Friday July 15, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah
South Africa's most prominent corruption buster accused the police and bureaucrats on Thursday of improper behaviour in $265-million lease deals that have embarrassed President Jacob Zuma's government. But Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has few tools to follow up on her investigation due to the limited scope of her office, which likely means that government figures named in her report will escape punishment. Zuma's administration has been charged with endemic corruption most prominently by one of its closest allies, the labour federation Cosatu, which is a long-time backer of the ruling ANC, and a governing partner.
Scores of petrol stations in South Africa have run out of fuel, an industry spokesman said yesterday, as a strike by workers in the oil sector escalates. The Solidarity trade union, which represents about 6 000 skilled workers, on Thursday joined the strike by about 70 000 workers mainly from the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu). Ceppwawu members in the petroleum, chemical and pharmaceutical industries stopped work on Monday, demanding 13% wage increases, about triple the inflation rate, and above the 4% to 7% offered by employers. Other, smaller unions also joined the strike this week.
Most fuel shortages were recorded in Gauteng province, the country's economic hub which includes its biggest city, Johannesburg.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale will appoint a national task team to investigate recurring complaints that local government has failed to provide enclosed toilets in poor communities. As a result Sexwale would announce the task team's members next week. It would deal with the matter in each province and all municipalities. The announcement came after both national and local government struggled to say what progress had been made in enclosing open toilets in Rammulotsi, near Viljoenskroon in the Free State, since they were discovered in May.
Also making headlines:
The General Assembly admitted South Sudan on Thursday as the 193rd member of the United Nations, sealing the new African country's independence after decades of conflict.
Western powers and Arab states meeting in Istanbul today will seek a political solution to end the civil war in Libya, amid conflicting signals over whether Colonel Muammar Gaddafi intends to fight on or surrender power.
And, the National Employer’s Association of South Africa and the Plastics Converters Association have won a temporary court order preventing striking workers from intimidating non-striking employees or causing damage to employer’s property.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.