Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Load Shedding: No load shedding is expected on Monday, with Eskom saying that it has enough generating capacity to met demand, as long as it can keep using its emergency reserves. However, the power utility said the system remains vulnerable, with unplanned outages close to 12,000MW. Little progress has been made in bringing unplanned outages back below 9,500MW, which is the level at which the group can guarantee no load shedding. Weekend reports also claimed it has blown its diesel budget by over 50%. [Eskom]
- State-owned domestic airline SA Express is facing a business rescue application, after suppliers accused it of failing to pay money owed. The airline said it would oppose any such applications. SA Express, like SAA which was also recently put into business rescue, has also failed to produce its annual financial results. Freight transport company Ziegler says the airline owes it almost R12 million, and blocked numerous attempts by the group to get it. [ENCA]
- Former Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has confirmed that he will be launching a new political party – with a launch expected sometime after June 2020. Mashaba did not comment on who would be joining him in the party, but said the goal was to contend the 2021 municipal elections. Mashaba departed from the DA in 2019, blaming Helen Zille’s return to a leadership position in the party. Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane left shortly after. [City Press]
- A new report from the World Economic Forum shows that South Africa is one of the worst performers when it comes to social mobility – the rate at which people are able to improve their lives. While South Africa scores well enough in social measures in the index, in terms of wealth creation, job creation and safety and security, things look bleak. The World Economic Forum’s annual event in Davos is taking place this week. [Daily Maverick]
- South African stocks rose to near seven-month highs on Friday, underpinned by gains in heavyweight Richemont and mining firms, while the rand fell against a broadly stronger dollar. The rand is still testing a sustained break above R14.46/$, while remaining within a tight range. SAA is posing a real challenge to National Treasury ahead of this week’s WEF and the upcoming budget in February. On Monday the rand was at R14.44 to the dollar, R18.78 to the pound and R16.03 to the euro.