Thursday, June 25, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shona Kohler.
A Green Paper detailing the "precise role and function" of the Planning Ministry and National Planning Commission, headed by Trevor Manuel, will be released for discussion by the end of July.
Addressing the National Assembly yesterday, Manuel said that the planning function will coordinate the process through which government develops its long-term vision and plans, as well as Cabinet's Medium Term Strategic Framework.
Manuel described the planning function as a "nerve centre" in the Presidency, with no intention of acting as a "gatekeeper". His commission will not take over existing planning responsibilities from departments and State-owned enterprises, provinces or local governments.
Manuel explained that the task of the Presidency will be to ensure that the quality of planning by such stakeholders achieves a high standard and continues to improve.
Developing countries have a clear message for a United Nations summit on the global financial crisis, and that is the need for money.
On the first day of the summit, speakers from developing countries made it clear that they see their nations as victims of a financial crisis they did not cause, and pleaded with the world's wealthy nations to help them.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon backed the plea by poor countries for more financial aid. He also chided the world's wealthy nations for reneging on pledges to boost aid to Africa. If the developed world can mobilise over $18-trillion to keep the financial sector afloat, then surely it can find $18-billion to keep its commitments to Africa, said Ban.
World Bank MD Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spoke of "a development crisis of immense proportions".
Although the meeting has been billed as a summit, no Western leaders are attending.
Back home, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel suggests that South Africa's infrastructure development programme should to be linked to a continental infrastructure plan.
Speaking during the debate in the National Assembly on President Jacob Zuma's budget vote, he said that South Africa is a major industrial economy with strong supply linkages across its borders. The development agenda for South Africa contains the seeds of a new growth path for the development of the continent, he said.
Industrial policy in South Africa should be mirrored by a broader Africawide industrialisation strategy. As South Africa is repositioned to take advantage of responsible and balanced economic relations in Africa, with the global south, and traditional trading partners, the government will engage strongly with the local business community and organised labour to seek a national consensus, Patel explained.
Also making headlines:
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe, plans to push ahead with a judicial transformation Bill.
President Jacob Zuma says that South Africa has been hit by the full force of the recession.
Legal experts say that taxis have no legal rights over bus rapid transit routes.
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring, Collins Chabane, says that Ministers will sign performance contracts.
And, a broke Zimbabwe pleads for an economic "stimulus package" at the United Nations summit.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.