Daily podcast - June 2, 2009

2nd June 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
The African National Congress said yesterday that it welcomes the "admittance of error" by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on her male-only provincial Cabinet. The ruling party said it hopes going forward that the Premier will seek ways of redressing this unfortunate period.
ANC spokesperson Jessie Duarte said that the party also acknowledges the call by the Congress of South African Trade Unions to file an application in terms of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, in an attempt to get the opposing parties to negotiate, with the National Economic Development and Labour Council as mediator.
Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said after a meeting with Zille yesterday, that she had conceded there was a problem with the lack of representivity of women in her executive council.

In other news, both rich and poor nations have criticised a first draft text of a new United Nations climate treaty, but accept it as a starting point for six months of negotiations leading up to the final decision on a climate treaty in Copenhagen in December.
While delegates at talks among 180 nations currently being held in Bonn have criticised the 53-page draft, it is regarded as a "turning point" because formal negotiating texts are on the table for the first time.
One delegate said that the fact the text has been criticised from all sides, probably means that it is balanced overall.
The text suggests that rich nations set aside up to 2% of their gross national product to help poor countries cope with global warming. It also includes proposals by rich nations on how poor countries can slow their rising emission of greenhouse gases.
European Union delegates say that the text is generally accepted as the basis for negotiations in coming months on a treaty that will curb use of fossil fuels and succeed the United Nations' existing Kyoto Protocol.

Back home, Central Bank governor Tito Mboweni says that while the rand's current levels may help in terms of the inflation outlook, it might be unwelcome for the economy in general.
Some economists have warned that the rand's relative strength may further hurt exporters and damage the economy, in particular manufacturers, with factory output already in sharp decline.
He explained that the "fairly elevated" level of the trade-weighted index for the year to date shows that the rand is "a bit on the strong side".
Analysts say that Mboweni's comments may point to the Central Bank moving to boost their reserves at levels stronger than R8 to the dollar, and may reflect concerns around how quickly the currency strengthened, rather than its actual level.
One analyst said that the strength of the rand is definitely worrying in terms of the competitiveness of South Africa's manufacturers.

Also making headlines:
New Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma promises to root out corruption in the embattled department.
The United Nations says that Zimbabwe needs over $700-million in humanitarian aid.
And, the International Monetary Fund's lending to Africa is set to double this year.

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.