Tuesday March 6, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon de Ryhove
The ANC wants greater government control over Africa's largest economy, a windfall levy on mining firms and a rapid expansion in the services offered by postal banks, it said in policy documents released yesterday. The documents will be used to frame debate when the ANC holds a policy meeting in June. Since it commands a comfortable majority in Parliament, its policy recommendations are often turned into legislation. The ANC did not offer a great deal of detail but said it wants to see State-owned enterprises be centres of job creation. It backs the government's plans to spend billions of dollars over the next several years on infrastructure projects to increase the enterprises' output and create employment.
The UN Security Council expressed grave concern at the threat posed by Somali pirates and extremist groups as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the African State's humanitarian situation would likely deteriorate again in the coming months. For the past two decades, Somalia has been engulfed in anarchy, chaos and conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that fighting, famine and disease have killed up to a million people since Somalia's last government collapsed in 1991. The international community has become increasingly concerned at Somalia becoming a leading global haven for Islamist militancy and the rising toll of Somali piracy, estimated to cost the global economy some $7-billion a year.
The South African National Roads Agency Limited is currently finalising a new approach on how emergency vehicles using the toll roads in Gauteng will be dealt with, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said. Responding to a Parliamentary question on whether emergency vehicles would be exempt from paying the toll fees on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, he said the route followed depended on whether the vehicle was privately owned or owned by the local government. He explained that the user of a privately owned emergency vehicle could, through a specific process requiring approval by the specific government entity, be credited for transactions that were made for official purposes. However, the vehicle must be fitted with an e-tag to manage this process and prevent fraud from taking place.
Also making headlines:
Malian army units trying to resupply the remote northern garrison of Tessalit, besieged for weeks by rebels, have been beaten back after days of heavy fighting, rebel, army and local officials said.
And, Julius Malema will appeal a decision to suspend him from the ruling ANC, saying he is being persecuted for his calls to nationalise mines and seize white-owned farmland, his Youth League said.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.