Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- No load shedding is anticipated on Tuesday, after Eskom was able to avoid rolling blackouts on Monday, and was able to store up reserves to cover any excess demand during the day today. The group said it has managed to bring more generating units back online, and has brought unplanned outages back below 13,000MW. As ever, the power utility warned that the system is extremely vulnerable, and things could change unexpected. [Eskom]
- Officials are coming out in support of public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, who has become the target in a fresh campaign to have him removed, by placing the blame of the Eskom crisis at his feet. The EFF and Cosatu say Gordhan must go over the Eskom mess, but others are pointing out that the Eskom crisis has been going on for a very long time, and the minister is not to blame. State capture has been blamed for the majority of Eskom’s problems. [EWN]
- Public works minister Patricia de Lille is going after thousands of employees in the department who are apparently engaged in corrupt activity. Notably, around half of the department’s 6,000 employees are doing business with the department – a clear conflict of interest – with over 300 of them owning their own companies. De Lille recently exposed the ludicrously high cost of state funerals to taxpayers, who have had to fork over R76 million for inflated costs. The minister is pursuing criminal litigation against those responsible. [ENCA]
- The state capture commission has been left with no choice by to try and win a summons for former president Jacob Zuma to appear before it, after he withdrew from proceedings and refused to come back. New rules changes being implemented by the commission will see those who evade the commission face prosecution. Zuma will have 10 days to respond one the summons is issued, though he is expected to fight the summons in court. [Daily Maverick]
- South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar on Monday ahead of a central bank meeting later in the week and key economic data that investors will use to gauge how the economy is performing. Focus will shift to the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy meeting on Thursday, when it will announce its interest rate decision after keeping rates on hold at 6.5% at its last meeting. On Tuesday the rand is at R14.39 to the dollar, R18.69 to the pound and R16.02 to the euro.