Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Eskom expects its grid to be stabilised by the end of March 2020, as it works over the next few months to keep load shedding under control. President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Eskom management on Wednesday, and said that Cabinet will look at the proposal for private companies to self-generate electricity, and sell the excess back to the state for the national gird. [Reuters]
- Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented on Thursday between 09h00 and 23h00. Eskom said it was able to avoid overnight load shedding as its fuel and water reserves have been replenished, but offline generation and breakdowns were still above the 9,500MW level needed to call load shedding off, thus the system was still under a lot of strain. [ENCA]
- Despite its abysmal track record at keeping state companies afloat, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule says that the ANC government will not privatise any of these failed businesses. However, the party is open to receiving any private investment in them. Magashule also warned the party’s deployees in government to toe the party line on the subject, threatening that no one was above the ANC’s national conference. [BusinessTech, TimesLive]
- Following the re-taking of the City Johannesburg from the DA, the ANC is now in ‘secret’ talks with other parties to do the same in the City of Tshwane. The party has been trying to oust DA leadership for some time, and even voted out the DA mayor and speaker last week. However, the courts suspended these actions as unlawful. The ANC managed to win back Joburg through other coalitions, leaving the DA and EFF out of its plans. [News24]
- South Africa’s rand strengthened against the dollar on Wednesday on optimism the central bank has room to boost the economy after consumer inflation fell to a nine-year low, while stocks gained. A chunk of those gains came after the data showed the rise in November consumer prices slowed. The subdued price growth reignited bets the SARB may reduce rates after keeping them on hold at 6.5% in November. On Thursday the rand was at R14.67 to the dollar, R19.39 to the pound and R16.35 to the euro.