October 2, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
A Commission of Inquiry into the tragic 'Marikana massacre' opens.
The World Bank says the private sector still holds the key for job-creation.
And, auditor general Terrence Nombembe says the Department of Public Works is in financial disarray.
Retired judge Ian Farlam has opened a judicial inquiry into South Africa's bloodiest security incident since the end of apartheid. This follows his tour to the spot where police killed 34 striking platinum miners in August.
He has four months to uncover the events surrounding the August 16 "Marikana massacre". The massacre sparked intense criticism not only of the police but also of mining bosses, unions, the ruling African National Congress and President Jacob Zuma.
The commission and its findings could be politically damaging to Zuma and the ANC, especially if security forces are found to have been as trigger-happy and ruthless as their apartheid predecessors.
A new World Bank report argues that jobs are the main driver of development. It urges governments to pursue policies that remove obstacles to private-sector-led job creation, particularly by small and medium-sized businesses, as the private sector remains the source of almost nine of every ten jobs in the world.
It shows that jobs are vulnerable to economic downturns, with the recent financial crisis having created 22-million new unemployed in a single year. However, it also stresses that growth alone will not be sufficient to stimulate job creation and support development.
Particularly concerning the current low job-growth environment, is a calculation showing that, by 2020, there needs to be around 600-million more jobs than was the case in 2005 simply to keep employment as a share of the working-age population constant. The majority of these jobs would also have to be created in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
World Bank president Dr Jim Yong Kim says there is a pressing desire across the world for “good jobs”, which are not only important for allowing people to live, but also in fostering human dignity and greater social cohesion.
Auditor General Terrence Nombembe says that financial chaos continues to dog the public works department. This has resulted in him giving the department another disclaimer for the 2011/12 financial year, which is one of the worst audit opinions possible.
Nombembe said he couldn’t rely on information provided by the department about how many properties it owned and leased to sister departments and other state entities, as well as the accuracy of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The department's financial statements indicated that there was over R69-million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure. However, the auditor general said he could not rely on this figure either, as the department didn’t have a system in place to identify this type of spending.
Action against department officials accused of wrongdoing was lacking in various instances. As a result of this failure, disciplinary steps were not taken against officials suspected of such conduct.
Also making headlines:
Credit agency Moody's cuts its ratings on South African power utility Eskom and fixed-line operator Telkom.
South African business is still struggling to recover from the recession.
And, the Department of Transport has set aside about R6-billion to ease the road maintenance and repair backlog for provincial roads in South Africa.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.