September 6, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Lonmin management and unions sign a South African mine peace deal.
Analysts say that the Protection of State Information Bill clashes with the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
And, South Sudan's first Khartoum ambassador Mayan Dut Wol urges trade and not war.
Union officials say that Lonmin and the unions representing mineworkers at the strike-hit Marikana platinum mine in South Africa have signed an accord for a return to work. A militant breakaway union, however wasn’t part of the deal.
The fact that the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union hasn’t signed the accord leaves questions about how many striking miners at Marikana will heed the agreement and go back to work.
Spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers, Lesiba Seshoka, said that the peace accord calls on workers to return peacefully to work. He said that negotiations would then open with the parties so that the issue of wages can be discussed.
The strike for the pay rise by rock drill operators and other miners is now in its fourth week and is threatening to cripple London-headquartered Lonmin. As a result only 4.2 percent of its shift workers reported for duty on Wednesday.
Analysts say that the Protection of State Information Bill has been rewritten to general, qualified relief, but the latest draft still makes for a messy clash of laws on access to state documents.
The difficulty lies in clause 1(4) of the bill, which seeks to assert its supremacy over any other law that pertains to classified information.
Critics have long warned that this clause renders the bill unconstitutional because it explicitly seeks to have the new measure trump the Promotion of Access to Information Act, which was passed in 2000. This highlights a pointed difference between the two pieces of legislation. One of the loudest criticisms of the Bill remains its lack of a public interest defence for those prosecuted for exposing state secrets.
South Sudan's first ambassador to Sudan urged both countries to put their conflicts behind them and get back to trading as he took up his post on Wednesday. This is the latest sign of thawing relations between the neighbours.
Southern ambassador Mayan Dut Wol arrived in Khartoum in August and presented his credentials to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Wednesday.
He said the political conflicts have greatly impacted both economies.
Wol also said Bashir had promised to help speed up the return of thousands of southerners still trapped in legal limbo on the northern side of the border.
Also making headlines:
Egypt's president Mohamed Mursi says it is time for change in Syria.
The World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report says South Africa remains the most competitive economy in the sub-Saharan region.
And, the South African Reserve Bank will launch new banknotes featuring former President Nelson Mandela before the end of the year.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.