February 18, 2016.
For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Sane Dhlamini.
Cosatu says SOE privatisation will get 'stiff' opposition.
Polls open as Ugandan elections begin.
And, the WHO says South Africa has one of the world's most expensive private healthcare systems.
The privatisation of state assets by the ANC-led government will face stiff opposition from workers, Cosatu has warned.
President Jacob Zuma recently released the Presidential Review Commission on State-Owned Enterprises (or SOEs) report which was set to guide their reformation.
During the State of the Nation address (or Sona) last week Zuma said that, following the findings of the review, certain SOEs would be phased out, while reports suggested that partial privatisation was in the pipeline for others.
Cosatu said the report was deeply troubling and would “find stiff opposition from the workers”.
The federation said it was the latest in a series of steps by government signalling that they were prepared to outsource their developmental mandate to the private sector.
According to Cosatu, SOEs should be funded by the state, through a progressive tax system, retirement funds and insurance.
Polls for Uganda’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections opened today.
71 year old Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, is hoping to extend his 30-year rule and faces opposition from seven opposition candidates.
Museveni had been in office since winning a five-year guerrilla war in 1986 and was one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
His final term was meant to end in 2006, but in 2005 he won a campaign to lift the constitutional term limits.
The Ugandan president’s two main challengers were veteran opposition leader Kizza Besigye and former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
Besigye had unsuccessfully challenged Museveni in the last three elections.
South Africa has one of the most expensive private healthcare systems in the world, the World Health Organisation (or WHO) told a Competition Commission inquiry in Pretoria yesterday.
Head of the WHO and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (or OECD) health division, Francesca Colombo said private hospital prices in South Africa were on par with prices in countries with much higher GDP levels – including the UK, Germany and France.
South Africa spent 41.8% of total health expenditure on private, voluntary health insurance, more than any OECD country.
However, only 17% of the population, mostly those with high incomes, could afford private insurance.
Colombo said given that South Africa had the lowest GDP per capita relative to other OECD countries, it was expected that hospital prices in South Africa would be significantly lower.
Also making headlines:
Even with the EFF absent from yesterday's State of the Nation Address debate, Parliament descended into chaos and MPs were asked to leave.
And, Gold Fields said production at the South Deep gold mine rose 24% in the last three months of 2015 to almost double the output of the previous year.
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That’s a roundup of news making headlines today