Thursday January 12, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg I’m Jessica Hannah
South African municipalities have underspent R12.4-billion, or 29.3%, of their capital budgets in the 12 months to the end of June 2011, the National Treasury has stated. Municipal underspending of capital budgets stood at R8.5-billion, or 17.1%, in 2009/10. Of the total capital budget allocated to 21 secondary cities, about R2.9-billion, or 44%, was underspent during the period under review. District municipalities were found to be the worst performers, with more than half consistently underspending their budgets by more than 30%. In other municipalities, 111 underspent their original capital budgets by more that 30%, impacting directly on the rollout of services.
The threat of disruption to Nigerian oil output may force President Goodluck Jonathan's government to negotiate with unions as an indefinite, nationwide strike and protests over fuel subsidy cuts enters its fourth day today. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in cities up and down Africa's most populous nation this week to protest against the January 1 removal of the subsidy, which more than doubled the price of petrol to around 150 naira a litre. Nigeria's biggest oil union said that it was ready to halt oil output if the government did not reinstate the subsidy. Jonathan has shown no sign of weakening in the face of protests similar to those that have derailed past attempts to scrap the fuel subsidy, but may have to consider a compromise if the strike extends to the vital oil industry.
The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has registered more than 200 000 account units for e-tolling on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, which is set to go live next month. The agency said that 212 906 accounts have been opened since e-tag registration for users of the 200 km of upgraded highways started in November. Sanral has been urging road users to ‘get e-tag ready’ by getting an e-tag, registering an e-toll account and fitting the e-tag to the inside of the vehicle's windscreen.
Also making headlines:
South Africa and Cuba have strengthened cooperation in the defence field with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.