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Daily podcast- June 1, 2009


1st June 2009

By: Amy Witherden


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Monday, June 1, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
The Democratic Alliance will not be deterred by the African National Congress's "plans to disempower it through an orchestrated campaign to make the Western Cape ungovernable", said Premier Helen Zille.
She said that the ANC was upset by, and unable to accept, its defeat in the provincial polls on April 22, and so was trying to undermine the Western Cape government.
She emphasised, however, that the DA will continue to point out and loudly condemn attempts to dislodge it from power or to reduce its functions in the Western Cape. Evidence of the ANC's move towards the centralisation of power, which President Jacob Zuma's faction of the ruling party had condemned under former President Thabo Mbeki, were worrying, she said.
If the ANC's plans to centralise power and remove provincial autonomy came to fruition, they would rip up the foundations of the "three-sphere" system of government enshrined in the Constitution, Zille stressed in her weekly newsletter.

In other news, many African countries are being forced to resort to aid from the International Monetary Fund to cope with a global economic crisis that is not their fault.
The international economic turmoil has been slower to reach Africa because of its limited financial links to the outside world. But now, African economies are struggling against collapsing demand for their products, volatile commodity prices and falling foreign investment.
IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn describes Africa as "an innocent victim of the global financial tsunami."
New IMF lending figures for Africa show that funding reached $1,6-billion in May, which was double the lending level for 2008.
Among countries seeking IMF aid are Kenya and Tanzania - two of Africa's biggest economic reformers. Other countries in talks with the IMF over funding include Ghana, Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Sao Tome and Principe and Zambia.
Strauss-Kahn says that the global economic crisis has prompted changes in the fund's approach to lending to Africa.


In regional news, Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says that his party is struggling to deliver quick reforms in the country's new coalition government, but vows that the democratisation process is irreversible.
The leader of the Movement for Democratic Change says that while the coalition government has its frustrating moments, including the slow pace of media and political reforms, change is on course.
The limitations in the coalition government are not a result of lack of commitment, Tsvangirai said, but a result of the limitations you find in a "marriage of convenience".

Also making headlines:
Speaking to the National Union of Mineworkers, President Jacob Zuma said that the current recession is a cause for transformation in the economic and mining sectors.
The ANC National Executive Committee is to review provincial structures.
Academies warn that climate change is turning the world's oceans acidic, further endangering marine life.
And, US President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world in Cairo this week, will be key to the new administration's strategy in the Middle East.


That's a roundup of news making headlines today.






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