Friday September 30, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Brad Dubbelman
The Speaker's office has dismissed concern about the legitimacy of the ANC's new parliamentary consultation process on the Protection of State Information Bill. "There is no confusion," spokesperson Sukhthi Naidoo said after opposition MPs and civil society challenged the ANC's decision to invite new submissions without setting up a multiparty committee to hear these. Naidoo said the ANC, or any other party, could do "whatever it likes" in terms of inviting public input on the bill. She pointed out the bill had not been withdrawn from Parliament, saying the debate on it had merely been postponed.
China has agreed to $2.5-billion in investment projects with South Africa, the African nation's deputy president said, on a three-day trip to China during which he brushed off controversy over a potential visit by the Dalai Lama. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said the agreement was made between the Development Bank of South Africa and China Development Bank, and that the two countries had also signed a memorandum of understanding on "geology and mineral resources". South Africa exports about $5.5-billion a year in minerals to China and Africa's largest economy increasingly has been a destination for Chinese foreign direct investment. Motlanthe provided few details on the investment plans.
The ANC Youth League's firebrand leader Julius Malema has seen his support slip in South Africa's biggest cities, an opinion poll showed.
Malema has unnerved investors with his calls to nationalise mines and seize white-owned farms. He declared "economic war" on the country's white minority who still dominates Africa's most powerful economy 17 years after apartheid ended. His popularity has declined from 27% support in 2009 to 17% this year, the survey of about 2 000 people in seven major areas released by TNS Survey Results showed.
Also making headlines:
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has called on all South Africans to assist government in tackling the country’s growing housing backlog.
Government spending in Zimbabwe is a big concern while disunity regarding black economic empowerment is discouraging investment, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said.
And, voters in Seychelles began casting their ballots yesterday in a parliamentary election that should hand the ruling People's Party a large majority after the main opposition group said it would boycott the poll.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.