From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines today:
The Department of Trade and Industry on Thursday unveiled the long awaited Enterprise Incentive Programme, or EIP, which focuses on the sectors of manufacturing and tourism, and succeeds the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Programme that came to an end in 2006.
DTI Enterprise Organisation Deputy Director General Tumelo Chipfuma explained that the EIP had a budget of 750-million rand over the next year, and indicated that as the programme advanced, the budget would likely grow, and be adjusted to reflect the demand.
Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa added that "the base at which the DTI was addressing industrial financing was a lot better. It had a coherent industrial policy framework, and a clear idea of the things that needed to be done. It had benefited from a review of the entire incentive dispensation," he said.
Trade union members working in the industrial chemicals sector may go on strike next week, as trade union Solidarity on Thursday rejected a final wage increase of 11% with an additional 1% increase to be implemented in January next year.
Solidarity said a strike in the industrial chemicals sector seemed unavoidable, as it contended that only a 12% increase for the sector would be acceptable.
The union added that it had already been issued with a strike certificate. Solidarity management would caucus on Friday to consider further action.
Gold Fields has the worst mine death record in South Africa so far this year, with about half of a total of 85 deaths in the country's mines occurring at the group's operations, a senior official said.
Deaths in South African mines fell 22% to 85 in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, the DME's chief inspector of mines Thabo Gazi said.
Gazi said a new Mine Health and Safety Amendment bill, still to be debated in parliament, would seek to improve safety in mines, and slap bigger fines for safety offenders.
Also making headlines:
Electricity consumption and generation decreased in May.
Vodafone acquires 70% stake in Ghana Telecom.
The planned Cosatu strike will disrupt business without bringing a solution.
China Railway cuts stake and funding in Congo project.
Inquiry into alleged human rights abuses at Angloplat nearing completion.
And, over 27 000 carats recovered from DiamondCorp's Free State tailings.
In political news:
President Mbeki denies xenophobia behind South African attacks on African migrants.
Zimbabweans seek refuge in US embassy in Harare.
US expects Zimbabwe sanctions vote at UN next week.
And, Barack Obama says he might "refine" his Iraq position.