Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Struggling state airline SAA has announced that it will be retrenching staff, as it fights to cut costs and turn its failing business around. 944 employees, or almost 20% of its staff of 5,000 will be affected. The airline has incurred over R28 billion losses over the last 13 years. [ENCA]
- Eskom’s unplanned outages have again spiked, putting the country at high risk of load shedding yet again. While no load shedding is planned for Tuesday, any further outages could lead to rolling blackouts. Outages increased to 11,000MW on Monday night. Eskom was forced to implement load shedding last week when outages rose above 12,500MW. Eskom’s plan for zero load shedding requires outages to be kept below 9,500MW. [Eskom]
- State freight and rail company Transnet has managed to recover R180 million from the Gupta-linked Regiments Capital, which was spent with the group on consultation for a multi-billion rand locomotive contract. The contract had many irregularities, and was highlighted as one of the many linked to state capture, including having the price balloon from R38 billion to R50 billion. [Moneyweb]
- A new report on carbon emissions has found that South Africa is the most carbon-intensive nation among the G20 countries (measured on a per capita basis). While South Africa isn’t the only country to ‘fail’ the carbon emission targets set by the G20, it is also actively pursuing new coal builds which will exacerbate the problem. To meet targets, SA would have to cancel planned coal station builds, and stop builds like Kusile – for a start. [Mail & Guardian]
- South Africa’s rand ended flat on Monday, with trading subdued by the trade deal stalemate between China and the United States. Officials from Beijing and Washington said late last week that a rollback of some tariffs had been agreed as part of a preliminary deal, but it had yet to be finalised. On Tuesday the rand was at R14.89 to the dollar, R19.15 to the pound and R16.43 to the euro.