Wednesday, November 4, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Rosalia Matlou.
Calls to nationalise the personal wealth of black economic-empowerment (BEE) tycoons Tokyo Sexwale and Patrice Motsepe are based on jealousy, said African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe yesterday. These calls originate from resentment among black people, he said.
The National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) called for nationalisation of the wealth of the two businesspeople, who benefited from government's BEE policies.
Mantashe described this as a "strange phenomenon", since the recently published top 100 richest South Africans featured only 20 black people. Having the State take the wealth of these 20 would hamper transformation, he said.
World Trade Organisation DG Pascal Lamy warned yesterday that the absence of an international climate-change accord would make it difficult to design climate-friendly trade policies and remedies.
The trading system needs firm signals from the climate talks in Copenhagen, next month, he said. Failure to strike a deal would mean that some countries may resist efforts to employ trade as a source of leverage to define the "contours of the climate debate".
Lamy also argued that the relationship between trade and climate change should not be viewed exclusively through a negative prism, as there is scope for complementarity between the two agendas.
For instance, the Doha Round includes a chapter to accelerate market openings for environmentally friendly goods and services.
It has been reported that Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's salary has doubled to R500 000 a year.
Vavi explains that his salary increased because Cosatu was losing all the policy capacity in the federation.
"The economists and accountants were all gone," he said, adding that economists would not sacrifice their time for R250 000 a year.
Vavi said that several staff members in "economic" positions received
100% increases this year. But The Star newspaper reports that lower earning staff received only 15% wage hikes.
Also making headlines:
Opposition Mozambique National Resistance party rejects the country's partial election results.
South African mercenaries jailed in Equatorial Guinea for their part in a failed coup plot say that President Jacob Zuma freed them.
Opposition parties in Guinea call for the ruling military junta to step down.
And, African nations end their boycott of United Nations climate talks.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.