October 26 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan promises ‘disciplined’ spending as deficit projections widen slightly.
Algeria accepts the last-resort to the African led military intervention in Mali.
And, African National Congress treasurer general Mathews Phosa says black economic empowerment is not working.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has marginally loosened South Africa's Budget deficit projection to 4.8% of gross domestic product for the year 2012/13, from the previous.4.6%.
The National Treasury confirmed that its revenue projections for 2012/13 had been cut by about R5-billion, to a consolidated revenue estimate of R901-billion. This was a result, in part, to the ongoing industrial action in the mining sector.
Government expenditure was expected to rise to over R1-trillion, or one-third of GDP during the year, resulting in an expected deficit of R156.5-billion for the year.
Gordhan also announced savings and resource reallocations of R40-billion. He also said that the imminent appointment of a chief procurement officer at the National Treasury should improve the effectiveness of government spending.
Algeria has given its tacit approval for an Africa-led military intervention in northern Mali to rout Islamist militants. This is despite reservations that the operation could spill over into its territory and neighbouring countries.
Africa's biggest country and a top oil and gas exporter shares a 2 000 km border with Mali and sees itself as the major regional power, wary of any outside interference.
It fears military action in Mali could push al Qaeda militants back into southern Algeria as well as triggering a refugee and political crisis, especially among displaced Malian Tuaregs heading north to join tribes in Algeria.
However, an Algerian official said Algiers would do its best to find a diplomatic solution, and that it could also potentially support Malian troops by providing weapons for a future operation.
African National Congress treasurer general Mathews Phosa said that
black economic empowerment (or BEE) is not helping to reduce poverty and inequality.
He said that BEE had not made any meaningful contribution towards alleviating poverty and unemployment. Instead it created an upper class of wealthy black investors who initially funded their wealth with debt through the acquisition of shareholding in successful white or international businesses.
Phosa also said that the Marikana incident had taught South Africa that its BEE model is dysfunctional and that policy makers need to be creative when old order models of negotiation are discarded by the disenfranchised.
Also making headlines:
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says there is no political catastrophe looming in South Africa.
Cabinet approves the gazetting of the e-toll tariffs.
And, the perception that green developments are more costly is holding back sustainable building designs in South Africa.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.