, had limited scope to lower them further. South Africa released a New Growth Path document outlining proposals to jump-start the economy, which stated monetary policy would continue to target low and stable inflation but do more to support a more competitive exchange rate and reduced investment costs through lower real interest rates.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday asked why the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not indicting Tony Blair and George W Bush for war crimes instead of prosecuting Sudan's leader. Mugabe, speaking at a joint summit of the European Union (EU) and African States, said that the ICC was applying a double standard by indicting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and genocide. Sudan's government has said that it was boycotting the EU-Africa summit in protest at EU pressure for Bashir to stay away.
"Why does this court not do the same with Tony Blair and George W Bush, both of whom occupied Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people?" Mugabe said in a speech to the summit in Libya's capital.
The government would not partake in performance scorecards published in the media, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. "During this time of the year, some media outlets publish scorecards which claim to assess government's performance for the period January to December," said Government Communications spokesperson Themba Maseko in a statement. "The assessments are unscientific and based purely on media clippings and the opinions of individual journalists rather than on concrete evidence of government performance." The government had its own "rigorous" evaluation and monitoring systems. "After careful consideration and review, government has decided not to participate in any media scorecard process because these are unscientific and not reflective of government performance in its entirety," said Maseko.
Also making headlines:
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel have resolved differences over the flow of the R500-million in fines arising from the so-called ‘Pioneer settlement’.
The yearly global climate change negotiations kicked off on Monday in Cancun, Mexico, with fewer political leaders present, and lower expectations of forging a legally binding inclusive deal on climate change, than was the case at last year’s conference in Copenhagen.
The Côte d’Ivoire opposition accused President Laurent Gbagbo on Tuesday of blocking the release of the first results of a tense election because he knew he had lost.
And, United Nations Security Council members support the idea of increasing the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Somalia to help support the country's fragile government, Britain's UN envoy said on Tuesday.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.