5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·13 May 2024

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

  • Shell’s Wild Coast exploration legal showdown: Shell and its partner Impact Oil & Gas are set to appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal a 2022 decision by the Makhanda high court that revoked their oil and gas exploration rights off the Wild Coast. In the initial decision, the high court criticised an alleged lack of consideration for the exploration’s potential impact on local fishers’ livelihoods, cultural and spiritual rights, its contribution to climate change, and found Shell’s claims of job creation and increased government revenue to be unsubstantiated. [Business Day]

  • Internet cable faults cause connectivity problems: There have been issues with internet connectivity in South Africa due to faults in the submarine cables off the East coast of Africa. Ben Roberts, the CTIO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies group, has confirmed on Twitter that all subsea capacity between East Africa and South Africa is currently offline. While South African users have been experiencing poor performance on some online services, Roberts mentioned that internet services to East Africa have been severely impacted. [MyBroadband]

  • Makhanda water works upgrades deadline missed – again: Makhanda, previously Grahamstown, has faced water shortages for over a decade. Initially budgeted at R102 million, the town’s water treatment upgrade, aimed at doubling output, started in 2015 with a December 2017 completion target. However, after several delays, the project’s cost has risen to R393 million, and the finish date has been pushed to the end of June, missing the revised April deadline, itself a postponement from the original December 2023 completion target. [GroundUp]

  • George building collapse rescue continues: Gerhard Otto, the disaster manager for the Garden Route District Municipality, said that one more body was discovered at the site of the collapsed George construction site early on Monday morning. Otto said that the death toll was 21, adding that 31 people remained unaccounted for. [News24]

  • Markets: The rand was little changed at close on Friday, ahead of U.S. inflation data this week that could hint at the future interest rate path in the world’s biggest economy. On Monday (13 May), the rand was trading at R18.43 to the dollar, R23.09 to the pound, and R19.84 to the euro. Oil is trading at $82.54 a barrel. [Reuters]

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