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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Dennis Ndaba.
Making headlines today:
The programme of action that'll govern the so-called ‘Energy Champions' initiative was unveiled in Cape Town last week. The programme was announced by South Africa President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation address at the start of the year.
Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the initiative would seek to inform, educate and mobilise the entire societal spectrum towards the efficient and sustainable use of electricity.
She said that the priority was to help support plans that would lower the national consumption of energy by between 10% and 15% over the medium term, with the initiative targeting specific savings of 150 mega watts within the next six months.
Anglo American's enterprise development and investment initiative, Anglo Zimele, aims to fund an additional 113 small enterprises through its Small Business Start-up Fund by the end of 2009.
Chairperson Godfrey Gomwe said that a total of 25,5-million rand, out of the 50-million rand fund value, was spent on supporting small enterprises during the first year of the fund's existence. The fund was started in October 2007 and 87 loan transactions for small businesses had already been approved.
Gomwe stated that the SBSF was "the perfect fund to help build South Africa". He added that it had already helped to create sustainable businesses and economies in the areas in which Anglo American operated.
Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica revealed on Friday that an estimated 116 miners have so far lost their lives in South Africa's mines this year.
This figure was down by 26 casualties when compared with the same period of 2007. However, Sonjica said that the 2007 figures had increased by a disappointing 10%.
She added that the vision of a mining industry with zero harm, free from death and occupational disease and injury had not yet been reached. This is despite the Mine Health and Safety Act being promulgated more than a decade ago. She said a culture of transformation was needed to change the mindset of the industry.
Also making headlines:
Denel says it invested 12-million rand to counter the effect of skills loss President Thabo Mbeki says that the navy equipment was honestly obtained Trevor Manuel is to chair the International Monetary Fund's reform committee Bonaparte says phosphate is Namibia's new ‘underwater treasure' South African Minister is urged to reconsider the permitting approval for Wild Coast mine And, Indophil's largest shareholder sells its stake to Xstrata
In political news:
Morgan Tsvangirai challenges Robert Mugabe to a new election Angola's ruling party is on course for a big election win Jacob Zuma says that land reform in South Africa fails to eradicate poverty And, the Northern KwaZulu-Natal farmers' group and landless people form a joint committee