Angola + 2 more

Southern Africa: IRIN News Briefs, 11 January

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ANGOLA: Floods leave 11 dead, thousands homeless
Flooding caused by torrential rains at the weekend have killed at least 11 people and left 8,000 homeless in the coastal province of Benguela, news reports said on Tuesday.

The official radio station RNA said rescue services had by Tuesday recovered 11 bodies from the flood waters at Dombe Grande, about 50km south of the city of Benguela.

The rain burst the River Coporolo's banks, flooding 6,000 hectares of land and destroyed up to 22,000 mt of corn, local government officials said. Damage caused by the floods was estimated at between US $8 million and US $10 million.

SOUTH AFRICA: 15 miners trapped underground

Rescuers were trying to reach 15 miners trapped more than 2kms underground since Monday at a gold mine in Orkney in North West province, about 200 km west of Johannesburg, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported on Tuesday.

The workers were trapped underground after a rockfall caused by a seismic shock measuring 2.9 points on the Richter Scale. The mine is owned by a new mining group, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). A mine spokesman told SABC on Tuesday that there was hope that the miners were still alive.

ARM chairman Patrice Motsepe told the South African Press Association the trapped miners included eight Lesotho nationals, two Mozambicans, a Swaziland national and four South Africans.

NAMIBIA: Fuel price increase

The price of petrol will go up by 10 cents (1.6 US cents) per litre from Wednesday while diesel will increase by 19 cents per litre, the Namibian Mines and Energy Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The Ministry has attributed the increase to the 160 percent rise in world crude prices which has left the National Energy Fund depleted. It appealed to "the long distance transporters and the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) to keep reactive tariff increases to a minimum".

SOUTHERN AFRICA: SADC appoints new secretary

The 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) has appointed Preg Ramsamy of Mauritius as its interim executive secretary following a rift between member ministers and outgoing secretary Kaire Mbuende of Namibia.

Ramsamy, an economist, was appointed interim executive secretary of the regional bloc on Monday, the Gaborone-based organisation said. The organisation added that it would appoint a permanent executive secretary at its next summit, scheduled for September in Windhoek, Namibia.

Ramsamy was appointed Mbuende's deputy at the SADC summit held in Mauritius in September 1998. He joined SADC in 1997 as chief economist after working for 14 years for the 22-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

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