Motlanthe blames US and UK for crisis

Anna Majavu and Sapa

Anna Majavu and Sapa

The global financial crisis, which has seen "massive job losses", could have been avoided if the US and Britain had exercised more control over banks in their countries.

That was the message yesterday from President Kgalema Motlanthe, speaking at the Socialist International Conference in Kleinmond, near Cape Town.

"What started off as a crisis among a few lending institutions has exploded into a global credit crunch, with severe consequences for production and trade," Motlanthe said.

He said "the world was now feeling the devastating impact" of the job losses.

Motlanthe also said all the governments of the world needed to move fast to prevent further global warming.

"Africa is one of the regions least responsible for climate change, yet Africa was the most affected," he said.

Experts forecast that global warming was likely to see Africa's agricultural land yielding 50percent less food by 2020.

ANC president Jacob Zuma, speaking at the same meeting, admitted that South Africa was the 14th largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world.

The reason for this was South Africa's "heavy reliance on coal" as its main source of energy.

Increasing amounts of greenhouse gases lead to an increase in the surface temperature of the earth, causing global warming.

"We want to escalate our national effort towards a greater contribution of renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power," Zuma said.

l The ANC has been criticised for its plans to spend R700billion on nuclear power stations, instead of making use of the sun and wind to generate power.