Wednesday November 16, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Brad Dubbelman
The establishment of a free trade area in Southern Africa is best not done abruptly, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe warned yesterday. Responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces, he noted that discussions had commenced within the SADC on the establishment of a free trade area.
"But merely and simply establishing a free trade area and therefore curtailing the existence of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) would no doubt squeeze the life out of some member countries." Motlanthe said several Sacu members depended on their share of the revenue generated by the customs union for their survival.
The UN peacekeeping chief condemned an alliance between rebels in Sudan's conflict-torn Darfur region and southern border states, saying it was counterproductive and would spark more violence. "This represents a further step in a pattern of escalation that is counterproductive," Herve Ladsous, head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, told the UN Security Council. Rebels in Sudan's Darfur and the troubled southern states bordering on South Sudan said on Saturday they had formed an alliance to topple the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum.
The Reserve Bank would maintain its monetary policy focus on achieving the inflation target of between 3% and 6% over the medium term, but would remain sensitive to the domestic economic situation, governor Gill Marcus said. The “challenging times of uncertainty and possible unthinkable consequences in the European environment”, made it difficult for South Africa to pre-empt its policies, she said at a Swiss Chamber of Southern Africa event in Johannesburg. The Reserve Bank kept its repo rate at a 30-year low of 5.5% last week. Marcus said that there was a risk of stagflation in the domestic economy, with inflation rising and domestic growth still sluggish.
Also making headlines:
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has revealed that discussions on the proposed youth wage subsidy are under way with key stakeholders to address joblessness in the country.
Niger said that Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi would remain in the West African nation until a UN travel ban on him was lifted, despite Tripoli's request for his return.
And, Kenya's newly constituted Supreme Court refused to rule on a date for next year's elections, stoking voter unease over moves by the government to amend a polling timeline already endorsed by a referendum.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.