Daily podcast - March 11, 2009

11th March 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Jacqueline Holman.
Making headlines:
The way broad-based black economic empowerment is put into practice needs to be reviewed, said African National Congress President Jacob Zuma yesterday.
Speaking to the Confederation of Black Business Organisations, Zuma said that affirmative action and BBBEE have increased the size of the black middle class substantially. However, the ruling party is not convinced that the policy has succeeded in addressing economic and social inequalities in South African society.
The ANC has long been saying that BBBEE should benefit broader sections of society. A review of the policy should be concerned with how effectively it has been applied, and how it can be strengthened to better deliver for the majority.
Zuma also reiterated the ANC's commitment to affirmative action as a policy, saying that it is "unthinkable" for it to be abandoned.

In other news, the United Nations has stated that its heavy reliance on outside groups to deliver aid in Darfur, has resulted in as many as one-half of its programmes being paralysed, owing to Sudan's expulsion of 16 non governmental organisations.
Sudan expelled aid organisations for supposedly "threatening the security" of the country, after a warrant for the arrest of Sudan's President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was issued by the International Criminal Court.
While the World Food Programme, World Health Organisation and the UN Children's Fund were not among those organisations ordered out, the UN agencies lost a lot of personnel power when their aid partners were shut down last week.
A spokesperson for the UN said that around 50% of aid delivery has been affected.

Back home, former opposition leader Tony Leon, said yesterday that South Africans need not be concerned about African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma's low level of formal education.
Speaking at a leadership conference in Sandton, Leon said that while there may be other reasons for concern about South Africa's next President, his educational disadvantage seems to be irrelevant.
Leon, the former leader of the Democratic Alliance, said that "character overcomes qualification".
He cited examples of several international leaders who were successful despite a lack of academic qualification, including former US President Harry Truman, and former British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and John Major.
Leon added, however, that he has no idea whether South Africa's next President will be able to make good judgement calls, like the other leaders did.

Also making headlines:
Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, says that South Africa faces challenges on its infrastructure spending plans.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe urges support for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and an end to violence.
Debt-counselling firm Consumer Assist calls for a 2% cut in interest rates.
And, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille calls for the electorate to stop the ANC two-thirds majority.

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.