5 important things happening in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

  • Energy crisis: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Energy Crisis Council says that South Africa can add close to 2,000MW onto the grid within the next three months, which would help to alleviate some of the stresses at Eskom. However, even with the boost, the power utility will continue to face a 4,000MW shortfall in generation – so the risk of load shedding will continue. Longer-term plans are in place, but these will only take effect in the next 12-18 months. [Daily Maverick]

  • Indefensible: South Africa’s Department of Defence is in such a mess that contracts worth hundreds of millions of rands cannot be properly audited, and compliance with procurement laws is in serious question. Making matters worse, in 90 of the completed 122 investigations into alleged fraud in the past financial year, no appropriate action was taken as per the recommendations of the investigations. R8.5 billion worth of fruitless and wasteful expenditure wasn’t even investigated. [TimesLive]

  • Wage talks: Strike season in South Africa continues with the motor industry next on the list to threaten a shutdown. Worker union Numsa has threatened to down tools in the sector after wage negotiations deadlocked. The union has demanded a wage increase of 20% across the board and other protections in a one-year agreement. Employers prefer a three-year deal with wage increases linked to CPI. [Moneyweb]

  • Protests: Tembisa residents say they will do whatever it takes to make their service delivery grievances heard. Residents took to the street on Monday to protest against high rates and the scrapping of free electricity units, shutting down the township. In clashes with police, four people were killed. Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell has met with residents and set up a forum on Friday. The mayor says that the issues raised resulted from the previous administration. [EWN, ENCA]

  • Markets: The South African rand edged higher in trade on Monday, bolstered by dollar weakness on bets the Federal Reserve will slow the pace of its interest rates hikes. The dollar was down about 0.3% against a basket of currencies. Analysts noted that many proposals coming out of the ANC conference would do nothing but alarm investors, such as the renewed focus on nationalising the Reserve Bank. On Tuesday, the rand was trading at R16.56/$, R17.01/€ and R20.28/£. Brent crude is trading at $99 a barrel. [Reuters]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today