Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Load shedding: Stage 4 load shedding is expected to continue into Friday evening, with lower stages coming in over the weekend. The downed Koeberg unit is expected to be synched with the grid by Sunday.
- Market bloodbath: The rand remains extremely volatile as global markets suffered what analysts describe as a bloodbath – red across the board, with some indices dropping over 10%. South African stocks recorded their worst single-day fall in more than 22-years, tracking global markets lower, after US President Donald Trump curbed travel from Europe and oil prices dived. On Friday the rand was at R16.59 to the dollar, R20.81 to the pound and R18.59 to the euro. [XE]
- E-toll dithering: The e-tolling collection company ETC has again had its contract to collect tariffs from the failed system extended – this time until the end of 2020. Government had promised an ‘imminent’ announcement on e-tolls and possible solutions or alternatives to the system as compliance rates continue to fall. However this latest extension makes it appear as if the system will stay in place until at least December. ETC is a South African company, wholly owned by the Austrian firm that built the e-tolling system in SA. [Moneyweb]
- Coronavirus number blunder: Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has retracted one of the reported cases of coronavirus in South Africa, saying that a lab error had occurred, and one of the patients had actually tested negative for the virus. The case in question was a 32 year old male from the Free State that was said to be the first case of local transmission, after he came into contact with a Chinese businessman. With the new information, South Africa’s confirmed cases are now 16, with no local transmission cases yet recorded. [BusinessTech]
- Load shedding overtime: Eskom is implementing power cuts over and above load shedding to certain areas to minimise the burden placed on the grid by illegal consumers. Eskom said these power cuts are intentional, and are not part of load-shedding. Residents in areas affected by these cuts, such as Midvaal, Drumblade, and Walkerville, report receiving up to 12 hours of power cuts in a single day. [MyBroadband]
- PIC on blast: President Cyril Ramaphosa has published the nearly 1,000 page report on the investigation into the PIC and its investments, finding that both the PIC’s management, and the management of some companies it invested in, had been negligent and dishonest, and did not follow procedures. The report recommends that funds be recovered, and that full reviews of several transactions take place – with the NPA also involved for possible prosecutions where laws have been broken. [Daily Maverick]