A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
ANC WHIP ‘DISAPPOINTED’ AT PUBLIC PROTECTOR’S RESPONSE
The office of the ANC chief whip said it was disappointed at the reaction of the Public Protector to the concern it expressed over her decision to attend a DA Women’s Day event. “We feel let down by the manner in which she has opted to respond to our concern,” the office of the chief whip said in a statement. “We thought that she will (sic), rather than take a defensive posture and appear irritated at our observations, acknowledge our well-intentioned advice and undertake to exercise necessary caution in her future interaction with political formations,” it said. The chief whip said despite Thuli Madonsela’s “excellent performance”, she needed to “accept that she is still human. It is therefore inevitable that she will from time to time err in the course of her work”. It wants to meet with her to “better understand one another on this matter”.
NDP: OUR FUTURE, MAKE IT WORK
Six months of public consultations and revisions saw the final version of the National Development Plan 2030, called ‘Our future - make it work’, handed over to President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday. Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, minister Trevor Manuel, delivered the document during a joint sitting of both Houses in Parliament. Zuma’s cabinet will now consider the plan, adopt the key recommendations and begin implementation. "This is a historic occasion... This plan is the product of thousands of inputs and perspectives of South Africans. It is a plan for a better future, a future in which no person lives in poverty, where no one goes hungry, where there is work for all," Manuel said.
NDP DESIGNED TO ELIMINATE POVERTY, JOBLESSNESS
The National Development Plan focuses on the elimination of poverty and joblessness by 2030. It also wants to ensure skilled technical, professional and managerial posts reflect the country's racial, disability and gender profile. “They have presented to all of us a plan that all South Africans should identify with and embrace. Regardless of our political differences, we broadly agree on the need to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa,” said Zuma. The IFP’s Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said it was an “admirable wish list” but “we struggle to embrace the credibility of intention to implement this Plan as the genuine priority of the ruling Party”. The DA said it hoped government would align its programmes to the goals contained in plan.
NO TROOPS FOR WAR AGAINST GANGS
President Jacob Zuma will not deploy troops to help fight gangsterism in affected Cape Town communities. Instead, Zuma opted for “more intensive action by the police and long-term interventions by social and economic clusters of government”, the presidency said in a statement. Premier Helen Zille had requested that the President send troops to help counter gang violence on the Cape Flats. The presidency said a joint task team comprising of personnel from both the department of Police and the department of defence and military Veterans was sent to Lavender Hill and Hanover to assess the situation. They said the South African Police Service has the necessary capacity to deal with the situation in these areas.
UDM WANTS FINANCE MINISTER TO ‘EXPLAIN ZUMAVILLE’
The leader of the United Democratic Movement, Bantu Holomisa, has called on finance minister Pravin Gordhan to explain to the nation whether national resources have been diverted from other departments to the Zumaville project. He said reports on the planned R2-billion town near President Jacob Zuma’s village, Inkandla, were worrying because “at no stage did the minister of finance indicate during his 2012 Budget Speech that such an allocation had been made for the development of Inkandla”. Holomisa said reports about Zumaville have been “going on for weeks without a word from Government”. He also wants Gordhan to explain the reported involvement of China in the deal and its implications for SA.
PREMIER MOKONYANE ACTS ON CHARLOTTE MAXEKE HOSPITAL
Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane has come out swinging after reports revealed the shocking state of the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. Mokonyane called for a review of procedures related to funding of hospitals in Gauteng and the filling of critical vacancies. She also said ensuring that the necessary administrative systems for a responsive, reactive and accountable process of mitigating the most elementary of services around the care of patients were vital. “Whilst the province is working hard to implement the long term turnaround strategy on the provisioning of health care, I believe the immediate need to provide care for patients may not be compromised" she said in a statement.
DIRCO DISPUTES RWANDAN GENERAL’S CLAIMS
The department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) has refuted claims by former Rwandan general Kayumba Nyamwasa, that some Rwandan citizens were involved in anti-Rwandan activities “with the approval of the South African government”. "It should be noted that South Africa and Rwanda maintain friendly diplomatic relations therefore such statements and claims are devoid of all truth," said the department in a statement on Wednesday.
Nyamwasa made the claims in an article in City Press dated 29 July 2012. The department labelled his comments as “irresponsible and libelous”, saying they were viewed in a serious light and “condemned in the strongest terms”. Nyamwasa is an exile in South Africa.
LONMIN THREATENS TO FIRE 3,000 MINERS
Lonmin has threatened to fire the 3,000 miners who launched a wildcat strike on Friday that has resulted in the death of 10 people and stopped operations in the platinum mine. The situation has been exacerbated by clashes between rival unions, the NUM and AMCU. Police, backed up with helicopters, are holding off miners, gathered on top of an outcrop facing the mine. "We are busy with negotiations and are maintaining a high visibility in the area," national police spokesman Dennis Adrio told Reuters. Lonmin has a court order compelling the miners to return to work on Wednesday, and can fire them if they fail to do so. DM
Photo: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela (Daily Maverick)