Wednesday October 26, 2011.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon de Ryhove.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has responded to the loss of economic momentum in South Africa by allowing for a moderate rise in government expenditure. This will result in the deficit rising to 5.5% of gross domestic product in 2011/12, as compared with an estimate of 5.3% announced in February.
In unveiling the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Cape Town on Tuesday, Gordhan indicated that the accommodative fiscal stance would seek to compensate for the deterioration in business activity, which slumped following the global financial crisis of 2008/9 and had “yet to regain momentum”.
The slightly loosened fiscal framework also now made available R1.1-trillion for spending in 2012/13, up from the estimate of R978.8-billion for the current fiscal period to March 31, 2012.
Government also officially lowered its GDP growth forecast for 2011 to 3.1%, from 3.4% announced in the 2011 Budget of February.
US President Barack Obama took issue on Tuesday with the broadcasting of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's bloody demise, saying even those who had done "terrible things" deserved decorum in death.
Gaddafi was buried in a secret desert location on Tuesday, five days after he was captured, killed and put on grisly public display.
The former leader was seen on video being mocked, beaten and abused before he died.
Obama noted that his administration hadn’t released a photograph of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's body after US commandos killed him in Pakistan earlier this year.
Ten pilot projects, part of the first phase of developing the country’s National Health Insurance scheme, would seek to establish reforms in South Africa’s embattled health sector.
The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement released on Tuesday pointed out that the projects aimed to tackle challenges in the heath sector, such as inadequate infrastructure, weak hospital management and a shortage of skilled health workers.
The pilot projects would be rolled out in ten different districts and would test the feasibility and scalability of proposals in the green paper, which focuses on primary health care, health promotion and preventative care.
These projects would include district-based clinical specialist support teams, school-based primary health care services, family health teams, including municipal ward-based outreach services, a new approach to human resources and general practitioner services.
Also making headlines:
South Africa will work to strengthen environmental and climate change policies over the next three years.
Cameroon's President Paul Biya promises more jobs for young people after he is declared winner of this month's presidential election.
And, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirms an R802-billion infrastructure stimulus vision.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.