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Daily podcast – March 20, 2013.

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Daily podcast – March 20, 2013.

20th March 2013

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March 20, 2013.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Joanne Taylor.
Making headlines:

The SABC board is dissolved.

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Zimbabweans overwhelmingly approve a new constitution.

And, food security is at the top of the agenda for the Brics group of nations.

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The SABC board was officially dissolved after a heated meeting of Parliament's communications portfolio committee on Tuesday.

Ahead of the disbanding, one of the last two remaining board members, Suzanne Vos, gave the committee her views on the events leading up to the resignation of nine board members in the past week. She accused Communications Minister Dina Pule of interfering in the board's operations.

Addressing the committee, Pule denied she was guilty of political interference, an allegation made by Vos and at least one other board member, Cedric Gina, who also recently resigned.

The committee formally disbanded the board, and was expected to nominate members for an interim board soon. The National Assembly was also expected to discuss the matter later. The Creative Workers Union of South Africa, meanwhile, welcomed the resignations.

 

The election commission says Zimbabweans have approved a new constitution that curbs the powers of the president and puts the turbulent southern African country a step closer to holding full elections in the next few months.

Nearly 95% of voters in a referendum approved the new charter, which was supported by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The two are political rivals who were forced into a power-sharing deal after disputed elections in 2008.

The official voter turnout, at slightly more than half the six-million eligible voters, was higher than many analysts had expected.

The new charter sets a maximum of two five-year terms for the president. Presidential decrees will also require majority backing in the cabinet, and declaring emergency rule or dissolving parliament will need the approval of two-thirds of lawmakers. The changes will take effect after the next election.

 

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says Brics member countries have put food security at the top of the agenda ahead of the all-important summit in Durban.

Addressing the Brics summit roadshow in Mbombela she said said food security was important to the member countries, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, adding that South Africa particularly had a lot to offer.

Joemat-Pettersson said that to boost the farming sector, her department was in negotiations with Walmart to buy food from small farmers, adding that it wasn’t only for local consumption, but also for exporting abroad, and that the department wanted to make sure that the largest part of the value chain was captured within South Africa.

The minister said 30% of the global territory was occupied by Brics nations, and urged South Africans to learn from Brazil how they were able to address inequality, unemployment and poverty. She added that other countries had a lot to teach South Africa when it came to business.

 

Also making headlines: 

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has marked National Water Week by unveiling the Komati Water Scheme Augmentation Project to help Eskom overcome its water supply challenges.

A survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation reveals that 40% of young black people have little or no confidence in the country's political parties.

The City of Ekurhuleni sets up a Job Creation Programme Management Unit in a bid to reduce unemployment.

And, the Tshwane metro has unveiled the first station in its A Re Yeng bus rapid transit system.

 

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.

 

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