Tuesday, November 3, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
The Department of Human Settlements says that mediocre construction work, and inferior workmanship on the part of contracted construction companies means that "money has been wasted", as these houses have to be destroyed.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale explained yesterday that R300-million is being spent on rectifying houses in the North West province, and about R500-million was spent rectifying improperly built homes in KwaZulu-Natal.
Sexwale spoke on the Department's commissioning of an audit into housing delivery, which seeks to address shoddy construction work, inferior workmanship and broken houses, as well as the continuous contracting of the same bad contractors.
The department has delivered over 2,8-million homes since 1994, and says that it is on track to meet targets for the current financial year.
United Nations Climate Change Secretariat head Yvo de Boer warned delegates from 175 nations at talks in Barcelona that time has almost run out to break a deadlock on a climate deal that is meant to be finalised in Copenhagen next month.
With many countries hit by recession, negotiations on one of the most complex international treaties have stalled since they were launched in 2007. Still, de Boer says that he senses a "huge desire" for success in Copenhagen.
The Barcelona meeting must overcome disagreements about sharing out curbs on greenhouse gases among rich and poor nations and must find ways to raise billions of dollars to help the poor to tackle global warming.
Danish Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard urged delegates to work out clear options for Copenhagen, and dismissed any suggestion that a deal could be delayed for several months. "The world can wait no longer," she said.
Three Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders will meet on Thursday to tackle a crisis threatening Zimbabwe's unity government. Swaziland's King Mswati III, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Zambian President Rupiah Banda will hold talks in Mozambique, hoping to help narrow differences between Zimbabwe's leaders.
Zimbabwe's unity government was plunged into a new crisis last month after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party boycotted Cabinet meetings with President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF over the implementation of their power-sharing agreement.
Democratic Republic of Congo President and current SADC chairperson Joseph Kabila was in Zimbabwe on Sunday to meet the country's feuding leaders. Kabila said last week that the unity government remains Zimbabwe's only option at the moment.
Also making headlines:
African National Congress Youth League leader Julius Malema's hate speech case in the Equality Court is postponed.
AfriForum plans to petition against the "unilateral" name changes of South African towns.
And, the United Nations suspends support to Democratic Republic of Congo army units after civilian killings.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.