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Daily podcast - July 24, 2009


24th July 2009

By: Amy Witherden


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Friday, July 24, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
President Jacob Zuma said yesterday that South Africa will have to wait for an increase in job creation because of the country's economic situation.
Speaking at the Confederation of Black Business Organisations in Sandton, Zuma said that even if the economy begins to grow again in 2010, a significant increase in new job creation will take some time.
In his State of the Nation address earlier this year, Zuma said that the government planned to create 500 000 job opportunities by the end of the year, with another four-million jobs promised by 2014.
This is why the agreement between government and labour, business and civil society in response to the global financial crisis is so important, Zuma explained. South Africans need to work together to meet the challenges of the economic crisis.

The South African government is seeking legal advice on how to respond to the international arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.Head of Multilateral Affairs at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, George Nene, said yesterday that government will decide if there is a conflict of interest between a recent African Union (AU) resolution and South Africa's International Criminal Court (ICC) commitments.South Africa is currently engaged with the resolution taken at the AU Summit to denounce the ICC's decision to indict al-Bashir. African leaders said that they will refuse to extradite al-Bashir if he travels to other African countries, in direct contradiction to article 98 of the ICC's Rome Statute.However, as a signatory of the ICC convention, South Africa is obliged to arrest President al-Bashir if he travels to the country. Nene explained that while South Africa respects the ICC's efforts to end impunity for war crimes in Darfur, the court has not made enough effort to engage the AU to coordinate efforts to end the fighting in that country.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday that South Africa's low savings rate is cause for concern, as government has to compensate by working to attract foreign investment.Speaking at the release of the Consumer Financial Vulnerability Index, Gordhan described the index as an important tool that serves as a reminder of the negative consequences felt by a large number of people who do not have access to financial advisers.Turning to financial vulnerability and the present financial crisis, Gordhan said that this vulnerability has to be seen in the context of the last three to four years of excess."A balance needs to be found between savings and excess," he said.
Also making headlines:
President Jacob Zuma says that he supports police action in response to service delivery protests, as the government will not tolerate violence.
Business Unity South Africa says that business could do more to fund research at tertiary institutions.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says that India and South Africa will intensify economic partnerships to address the recession.
And, analysts say that the upcoming election in Guinea-Bissau holds little hope of change.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today

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