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Daily podcast - October 23, 2009

podpol_23102009

23rd October 2009

By: Amy Witherden

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Friday, October 23, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
The nationalisation of mines is prescribed in the Freedom Charter and therefore a prerequisite for leadership in the African National Congress (ANC), said ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema yesterday.
Speaking at an ANCYL sponsored debate with Business Day columnist Tim Cohen and Old Mutual CEO Kuseni Dlamini, Malema said: "If you are not for nationalisation [then] you are not qualified to lead the ANC."
The ANC's Freedom Charter proclaims that the mineral wealth of South Africa belongs to its people.
Dlamini argued, however, that the Freedom Charter does not necessarily say how this ownership should be carried out, and that nationalisation is only one way to use the country's mineral wealth for public benefit. Cohen argued that power utility Eskom is proof that State-owned enterprises are not effective.

Investor and philanthropist George Soros suggested yesterday that European nations should offer some of their International Monetary Fund (IMF) resources, such as the recent allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), to poor countries, which could provide them with as much as $100-billion in aid.
Such a move would make up for the projected drop in development aid levels from rich donor countries whose budgets have been tightened by the global financial crisis.
Also speaking at the European Development Days conference, IMF MD Dominique Strauss-Kahn expressed support for Soros's idea. Britain and France have already offered some of their new IMF SDRs to developing countries, and Strauss-Kahn said that this could be done by all other advanced economies.

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South Africa's Treasury will likely follow a global trend next week in announcing a growing budget deficit and sharply lower growth, just as investors grow wary of a possible policy shift to the left, after President Jacob Zuma restructured Cabinet committees this week.
The National Treasury has little room to manoeuvre, with the economy mired in a recession that has slashed tax revenue and, with spending remaining relatively high, the budget is forecast to remain deep in the red for the next three years.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will unveil the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement next week, after saying yesterday that South Africa's gross domestic product is likely to shrink by 2% this year. The government has estimated that taxes will come in at least R70-billion below February's forecast.

Also making headlines:
Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe says that the judiciary will have input on the new Superior Courts Bill.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says that the African Union's new pact on internally displaced people will be difficult to uphold.
Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu vows to fix the department's finances.
And, controversial Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja's party claims victory in the widely condemned and boycotted Niger election.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.

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