Tuesday November 29, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah
South Africa's central bank may need to ease interest rates further if demand growth continues to disappoint, and fiscal consolidation should be accelerated, says the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Paris-based OECD says in its ‘world economic outlook’ report that the first line of defence if the economy is weaker than projected should be monetary policy. Adding that there seems to be scope for further reductions in the central bank's policy rate. Domestic growth was at 1.3% in the second quarter and with a deteriorating global growth outlook, a weaker-than-expected domestic growth outcome in the second quarter, and the impact of industrial action on key sectors of the economy, the central bank sees growth at 3% this year.
Southern African countries, hardest hit by the HIV/Aids pandemic, are likely to be most affected over the next three years as funding from one of the world's biggest donors dries up. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria called off its next funding round after failing to secure the minimum $13-billion needed to fund its programmes. The fund said earlier this month it was cutting new grants for countries battling the diseases. The public-private fund is the single largest donor body for HIV funding and provides more than 70% of funds for life-saving antiretroviral drugs in developing nations.
The proposed ‘National Traffic Police Freeway Unit’, which would be managed under the Road Traffic Management Corporation and be responsible for traffic policing on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), is likely to cost about R80-million a year. In repsonse to a Parliamentary question in which Manny de Freitas of the DA enquired about whether alternative funding options had been interrogated for the GFIP, as well as about how the proposed e-tolling system would be enforced, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said that various mechanisms were in place to ensure that users paid their toll fees. It will be operational seven days a week, and will conduct enforcement by means of automated number plate recognition that will be completed at freeway on-ramps and on freeway sections. The unit would also focus on normal law enforcement activities, as well as incident management.
Also making headlines:
Angolan Vice-President Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos called for a common African position at the opening plenary of the global climate change talks, COP 17, in Durban.
Egypt's new Prime Minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri, said that he aimed to announce his new Cabinet by the end of the week.
And, officials began counting votes in the Democratic Republic of Congo's second post-war election overnight, after a polling day marred by confusion, violence and alleged fraud.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.