Article published the Thursday 06 December 2012 - Latest update : Thursday 06 December 2012

African press review 6 December 2012

By Michael Fitzpatrick

South Africa's mining and farming sectors as well as Kenya's politics are issues in some of today's African newspapers.

The main story in the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay says that global analysts are warning that South Africa is losing even more lustre as a destination for mining investment. The African National Congress once again brushed off their concerns, insisting that changes would be made to the mining regime at the party’s conference later this month.

Mining companies operating in South Africa intend investing nearly three billion euros in projects over the next 19 years, compared to 50 billion in Australia and nearly 30 billion in Brazil, according to research by global advisory firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, released on Wednesday.

South Africa has mineral resources worth an estimated 1.9-trillion euros.

Mining companies across the globe say they are concerned about higher costs, threats of nationalisation, corruption and skills shortages, the Deloitte research showed.

BusinessDay also reports that negotiations on wages for Western Cape farm workers have gone back to square one after unions agreed to engage directly with farmers.

Farm workers in the province embarked on an illegal strike on 1 November, demanding that their daily wage be increased to 13 euros from the current level of about 6 euros. The strike was suspended a week ago but resumed on Tuesday when it was again suspended until 9 January.

Only five per cent of the estimated 200,000 farm workers in the province are members of unions.

Farmer representative organisations such as Agri SA and Agri Wes-Cape do not negotiate wages, as they are set by the South African Labour Minister.

The Kenya African National Union Chairman, Gideon Moi, says the party on Tuesday evening signed a pre-election pact with Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi. This according to the main story in this morning's Nairobi Standard.

The Kanu party chair was speaking at a rally in Marigat on Wednesday.

Gideon said Kanu will support Mudavadi in the fight for the presidential ticket against Uhuru.

He added that the party will support whoever wins that nomination battle.

In a separate story, The Standard attempts to analyse the efforts made by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to get Musalia Mudavadi to join their coalition.

The paper suggests that with the union of Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement and Kalonzo’s Wiper Democratic Movement, Uhuru and Ruto desperately fought to win over Mudavadi so as to kill perception theirs was just a ‘coalition of the accused and two ethnic groups’.

The party is planning to make a ‘major announcement’ within six days, and speculation is already rife in political circles that, contrary to coalition’s confirmation that Uhuru and Mudavadi would fight for the presidential ticket, Kenyatta could in fact step down in favour of Mudavadi.

Three reasons are being touted for this, the first being the fear that the candidacy of two leaders, Uhuru and Ruto, facing grave charges of crimes against humanity, could attract insurmountable international pressure which could enhance the chances of Raila-Kalonzo beating them.

The second is the view that without a high-profile partner with Kalonzo’s clout, their outfit ran the risk of being seen more as a union of the two communities (Kikuyu and Kalengin) which have monopolised the Kenyan presidency since independence.

Finally, sources within the Uhuru-Ruto coalition revealed that the two leaders needed a strong ally because of their cases pending before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and the fear that the pair might be stopped from running. In that event, Kalonzo would carry the flag in the battle to beat Raila Odinga.

tags: African press review - Economy - Farming - Kenya - Mining - Press review - South Africa - Uhuru Kenyatta
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