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Published: 10 Aug 2012
|Daily podcast – August 10, 2012.|
August 10, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
President Jacob Zuma says trouble spots in the basic education system will be fixed.
United Nation secretary-general Ban-Ki-moon warns that Mali is becoming a terrorism safe haven.
And, the head of the Export-Import Bank of the United States confirms South Africa’s priority-market status and makes a $2-billion energy commitment.
President Jacob Zuma told a National Women's Day event in Pretoria on Thursday that problems in provinces struggling to deliver basic education will be rectified. He said the "serious difficulties" in delivering education in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo are getting attention.
Some grades in Limpopo received textbooks seven months after the school year started, while others were still waiting. Earlier in the year, lobby group Section27 obtained a court order for books to be delivered to Limpopo by June 15. They were finally delivered on the revised date of June 21.
Zuma has received a preliminary report from a presidential task team he assigned to investigate the debacle, amidst calls for the axing of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Zuma, however, says that South Africa is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of promoting universal access to education.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday that Mali was becoming a safe haven for "terrorist and criminal" groups. As a result West African countries are pushing for the UN Security Council to back the deployment of troops to stabilize the country.
Islamist militant groups control about two-thirds of Mali after hijacking a secular rebellion earlier this year, and then seizing more territory after a March 22 military coup toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure in the southern capital Bamako.
Ban told the Security Council that the Islamists had illegally imposed Sharia law in the north of Mali, where the security situation is now volatile and unpredictable. Mali was once seen as a rare stable democracy in a tumultuous region.
The head of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, or Ex-Im Bank, expects the $2-billion recently set aside to support the export of US products and services into South Africa’s energy sector to be absorbed over the coming eight to ten years. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled the package during her recent visit to South Africa.
Ex-Im Bank chairperson and president Fred Hochberg, speaking at a media roundtable in Johannesburg stressed that there is no expiry date associated with the financing arrangement. It had been approved in line with the identification of South Africa as one of the bank’s top-nine priority markets. The bank operates in 180 countries globally.
Most of the loan finance would flow towards clean-energy projects. However, the capital is also available for conventional energy projects, as well as transmission and smart-grid-related developments.
The bank also provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to foreign buyers.
Also making headlines:
The United Nations says around 655 000 people have been displaced by fighting in Sudan border states.
Experts say attempts to avoid a widely predicted global food crisis may worsen the problem.
And, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urges South Africa to promote democratic values.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.