5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·18 Jan 2023

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

  • Fears over Mantashe taking over Eskom: The Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (Safci) says it is concerned by the possibility of energy minister Gwede Mantashe having oversight of Eskom. The ANC recently adopted a resolution which stated that companies operating in specific economic sectors should report to the relevant government department. Safci said that Matnahse’s department consistently pushes gas and diesel and believes that the government should rather make renewable energy more affordable for South Africans. [EWN]

  • Chicken crisis in South Africa: South Africa faces a chicken shortage due to load shedding. The issue is not a lack of chickens but rather the inability to slaughter the animals due to higher stages of load shedding. Over 10 million chicks had to be culled in the past six weeks. The South African Poultry Association says that if the situation worsens, then customers could expect further price increases. [News24]

  • Expect more tigers on the loose: Despite Sheba the tiger being found and euthanised on Wednesday morning, Gauteng residents should expect to see more tigers roaming the streets. South Africa has no strict laws on keeping tigers as pets, as the law only bans domestic ownership of indigenous cats. Moreover, Gauteng residents do not need a permit to own a tiger. Ownership of tigers in Gauteng has recently grown due to illegal breeding. [TimesLive]

  • DA takes load shedding to court: The Democratic Alliance (DA) is joining the legal fight against Eskom to declare load shedding unconstitutional. The party also wants to interdict the  National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA’s) decision to give Eskom an 18.6% tariff hike for 2023/24 and 12.74% for 2024/25.DA leader John Steenhuisen said that Eskom is disregarding the Bill of Rights. [EWN]

  • Markets: The rand has weakened slightly against the dollar, remaining over R17.00/$. Mining production declined against the backdrop of South Africa’s power crisis – November 2022’s mining output was down 9% year-on-year. Investors are now keeping an eye on November retail sales and December Consumer inflation numbers. On Wednesday (18 January), the rand was trading at R17.10/$, R18.42/€, and R21.00/£. Brent crude is trading at $86.63 a barrel. [Reuters]
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