Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Load shedding: Eskom says no load shedding is expected today, despite unplanned outages increasing. The group says it has enough capacity to meet demand, and was not forced to use its open gas turbines. Outages, however, are currently at 12,800MW, a far stretch from the 9,500MW limit needed to avoid load shedding completely. As such, the system remains constrained and vulnerable. Emergency reserves are adequate to meet demand, if the need arises it said. [Eskom]
- South African Airways is being left in limbo as it awaits a R2 billion bailout from government. The bailout is expected only see the group through the next month – with analysts pondering where the government will even get the money from. Private finance groups have already forked over R2 billion of their own funds as part of the SAA business rescue plan, which is still being finalised. More bailouts will be needed to execute the plan, however. [ENCA]
- South Africa’s jobs bloodbath is growing, with companies in the chrome industry indicating that another 1,200 jobs are on the line. Joint venture partners Glencore and Merafe Resources could cut up to 665 jobs and have started consultations with workers at their Rustenburg ferrochrome smelter. Separately, Samancor Chrome notified trade unions about 599 potential job cuts at its smelting operations and corporate offices, a letter to trade unions seen by Reuters said. [Reuters]
- Private school group Curro has come to the rescue of Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, agreeing to place learners that his department could not accommodate. The group refuted claims by Lesufi that he had negotiated a discount of 30% for these learners, but did say that it was negotiating a possible lower fee to accommodate them – however this was still being discussed. Gauteng schools are oversubscribed, and need to be temporarily placed in some private schools while government expands infrastructure. [TimesLive]
- South Africa’s rand fell to a five-week low against the dollar on Monday as domestic woes hurt the currency’s carry yield attraction and stocks ended a six-session winning streak. The currency has weakened 3.5% since the beginning of the year, as the country grapples with nationwide power cuts that have dented economic output and sapped investor confidence. On Tuesday the rand was trading at R14.53 to the dollar, R18.90 to the pound and R16.12 to the euro.