June 20, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Samantha Moolman
A Southern African Development Community (or SADC) Regional Infrastructure Master Plan has been finalised and will be presented to the subregion’s heads of State for official sanction at an upcoming summit, scheduled for Maputo, Mozambique, in August. The plan could involve cross-border projects with a combined investment value of up to $500-billion.
SADC secretariat deputy executive secretary for regional integration João Caholo says the master plan is the product of ‘deep’ stakeholder consultation. It will be presented to regional infrastructure ministers in Luanda, Angola, next week and then to a gathering of the bloc’s finance ministers in July.
The plan proposes the development of regional power, transport, water, communications, tourism and metrology infrastructure over the 15-year period, from 2012 to 2027.
The South African Presidency has hit out at criticism over the $2-billion (about R16.4-billion) it has agreed to commit to an International Monetary Fund (or IMF) "firewall", saying it’s not a gift but rather a sound financial investment.
President Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj explains that if the IMF uses the funds, the money is lent to the IMF and is not a gift. During this time the money will be earning interest for South Africa.
However, Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven says the decision must be reversed and the $2-billion should be used to alleviate the plight of the poorest South Africans and to invest in the restructuring of the country’s economy.
Nigerian Muslims fired AK-47 rifles, burned tyres and destroyed at least one church in the northern city of Kaduna on Tuesday, two days after rioting by Christian youths killed 52 people, say witnesses.
The escalating violence has raised fears of wider sectarian conflict in a country already reeling from months of attacks on government buildings and churches by followers of the Islamist sect Boko Haram.
Kaduna authorities have imposed a second 24-hour curfew in two days.
Also making headlines:
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been moved from prison to a military hospital after he suffered a health crisis.
And, a US election monitoring group says it’s unable to say whether Egypt's presidential election was free and fair as it hadn’t been given sufficient access, accusing the military leadership of hampering a transition to democracy.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.