Tuesday, June 9, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
As the debate over the proposed National Health Insurance programme continues, the Department of Health says that taxation may be used to fund the government's national health plan. Health spokesperson Fidel Radebe says that this is "one of the possibilities, but does not forego other possibilities".
The Democratic Alliance has criticised what it calls a lack of "public and transparent discussion" on the matter. Similarly, the Hospital Association of South Africa reports health economist Alex van den Heever saying that the NHI is a "completely unworkable, unaffordable solution that won't improve health services despite massive increases in expenditure".
The African National Congress has attacked critics of its health plan and vowed to continue its efforts to transform healthcare in South Africa. ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte says that the ruling party will not be deterred by narrow interest groups and individuals bent on undermining the introduction of the NHI before its work is made public.
In other news, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank say that the path to global economic recovery is rife with risks, and the onus is on policymakers to avoid runaway inflation and other pitfalls that could derail the process.
At a forum in Montreal, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick turned their focus to life after the crisis, issuing a list of "do's and don'ts" for governments as they try to nurse their economies back to health.
Strauss-Kahn maintained his forecast for a global economic recovery in early 2010, with the turnaround starting in September and October of this year.
Strauss-Kahn warns that the biggest risk to this outlook is countries taking too long to cleanse toxic assets from their banking systems, and lists the threat of spiralling inflation at the top of his concerns.
Strauss-Kahn also warned that some emerging economies face huge financing gaps that, through no fault of their own, could put them at risk of defaults, which would ripple through the regional and global economies.
In South African news, the Judicial Service Commission has put all interviews for new judges on hold following a request by new Justice Minister Jeff Radebe for time to consider the independence and transformation of the judiciary.
The JSC said that the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development requested a postponement to consider "the enhancement of the independence of the judiciary" and the question of its transformation with regard to race and gender representivity.
Further, the JSC felt that the eight new members appointed to its ranks by Parliament on May 26 were not yet familiar with the body's procedures and had not had enough time to prepare for the meeting.
Also making headlines:
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trade bloc says that the global financial crisis could crush Africa.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions says that economic conditions do not warrant a 'huge' electricity tariff increase.
The US says that it has no plans to shift its policy on Zimbabwe.
And, Gabon's President Omar Bongo dies in a Spanish clinic.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.