September 5, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Nomvelo Buthelezi.
Trevor Manuel says the constitution cannot be blamed for the slow pace of change in South Africa.
Candidates prepare for the race to succeed Pascal Lamy as head of the World Trade Organisation.
And, World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim pledges support for Ivory Coast and urges true peace.
Planning Minister Trevor Manuel says the Constitution cannot be blamed for the slow pace of change in South Africa.
He said the Constitution empowers and enables, but beyond that, actual change requires human actions. The first, and most important of these being an active citizenry, whereby a nation’s conscience is vested in the ordinary women and men who comprise and who act in their own and in the national interest. People cannot outsource this responsibility to government.
Manuel noted, too that policy could also not be blamed for hampering transformation. Rather, it should guide and provide a framework for evaluating the progress of actions by people.
Manuel said it was important to realise how different elements of policy intersected and mutually reinforced each other, and that government was not solely responsible for the transformation of South Africa.
Candidates to replace Pascal Lamy as head of the World Trade Organization (or WTO) when the Frenchman steps down in a year's time are warming up for a contest that looks likely to become another round of international horse trading.
Emerging market countries will want to see one of their own in charge of the Geneva-based trading club. This follows top jobs at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank going to a European and an American.
Lamy's tenure at the WTO has been marked by Russia's accession last month, and disputes, notably a trans-Atlantic row over aircraft subsidies between Boeing and Airbus. But most of all, it has been overshadowed by the failure to agree on any reform of the world trade rules.
Formal nominations are not due until December, but trade diplomats are already assessing chances and gathering names.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Tuesday expressed support for Ivory Coast in his first visit to the West African nation. He said he was confident the country could successfully rebuild from post-election violence as long as there was lasting peace.
President Alassane Ouattara welcomed the World Bank's continued backing for his country. He said he had asked Kim, who took the helm of the global development lender two months ago, to substantially increase funding to Ivory Coast. The country is plagued by high youth unemployment, increased poverty and huge infrastructure needs.
World Bank funding to the world's biggest cocoa-growing nation is currently around $1-billion. Any increase in lending would come from the International Development Association, which is the bank's fund for the world's 81 poorest countries.
Also making headlines:
Legal advisor John Oxenham identifies a dramatic increase in white-collar crime in South Africa.
The United Nations’ food agencies say swift action from world leaders is needed to prevent food price catastrophe.
And, a R75-million research project aims to improve the visibility of labour-market trends.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.