Tuesday, June 23, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
The World Bank says in its ‘Global Development Finance 2009' report that international capital inflows to developing economies will fall to $363-billion in 2009, down from $707-billion in 2008.
Developing economies will grow by only 1,2% this year, but may contract by 1,6% if developing giants, China and India, are excluded. This would lead to continued job losses and an increase in poverty in many regions.
World Bank prospects group director Hans Timmer says that policies must focus on financial sector reform and support for the poorest countries in order to prevent a second wave of instability.
The report states that sub-Saharan Africa has been hit hard by reduced external demand, with sharp cuts in remittances and official aid flows representing a risk for the region. Sub-Saharan Africa's growth should, however, improve to 3,7% by 2010.
Rich and poor nations have edged closer to a deal on proposals for reforming the global financial system, but diplomats say that there will have to be changes to the text if a United Nations conference this week is to adopt it.
A three-day UN General Assembly meeting on the financial crisis and its impact on the developing world was postponed to June 24 when it became clear that negotiators did not agree on draft proposals.
The run-up to the conference has highlighted differences between radicals who want to give the General Assembly much more say in tackling the financial crisis and major powers intent on keeping control in their own hands.
Martin Khor, director of the South Centre, an intergovernmental research centre for developing countries, says that the basis for an agreed document is in place, though fundamental disagreements over how to tackle the crisis still divide rich and poor nations.
The Department of Environmental and Water Affairs will reinstate specialised courts focusing specifically on individuals who infringe South Africa's environmental laws, said Minister Buyelwa Sonjica yesterday.
She notes that while current legislation makes room for prosecuting trespassers, environmental legislation is not the core function of the current Justice Department. Courts currently do not prioritise crimes related to environment, so the Department has decided to bring back the specialised courts, with guidance from the Minister of Justice.
The newly established Environmental and Water Affairs department will also look at combining the efforts of the Green and Blue Scorpions, to create a single task team to enforce environmental legislation.
Also making headlines:
FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that accommodation shortages are a worry ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
The Democratic Alliance says that government is to blame for doctors' strikes.
A survey shows that black economic empowerment remains an important concern for business in South Africa.
And, economists predict a 50 basis point repo rate cut on Thursday.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.