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Daily podcast – September 28, 2015

Daily podcast – September 28, 2015

28th September 2015

By: Schalk Burger
Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor


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September 28, 2015.
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Schalk Burger.
Making headlines:

A new municipal workers union has been formed.


A planned nationwide anticorruption march hangs in the balance.

And, the US will spend $300-million to fight HIV/Aids in Africa.


A splinter group from the Cosatu-aligned South African Municipal Workers Union (or Samwu) has launched a new union.

The Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers of South Africa held its founding congress in Johannesburg on Sunday and was addressed by ousted Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Vavi read out a letter he had sent to Samwu in November when he was still Cosatu general secretary regarding allegations that union funds had been misappropriated.

He said the union had never responded but claimed that it continued to purge those who wanted to stand up against corruption and who called for a forensic audit.

Samwu said it would respond to the formation of the new union and allegations made against it on Monday.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated anti-corruption march by civil society hangs in the balance after the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) shocked the organisers by giving permission for a later date only.

Although a final decision on whether to proceed had not been taken by all the organisers, one of the march leaders, former general secretary of labour federation Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi, says it will go ahead as planned.

On Friday morning Nedlac gave the go-ahead for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (or Numsa) to participate in the protest. However, the certificate allowing the march would become valid only in two weeks’ time. Should Numsa members join the march, they will not be protected and face losing their jobs.

Vavi denied allegations that the march was meant to settle a score with Cosatu, to take a shot at President Jacob Zuma or to launch a new federation.

The Obama administration said on Saturday it was allotting an additional $300-million to the effort to reduce HIV infection among girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.

The sum would help the main US programme for fighting Aids in Africa to meet goals including providing antiretroviral treatment to 12.9-million people by the end of 2017, said Susan Rice, US President Barack Obama's national security adviser.

The programme, known as PEPFAR, was launched in 2003 by former US President George W Bush and has provided billions of dollars for antiretroviral drugs and treatment in Africa.

By 2017, Rice said, PEPFAR also aims to "provide 13-million male circumcisions for HIV prevention, and reduce HIV incidence by 40% among adolescent girls and young women within the highest burdened areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries."

Also making headlines:

Burkina Faso on Saturday froze the assets of the leader of a failed coup and began to disarm the presidential guard that took the president and prime minister hostage just weeks before elections intended to mark a return to democracy.

France has begun airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

And, Liberia needs two years to regain its economic footing after it was battered by the Ebola epidemic.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter [@PolityZA]
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.


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