Monday, March 9, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
South Africa's President Kgalema Motlanthe, told business people in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend that the country will not copy the US's stimulus package initiative.
He said that South Africa's response to the economic crisis must be "home grown" because the country's problems are different to those of the Western world.
To deal with the issue of massive unemployment exacerbated by retrenchments caused by the economic crisis, Motlanthe said that the South African government will invest in infrastructure and improve the quality of education.
Motlanthe said that South African banks are "doing fairly well" compared with banks in other States, because of the country's sound credit control regulations.
In other news, the World Bank says that developing countries could face a financing gap of between $270-billion and $700-billion this year, as trade income dwindles and rich nations vie for capital to deal with the global economic slump.
The World Bank said that even at the lower end of that estimate, resources of international institutions will not be sufficient to meet financing needs as more emerging and developing countries are hit by the economic downturn.
The World Bank says that the crisis could have long-lasting repercussions for developing countries, which are contending with a drop in exports as world trade shrinks for the first time since 1982. At the same time, remittances from overseas workers slow and falling commodity prices sap revenue sources that many countries rely on.
The challenge facing developing countries, explained the World Bank, is how, with fewer resources, to pursue policies that can protect or expand critical expenditures, including social safety nets, human development and critical infrastructure.
In South African election news, African National Congress President Jacob Zuma said at a rally in Mpumalanga at the weekend, that the next government will be tough on corruption.
Zuma warned that if one's service to the people is motivated by money, then one should go and start a business. The ANC and government is the wrong place for people with "long fingers," he said. Zuma added that he has warned the ANC's candidates that the party will deal harshly with corruption.
Commenting on the upcoming elections, Zuma said that voters should not waste their vote on parties that will not win. Voting for a party whose sole policy is to reduce the ANC's majority or to settle for as little as 10% of the vote, is as good as a wasted vote, said Zuma.
Also making headlines:
The United Nations Security Council sees the Darfur war crimes case against Omar Hassan al-Bashir as tied to peace prospects in Sudan.
In Zimbabwe, a bail appeal is set for jailed Movement for Democratic Change official Roy Bennett.
And, ANC President Jacob Zuma expands on party morality in the ANC newsletter.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.