Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v19/06 19 Mar 04

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CONTENTS

Angola
New constitution is condition for poll

Congo
Generalised concern' over transition, but SA seals pacts

International
Frazer is new US ambassador to Pretoria


Russian trucks soon for SA

Lesotho
Mbeki targets multinational corruption

Region

Mercenary plot gives diplomatic boosts all round


Women's rights activist gets top job as SA steps aside

SA economy
Black empowerment boosts white women

SA politics
ANC challenges NNP allies in W. Cape

Zambia
Barotseland anger over parks lease


Maize exports reversed to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe
Mercenaries hand prize to Mugabe ahead of IMF visit


Congo:

'Generalised concern' over transition, but SA seals pacts

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] South Africa was this week finalising a series of investment agreements with the DR Congo, while members of the Kinshasa transitional government were warning of a "generalized concern' over the stability of the regime there.

SA's minister of provincial and local government, Sydney Mufamadi, hosted a delegation, headed by DRC's minister of planning, Alexis Tambwe Mwamba, in Pretoria on Thursday in a follow-up to the state visit by President Thabo Mbeki in January (SouthScan v19/22).....

Civil service strike...

Spreading state authority...

UN begins redeploying...


Angola:

New constitution is condition for poll

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] Angola's ruling MPLA party last week unveiled 14 preconditions for the upcoming presidential and general elections.

"We have to first fulfil these conditions and then prepare for the elections," Norberto dos Santos, the MPLA information secretary told a news conference....


Zimbabwe:

Mercenaries hand prize to Mugabe ahead of IMF visit

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's handling of the case of the alleged mercenaries planning to topple the Equatorial Guinean government has elevated his international and regional standing. His government officials blamed an array of Western enemies, leading off with Britain, just ahead of a visit by a team from the International Monetary Fund.

They arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday on a routine economic assessment and for consultations with the government, as part of an annual review. "The discussions with the authorities will cover everything," officials said and confirmed that Zimbabwe had since December resumed quarterly payments. According to the IMF website, Zimbabwe made $1.48 million in payments to the Fund this year against a debt of $273 million, or about 53 percent of its IMF quota as of November 2003....

Parallel Dollar market...

Forex for holidays...

MDC divided on elections...

Somalis enter...


Region:

Mercenary plot gives diplomatic boosts all round

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] The timing of the mercenary arrests at Harare airport last week was fortuitous and had a number of favourable outcomes for governments of the region.

The regime in Equatorial Guinea against which the alleged plot was aimed is particularly unsavoury, lacks democratic legitimacy and is now on the rampage, but regional officials have instead been able to focus on the dangers of a hoary old enemy, white-led, South African-engendered mercenarism....

ZDF arms shipment...

Least kept secret...

West accused...

Cabinet posts...

SA consequences...


Zambia:

Barotseland anger over parks lease

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] There is fresh tension in Barotseland (Western Province) after the government announced the lease of two parks there to a private investor and the removal of villagers. Already Lozi members of parliament are campaigning for a constitutional change to allow them greater autonomy (SouthScan v19/05) and now they say they will resist the parks deal.

Barotseland has been declared a no-go area for government officials amid warnings of a possible revolt following the lease to 'African Parks of South Africa'. The Liuwa Plain National Parks are the only ones in Zambia with dual land usage, where people and wildlife live and develop together. Around 3,000 Lozis live there....


Zambia:

Maize exports reversed to Zimbabwe

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has bought 100,000 tonnes of food worth US$18 million from Zambia for relief operations across Southern Africa.

This is the first time the country is exporting food to neighbouring Zimbabwe, rather than importing food from it. Zambia recorded a bumper harvest last year (SouthScan v18/22)....


Region:

Women's rights activist gets top job as SA steps aside

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] The thorny issues of who should preside over the new African Union parliament were amicably resolved on Thursday at the UN's building in Addis Ababa.

An earlier contender for the post, the South African parliamentary speaker Frene Ginwala, did not stand and two other possible contenders from Ghana and Sudan stood down in the lobbying over two days. In the end Nigeria proposed that Tanzania's Gertrude Mongella should get the post.

SA's decision not to contest has left the way open for it to secure the siting of the parliament - currently a tussle between SA and Egypt, after Libya dropped down....

Tension over Nepad...

Activist president...


Lesotho:

Mbeki targets multinational corruption

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] South African President Thabo Mbeki last week praised Lesotho for putting on trial high-profile international companies guilty of corruption in connection with the multi-billion Rand Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme.

German equipment and consultancy firm Lahmeyer International was last year found guilty of bribing the former chief LHWP official Masupha Sole with US$150,000. Other European companies were also implicated (SouthScan v18/14)....


International:

Frazer is new US ambassador to Pretoria

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] The current senior director for Africa at the National Security Council has been named as the new US ambassador to SA.

Jendayi Frazer came to government from Harvard University ...


International:

Russian trucks soon for SA

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] Russia's fifth largest automobile manufacturer, the 'AO' Gorky factory, said it plans to open an assembly plant this year in South Africa and to deliver its latest model of Gazel trucks and minivans to the country.

The deal signifies a move away from the military hardware centred industrial programmes set out a few years ago (SouthScan v15/40). Russia's economy is coming up again after years of collapse during the capitalist restructuring of the '90s and a boost is expected to trade and investment....


SA politics:

ANC challenges NNP allies in W. Cape

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] The alliance between the New National party and the African National Congress may hit a bump immediately after the election on April 14.

In what seemed a provocative move President Thabo Mbeki announced last week that Western Cape provincial leader Ebrahim Rasool was its candidate for premiership of the Western Cape province, where NNP leader Marthinus van Schalkwyk is the premier.

Earlier the ANC had indicated it would announce premiership positions after the election....

Contributions...


SA economy:

Black empowerment boosts white women

SouthScan v19/06 19 March 04] South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) regulations are throwing up a indigestible outcome for the government - white women are being promoted over black Africans because they are classified in the legislation as 'historically disadvantaged'.

A new survey shows that South Africa is in third place internationally in a table of women in management....