Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Load shedding will continue on Friday at stage 2 from 09h00 to 23h00. Eskom said that while it has returned generating units as scheduled, it also lost other generating units, leaving the national grid in the same vulnerable position it has been in for the last week. Its goal remains trying to bring breakdowns below 9,500MW to suspend load shedding. [Eskom]
- Over 5,000 new police officers will be deployed over the December period to curb crime and and keep watch over tourist hotspots. The new recruits are graduating today, and will serve the SAPS’ goal to up visible policing in the country. Several incidents grabbed headlines this year, where tourists were targetted or attacked by criminals. [Moneyweb]
- Power outages have led to government websites and services crashing, with Sita’s servers down. The IT agency said it was working to restore power. Several government websites are inaccessible, while services such as Smart ID and Passport applications at Home Affairs branches were offline all of Thursday. Sita said load shedding was the main contributor to the issues. [TimesLive]
- Despite flooding and other emergency situations, the heavy rainfall experienced in the northern parts of the country have done wonders for South Africa’s dam levels – though the Eastern Cape remains a concern. In Gauteng, dam levels have climbed to 111%, after dropping as low as 88% before the rains. Dams in the North West, Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape have also seen levels rise, though not as much as Gauteng, which has smaller dams. [IOL]
- South Africa’s rand raced to a six-week best on Thursday as another batch of data showing poor economic activity was offset by the benign monetary policy outlook in the United States after the Federal Reserve kept lending rates flat. On Friday the rand was at R14.44 to the dollar, R19.44 to the pound and R16.14 to the euro.