Daily podcast - May 28, 2009

28th May 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Thursday, May 28, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Darren Parker.
Making headlines:
South Africa's Central Bank will announce its decision on an interest rate cut today, with trade unions demanding a sharp cut to help rescue an economy now officially in its first recession in 17 years.
Most economists have predicted a 100 basis point reduction in the key repo rate, while others expect just a 50 basis point move. The odds have tilted further towards a full percentage point drop after data released on Tuesday showed that the economy recorded its second consecutive quarterly contraction in the first quarter of 2009.
The influential Congress of South African Trade Unions said that it was shocked at the gross domestic product data, which, it said, merits a rate cut of at least 200 basis points.
Some analysts believe that lingering inflationary pressures could push the Central Bank towards a more prudent 50 basis point cut this time, with data released yesterday showing that headline consumer price inflation slowed only slightly to 8,4% in the year to April, remaining above a 3% to 6% target band.

In world news, Amnesty International says that the global economic downturn has aggravated human rights violations and distracted attention from human rights abuses.
The rights group's secretary-general Irene Khan said in Amnesty International's annual report, that the world faces a grave danger, in that "rising poverty and desperate economic and social conditions could lead to political instability and mass violence".
As governments struggle to resuscitate their economies, human rights are being "relegated to the back seat," she said. The group calls for a "new global deal on human rights" to "defuse" what Khan calls a "human rights time bomb".
"We are sitting on a powder keg of inequality, injustice and insecurity, and it is about to explode," she said.

Back home, a South African Broadcasting Corporation programme on political satire has made its way onto the Mail & Guardian website after it was pulled from public broadcast twice.
The documentary features interviews with controversial cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, and African National Congress spokesperson Jesse Duarte.
Zapiro is currently being sued by President Jacob Zuma for libel. Zuma contends that Zapiro's cartoons are an attack on his dignity.
The Congress of the People weighed in on the controversy yesterday with a condemnation of the programme's suspension. The party alleges that the SABC is an "ideological instrument", controlled and manipulated by the ANC.

Also making headlines:
ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete says that it is not a good idea for Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to act as if the province was going to ‘secede' from South Africa.
Data shows that South Africa's consumer price inflation has slowed, by less than expected, to 8,4%.
The Presidency states that President Jacob Zuma does not have to wait for a verdict on Vusi Pikoli's court case before appointing a new National Director of Public Prosecutions.
And, the International Committee of the Red Cross says that the economic crisis has created greater aid needs.

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.