Analysis and reporting on key policy issues from Southern and Central Africa

v21/12 16 June 06

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CONTENTS

Zimbabwe:

Mugabe, boosted by China deal, may meet Annan at AU summit

Scepticism remains as China comes to the rescue   

Mozambique:

Zimbabwe tycoon faces hotels default  

Angola:

Fresh Chinese deal will boost its oil imports   

Zambia:

Divisions loom in ruling party over bar on ministers   

Congo:

Kabila likely to hold onto power till next year    

Region:

Uganda upgrades airstrips and radar on borders           

SA's oil foray in Equatorial Guinea raises new diplomatic issues

International:

SADC's identity confusion delays EU deal

Renewed demand for Swiss banks probe  

Bush calls on SA to help Iraq           

Mozambican journalists call for solidarity with Timorese leader  

SA politics:

Zuma is the youth's choice on Soweto anniversary     

Netshitenzhe moves from GCIS  

SA economy:

Saab and Denel in new aero industry deal     


Zimbabwe:
Mugabe, boosted by China deal, may meet Annan at AU summit
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] It is likely that a new diplomatic initiative will begin later this month with a meeting between UN secretary general Kofi Annan and President Robert Mugabe on the margins of the African Union summit in The Gambia, according to reports in Zimbabwe.
The shift to active mediation by the UN was suggested by SA's President Thabo Mbeki earlier this month after a meeting with Britain's Tony Blair, and last week he sent intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils to Harare, reportedly to arrange the meeting. Mugabe had earlier been cool on the idea of meeting Annan in Zimbabwe.
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Energy fillip
... >>> Full report



Zimbabwe:
Scepticism remains as China comes to the rescue
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] The Zimbabwe government this week gave coal mining rights to a Chinese company in exchange for opening two mines and setting up three thermal power stations in the investment-starved economy. But with previous agreements still to be fulfilled, questions remain on whether the deals will come to fruition.
Two Zimbabwean companies, Ele Resources and Hwange Colliery, have agreed to jointly establish coalmines and three thermal power stations with China Machine Building International Corporation (CMEC) in deals worth about US$1.3 billion.
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Just talk?
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>>> Full report




Mozambique:
Zimbabwe tycoon faces hotels default
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] John Bredenkamp, the tycoon who fled Zimbabwe last week, owns extensive tourist properties in Mozambique, but is also in trouble there for failing to fulfill the terms of a deal to refurbish an hotel.
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>>> Full report




Angola:
Fresh Chinese deal will boost its oil imports
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] China's largest refiner Sinopec announced this week it has acquired stakes in Angolan oil exploration blocks with proven reserves of 3.2 billion barrels of oil. They are expected to boost oil production for Sinopec by 100,000 barrels a day after they come on stream next year.
Angola has overtaken Saudi Arabia and Iran as China's top provider of crude in the first two months of this year. Angola shipped 2.12m tonnes of crude to China in February, ahead of Saudi Arabia's 1.98m tonnes.
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>>> Full report





Zambia:
Divisions loom in ruling party over bar on ministers
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] Tempers are flaring and division is looming within the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy over the party's supreme organ, the National Executive Committee's decision to bar certain ministers and lawmakers from defending their seats in the upcoming elections.
About 15 ministers and 19 lawmakers from the ruling party have not been allowed to participate in the forthcoming tripartite presidential, parliamentary and general elections. They immediately applied to the opposition to be allowed to contest under their aegis, making clear that the different parties remain not so much vehicles for competing policies as vehicles for access to power.
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>>> Full report



Congo:
Kabila likely to hold onto power till next year
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] The timetable for elections announced this week involves the current transitional government headed by Joseph Kabila plus his four vice-presidents staying in power till early next year.
The announcement in Brussels by the EU special representative in the Great Lakes region is already increasing Congolese antagonism to European involvement in the process and may increase the risk to EU troops being sent to Kinshasa, say analysts.
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Matadi port paralysed
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Lack of security
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>>> Full report




Region:
Uganda upgrades airstrips and radar on borders
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] At a time of pre-election tension in the DR Congo, Uganda is upgrading two airfields near its DRC and Sudan borders in what seems to be a new power game.

Relations with these two countries are fluid because of the cross-border operations of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (SouthScan v21/11). In the Congo, where there is concern about renewed violence from former warlord militias ahead and after the elections, Ugandan military activity on its eastern flank is being closely watched.
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Radar system
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>>> Full report




Region:
SA's oil foray in Equatorial Guinea raises new diplomatic issues
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] South Africa, in the midst of its own mini boom, is likely to face increasing competition for oil resources on the continent from China and the US, as well as European companies. It is a relative newcomer to the prospecting world but with its engagement in countries like the Sudan and Equatorial Guinea may increasingly have to gear its regional policies to oil politics. In particular it faces intensified US military and commercial engagement in Africa.
The state oil company PetroSA announced last week it was opening its first African office outside SA in Equatorial Guinea, the tiny West African state whose oil production has skyrocketed in the past few years. It is starting on a US$67m exploration programme. ...

Long history
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Pentagon's aid offer
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>>> Full report




International:
SADC's identity confusion delays EU deal
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] The important partnership deal between the European Union and SADC, the Southern African Development Community, is likely to be delayed into 2008 because of uncertainty about who is in and who is out of which bloc.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the region may not be signed before the January 1, 2008 deadline set by the European Commission's Directory General for Trade (DG Trade) and will probably be signed much later.
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Where does SA stand?
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'No' to services
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>>> Full report



International:
Renewed demand for Swiss banks probe
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] Swiss non-governmental organisations are demanding formal enquiries into Swiss bank accounts possibly hiding 'parked' money from criminal and corrupt proceedings in apartheid South Africa.
The call follows the publication of a new report by the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies on apartheid-era corruption, and the special attention it has drawn to accounts at the then Swiss Banking Society, SBG - now UBS - held by former SA President Nico Diederichs.
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>>> Full report




International:
Bush calls on SA to help Iraq
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] US President George Bush has called on South Africa to share its national reconciliation experience with Iraq. A day after his surprise visit to Baghdad this week, Bush told a White House news conference that the US would support Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's efforts to rally Iraqis.
"We will support his efforts to bring the Iraqis together by encouraging leaders from countries like South Africa to share their experiences with this new government to help them reconcile the past," Bush said.
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>>> Full report



International:
Mozambican journalists seek solidarity with Timorese leader
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] Two prominent Mozambican journalists have written in last week's edition of the independent 'Savana' in defence of embattled East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who spent years in exile in Mozambique.
East Timor's unrest has widened political divisions in the country between supporters of Alkatiri and President Xanana Gusmao. Alkatiri, who heads the country's largest political party, Fretilin, is refusing to step down. Elections are scheduled for next year.
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>>> Full report



SA politics:
Zuma is the youth's choice on Soweto anniversary
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] It was no surprise that former deputy president Jacob Zuma was asked to be the keynote speaker at the SA Young Communist League's Friday gathering to commemorate the June 16, 1976 Soweto student uprising.
The YCL and the African National Congress Youth League have been the most vocal in support of the ousted Zuma, who survived rape charges last month and still faces corruption charges later this year. He has been reinstated as ANC deputy president and it was in that capacity that the invitation was made.
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Kasrils again criticised
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>>> Full report




SA politics:
Netshitenzhe moves from GCIS
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] Joel Netshitenzhe, SA President Thabo Mbeki's right-hand man for communications with the public, is moving to head the policy and co-ordinating advisory unit in the presidency and leaving his job in the government communications service, GCIS.
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>>> Full report



SA economy:
Saab and Denel in new aero industry deal
[(c) SouthScan v21/12 16 June 06] Saab AB of Sweden and South Africa's Denel have agreed to create a new aerostructures company in South Africa to compete on international markets for design, manufacturing, and assembly orders in the civil and defence aerostructures fields.
The deal is one of the industrial offsets that the government has said was a major reason for the arms purchases of 1998 (SouthScan v13/24). It was agreed Saab would supply 28 Gripen advanced fighter aircraft along with its partner British Aerospace in a deal then worth about $2 billion.
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>>> Full report