Friday March 25, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon de Ryhove
The South African Reserve Bank left its repo rate unchanged on Thursday at 5,5% but raised its inflation forecast and struck a bullish tone on growth.
The Monetary Policy Committee's hawkish tone suggests that rates will start increasing before the end of the year, as many analysts anticipate.
However, Governor Gill Marcus declined to comment on the timing of any rate increase. Marcus said inflation would probably average 4,7% this year and 5,7% in 2012, higher than previous forecasts of 4,6% and 5,3% respectively.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said it would enforce a Libya no-fly zone but stopped short of taking full command of the United Nations-backed military operations to protect civilians from forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Western jets pounded targets in southern Libya on Thursday but failed to prevent government tanks re-entering the western city of Misrata, whose main hospital was besieged by tanks and government snipers. Western commanders hope rebel forces in eastern Libya will overthrow Gaddafi, but the return of tanks to Misrata under cover of darkness highlighted the difficulties they face in trying to force the Libyan leader to cease fire.
Democracy needed "to produce good results" and a strong opposition was not integral to its successful functioning, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday. "There are some [who] say that to have a good democracy we need a strong opposition. Democracy must produce results," Zuma said at a Progressive Business Forum dinner at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. Urging the business community to support the ANC ahead of the upcoming local government elections, he said that "supporting the ANC is an investment that is done wisely". Zuma added that the ANC's policies had led to a reduction in poverty.
Also making headlines:
The acid mine water problem affects small parts of the North West, the Free State and the Northern Cape in addition to Gauteng, the province's local government MEC said.
Egypt has approved a new law easing curbs that choked political life under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, opening the door for the formation of new parties that will compete in elections this year.
And, ten people have been removed from the Midvaal voter's roll by the Independent Electoral Commission after complaints they were "bused in" to register in the area, mayor Timothy Nast said.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.