Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Eskom has announced extended load shedding on Thursday and Friday, with stage 2 load shedding scheduled to run from 08h00 on Thursday to 06h00 on Friday morning. The power utlity said its system is under server strain, with the grid suffering further breakdowns in generating capacity overnight. Unscheduled breakdowns have now reached 14,000MW. It said its engineers are working to restore capacity. [Eskom]
- Following a slight decline in the overall matric pass rate in Gauteng, the province’s premier David Makhura says that the provincial government will soon release a report on primary schools in the province, which will, for the first time, give parents an idea of the top performing schools. Makhura said that the aim is to not only focus on high school education for matric throughput, but to encompass basic education as well. [EWN]
- Former Public Protector former chief operating officer, Basani Baloyi has accused the office of her former employer as being ‘rotten’. In court papers filed by Baloyi, she claimed that she was purged from her job, and pointed to instances of the Public Protector prioritising certain cases over others – particularly those around president Cyril Ramaphosa and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. This was done with “no explanation”. [Mail & Guardian]
- US president Donald Trump has walked back on talk of war with Iran, following Iranian strikes on US military facilities in the region, which resulted in no loss of life and minimal damage. In a press briefing following the attacks, Trump said that it appeared that Iran was “standing down”, and announced further sanctions against the country – but no retaliatory attacks. Trump previously said the US would target over 50 Iranian targets should the nation attack the US. The simmering tension between the two countries has dominated global news and markets. [CNN]
- South Africa’s rand regained ground against the dollar in late trade on Wednesday, as fears of an immediate escalation in a conflict between the United States and Iran receded and markets rolled back an earlier sell-off. Stocks, however, didn’t return to positive territory after investors moved to ditch risky assets. On Thursday, the rand was at R14.16 to the dollar, R18.56 to the pound and R15.74 to the euro.