January 31, 2013.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
The UN Security Council is expected to discuss peacekeepers for Mali.
Egypt‘s curfew is scaled back as President Mohamed Mursi seeks to end the bloodshed.
And, the Manufacturing Circle urges government and the private sector to align on local procurement designations.
The UN Security Council will soon begin discussing a possible United Nations peacekeeping force for Mali. This is an idea the world body had been uncomfortable with before France's recent military intervention.
Deployment of a UN peacekeeping force would require Security Council approval. Another option would be to send in an African Union force mandated by the council with logistical and other support from the UN, similar to the AU's Somalia mission.
However, a senior Western diplomat said there is increasing talk of moving straight to a UN peacekeeping operation. Another diplomat and a UN official confirmed that, saying the discussions would begin within days.
Envoys said a UN peacekeeping force would offer certain advantages over the African-led force approved by the council last month. Funding would be clear, it would be easier to monitor human rights compliance and the UN could choose which national contingents to use in the force.
Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi cut short a visit to Europe on Wednesday to deal with the deadliest violence in the seven months since he took power. Meanwhile Egyptian authorities scaled back a curfew imposed by the president, in an effort to stop street protests.
Mursi, speaking in Berlin before hurrying home to deal with the crisis, called for dialogue with opponents. However, they wouldn’t commit to their demand that he first agree to include them in a unity government.
Local authorities pushed back the start of the curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in Ismailia and to 1:00 a.m. in Port Said and Suez.
More than 50 people have been killed in the past seven days of protests by Mursi's opponents, marking the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
The Manufacturing Circle has welcomed the Department of Trade and Industry’s announcement on Tuesday that valves, manual and pneumatic actuators, electrical and telecommunications cables, as well as solar water heater components had been designated for local production as well as requiring specified local content levels in the public sector procurement system.
The organisation called on all departments and entities in the national, local and provincial government spheres, as well as the private sector, to immediately align their tenders and procurement with this move.
It added that reports at the end of 2012 had shown that the private sector had yet to take meaningful steps towards aligning with the drive for local procurement as it agreed to under the New Growth Path.
Also making headlines:
Billionaire Patrice Motsepe commits half of his family funds to charity.
Amendments to South Africa’s labour laws are expected to be finalised by the end of November.
And, the South African Local Government Association says municipalities will bear the brunt of Eskom’s proposed tariff increase.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.