October 19 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
A survey shows that big South African firms spend at least R2-million each on supporting education.
French President Francois Hollande urges swift action as the Mali militant threat grows.
And, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu says the police are not manipulating statistics.
A new survey by the National Business Initiative has found that over 61% of the participating large companies spent between R2-million and R35-million each during the 2010/11 financial year supporting public education.
The Sanlam-sponsored indicative survey showed that about 70% of the larger firms allocated funding to learner support programmes. The funding also supported teachers’ professional development and the provision of equipment by 65% and 63% respectively. Over 60% of the funding assisted schools with the development or provision of learning and reading material.
The majority of the companies cited national priorities, such as improving educational outcomes and tackling poverty, as the motivator behind the corporate social investment supporting education, while others undertook educational support programmes to deal with skills shortages.
France’s President Francois Hollande is pushing hard for military action against al Qaeda-linked militants in northern Mali. This is to quash what he believes is a growing risk of them launching an attack on French soil.
A French diplomatic source said that Hollande is convinced that there is a real risk of terrorism in France whereby the longer the situation in Mali lasts the greater the risk.
Diplomatic and security sources say there is "credible" evidence of planned attacks following botched bombings by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (or AQIM) at French embassies in Mali and Mauritania.
Calls by Paris for a speedy intervention have angered AQIM and its affiliates, some of whom warned on Saturday they would "open the doors of hell" for French citizens if Paris kept pushing for armed intervention.
Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu said on Thursday that the police ministry doesn’t manipulate crime statistics as they are calculated in line with international standards.
Sotyu’s response follows crime researchers questioning the validity of statistics showing a decline in serious and violent crimes for the year 2011/12. The statistics were released in September.
She told Parliament that to create an impression that the police are manipulating the stats is not only downright irresponsible, but that it also means that detractors will never be happy when the ANC-led government is actually making good progress in providing safety to all South African inhabitants.
Sotyu said all figures were calculated as ratios per 100 000 of the population, in line with international practice.
Also making headlines:
President Jacob Zuma’s call for a salary increase freeze is expected to cost South Africa R5-billion in lost income-tax revenue.
Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi publishes proposed amendments to the Construction Industry Development Board regulations.
And, Ghana’s Interim President John Dramani Mahama promises high growth and low inflation if he wins elections in December.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.