Daily podcast - March 5, 2009

5th March 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Thursday, March 5, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
Political parties met yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to present their economic policies to the business community in Johannesburg.
On the African National Congress's economic policy, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said that, during the party's time in power, it has targeted fiscal and monetary policy. This is why South Africa's economy remains resilient in the face of the deep global economic crisis.
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille punted an "open opportunity society in stark contrast to the closed crony society and comrade capitalism" Of the ANC. DA chief whip Ian Davidson outlined the party's economic policy, calling for more flexibility in labour regulations.
Congress of the People president Terror Lekota also cautioned against a closed society where only a handful benefit from policies and programmes.

In African news, the economic affairs commissioner at the African Union, Maxwell Mkwezalamba, says that Africa aims to have a common currency by the year 2021.
Governments hope that this will attract higher levels of inward investment, boost the continent's competitiveness in global trade and lift millions of people in the 53-nation AU out of poverty.
Mkwezalamba says that African States need to harmonise their fiscal and monetary policies before an African Central Bank, which will issue the common currency, can be set up.
It is important to ensure macroeconomic convergence, said the commissioner. The criteria for this prospect have been developed by the African Monetary Cooperation Programme of the Association of African Central Bank Governors.

Back home, the African National Congress has denied distributing fake Democratic Alliance pamphlets in Mpumalanga.
The DA last month alleged that Ntombikayise Mahlangu, the ANC candidate in the by-elections for a ward in Mpumalanga, had distributed a pamphlet made to look like it came from the DA.
The pamphlet portrays the DA as a racist party, claiming that it wants to bring back the days of 'permits', in order to fight the 'swart gevaar'.
After some investigation, the ANC has announced that it is satisfied that Mahlangu was not involved in the alleged distribution of the pamphlet.

Also making headlines:
Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka appears for the Congress of the People for the first time.
US President Barack Obama extends sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Guinea-Bissau's Premier asks for funds to ease the crisis in that country.
And, the Constitutional Court reserves judgement in the case for the expatriate vote.

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.