Thursday, October 2, 2008.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
Government has been making progress towards meeting its objectives, "but it is not yet enough". This was the message put forward at the Presidency's launch of a report on the government's achievements, and prospective improvement areas as it heads towards fifteen years of democratic governance in 2009.
Policy Coordination and Advisory Services head Joel Netshitenzhe said on Wednesday that "the challenges proved more deep seated than recognised, and success brought new challenges".
The report, entitled "Towards a 15-year Review", gave a list of "issues for consideration", or programmatic elements that it felt should be implemented in various packages. These were: speeding up growth and transforming the economy; fighting poverty; building social cohesion and State legitimacy; pursuing the values of international co-operation; and building a developmental State.
The European Commission announced on Wednesday that it had fined nine wax producers, including South Africa's Sasol, a total of about R7,9-billion for participating in a paraffin-wax cartel. The fine, which was the biggest ever to be imposed on a South African company, was payable within three months.
However, Sasol had already made it apparent that it was likely to appeal the penalty. This would probably see it making representations to the European Court of First Instance. Should it fail to reduce the fine there, it could seek relief at the European Court of Justice, in Luxembourg.
Some observers believe the company would also reinterrogate the sale agreement it entered into when it purchased all the shares in the Schumann Group it did not already own in 2002. Should the agreement contain a warranty stating that the company had never been in contravention of any regulations or laws, Sasol might have cause to sue for damages.
The National Union of Mineworkers on Thursday added its voice to calls urging the Department of Minerals and Energy to release the presidential audit on mining safety.
This was after another three mineworkers had died in three separate accidents, pushing the 2008 death toll in mines to 135.
A miner died at AngloGold Ashanti's TauTona mine, near Carletonville, in a fall-of-ground incident in the early hours of Thursday morning, while he was securing a working place in a haulage on the 94 level.
AngloGold Ashanti spokesperson Joanne Jones said that the body of the miner was still being recovered. A section of the mine would remain closed until the DME had concluded an investigation.
Also making headlines:
A Cape Town firm launches Africa's first all-electric vehicle
Namibia's central bank says its economy is to grow 3,9% in 2008
ArcelorMittal to cut SA steel prices again in November
Rio Tinto says the global financial turmoil won't affect its rejection of the BHP takeover bid
Teck Cominco shortens its name and unveils its new corporate structure
And, Mathews Phosa joins Braemore as a non-executive chairperson
In political news:
Thabo Mbeki’s resignation hangs over the Zimbabwe talks
All eyes are on Sarah Palin in the vice presidential debate
Somalis give Russia the go-ahead to use force against pirates
And, a study pushes back the origin of the AIDS pandemic to 1908