Daily podcast - October 13, 2009

13th October 2009 By: Amy Witherden

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
The unity of the ruling alliance is "paramount and fundamental", said President Jacob Zuma yesterday at the Raymond Mhlaba Memorial Lecture in Port Elizabeth. It is the task of the African National Congress (ANC) as the leader of the alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions to ensure that it remains united.
Zuma said that the alliance is the only existing political entity that is capable of completing the mission of transformation in our society, and it carries the hopes and aspirations of the greatest majority of South Africa and beyond.
The President's comments follow recent reports of anxiety among ANC leaders about the left's influence on key ANC policy decisions taken since the party's watershed elective conference in Polokwane.
Zuma says, however, that the alliance's mission is to ensure a strong and united ANC, which will use State resources to implement a progressive programme of action that should result in faster, effective and more humane service delivery.

The South African currency is currently not "competitive" and not conducive to industrial development, said Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies yesterday. The South African government stands ready to "defend" what it sees as "strategic industrial capacity", as well as job-rich downstream manufacturing through both incentives and tariff-policy reform.
Davies said that the rand is "definitely" not competitive at current levels and that actions should be taken "urgently" to achieve a more stable and competitive exchange rate, as it is currently "rendering a lot of [South Africa's] industry uncompetitive".
Speaking at an event organised by the South African Institute of International Affairs, Davies insisted that South Africa must be vigilant against further deindustrialisation, while government stands ready to defend the country's value-adding industrial base.
"Trade policy has to make a meaningful and positive contribution towards desired developmental outcomes," Davies said.

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni will not get a good African National Congress (ANC) deployment if he continues to say that South African mines will not be nationalised, said ANC Youth League president Julius Malema yesterday.
Addressing University of Zululand students at the Empangeni campus, Malema said that Mboweni is "nothing in the ANC" and that his contract as governor of the Reserve Bank had not been renewed because of his behaviour.
The youth wing will ensure that South African mines are nationalised so that the wealth generated can be used to improve service delivery, Malema said.

Also making headlines:
African leaders join former French President Jacques Chirac in the campaign against trade in counterfeit medicines in Africa.
South African farmers call for protection of land and property rights in a planned investment agreement with Zimbabwe.
Gabon's Constitutional Court rejects challenges to Ali Ben Bongo's election as President.
And, the Economic Community of West African States will meet on concerns over instability in Guinea and Niger.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.