African press review 9 July 2014

There's nothing cheerful about the front page of the South African financial paper, BusinessDay.


The main headline reads "Expect new disasters". The small print explains that a construction industry survey has highlighted a dire skills shortage in the building sector, casting doubt on South Africa’s ability to assure the necessary skills for its much-vaunted 300 billion euro infrastructure programme over the next 15 years.

Master Builders South Africa warned of a "critical" shortage of supervisory skills on building sites and said this threatened safety. The body is a major employer representative in the building and construction industry in South Africa.

Dossier: Rwanda remembers genocide 20 years later

BusinessDay also looks at the departure of Mamphela Ramphele from South African party politics.

After months of turbulence at Agang SA, the party leader yesterday announced that she is returning to civil society work.

Observers on Tuesday described Ramphele’s short stint in party politics as “disastrous”. Agang never recovered from its failed merger with the Democratic Alliance.

Political analyst Daniel Silke said her decision to quit “signalled the death of Agang, a party that was already on life support” after the May elections.

There has been no announcement as to who will take over from Ramphele.

BMW in South Africa will cut production by a third from today as the week-long strike by the National Union of Metalworkers continues.

General Motors shut down its production lines last week.

The strike, in support of a wage claim, does not directly affect workers at the vehicle plants but at steel and engineering companies which supply many of their components.

And then, of course, there's football, with BusinessDay among the few publications on a global scale managing not to use the word "humiliation" in their references to last night's 7-1 thrashing of the local heroes by Germany in the World Cup semi-final.

Click here for our coverage of Brazil World Cup 2014

Germany, we are told, crushed the host nation, bringing grief to millions of home fans and causing utter astonishment around the world. Tonight's other semi-finalists, Argentina and Holland, must be wondering if it's even worth qualifying for the decider.

In Rwanda, government paper The New Times reports that French judges investigating the cause of the plane crash that killed president Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994 have closed the case after 16 years, effectively absolving Rwandan officials of blame.

The two French judges yesterday announced an end to the investigation into the attack on 6 April, 1994, while the presidential aircraft was landing at Kigali airport.

According to the government paper, the judges discredited previous findings by Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who accused current Rwanda government officials of shooting down the plane.

In Kenya, the Standard reports that the ruling Jubilee Alliance and the opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy have been trading accusations in the aftermath of the opposition’s Saba Saba rally held at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park on Monday.

While the Jubilee leaders slammed CORD’s demand for a referendum, the opposition claims that their supporters were intimidated and harassed by the police, with many unable to attend the rally because of the heavy security presence.

The majority leaders in both the seanate and the national assembly have accused the opposition of trying to force a power-sharing arrangement on the government.

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