Daily podcast - July 22, 2009

22nd July 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says that it needs assistance from investors, both inside and outside South Africa, if the government is to reach its goals of job creation and halving poverty by 2014.
Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bongi Ntuli urged investors yesterday at a Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry function, to work with the DTI and the economic cluster in Cabinet, as partners in the South African economy.
The Deputy Minister emphasised the potential for strengthened relationships and skills transfer in South Africa's relations with Germany. In further encouraging investment in South Africa, which would lead to job creation and upliftment, Ntuli noted that the country still has: a low electricity price, a favourable tax rate, good land rentals, a favourable cost of labour, a large skills base to draw from, and abundant natural resources.

The United Nations (UN) has revealed a record $4,8-billion funding gap for its 2009 aid programmes, owing to strained foreign assistance levels and a tenfold increase in humanitarian needs in Pakistan.
UN emergency relief coordinator John Holmes says that the global recession has put pressure on the aid budgets of all donor governments, as well as on crisis-stricken people in poor countries.
Holmes says that the UN has received less than one-half the $9,5-billion it sought for humanitarian work this year. The shortfalls are biggest in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Somalia, with growing needs also in the Palestinian territories and Iraq. Pakistan's aid funding gap is now $312-million after increased militancy that has caused people to flee their homes.

The growing number of young people in already overcrowded South African prisons is a cause for concern, said the new Department of Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on a visit to the Boksburg Correctional Centre yesterday.
Mapisa-Nqakula expressed shock to find a number of young people, some aged 15, being held in the Boksburg prison for serious crimes. The Minister said she is becoming aware of the reality of a South African society that produces young people who commit serious crimes.
She states that the magnitude of the prisons' problem is beyond correctional services. It requires society to take collective responsibility for rehabilitation.

Also making headlines:
The City of Johannesburg assures citizens that the August 30 kickoff of the Rea Vaya bus-rapid transit system is on track.
The United Nations says that insecurity in volatile Somalia is hampering humanitarian aid delivery.
And, the World Health Organisation reports a swine flu death toll of 700 and cites school closures as an option to mitigate the spread of the virus.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.