5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·7 Nov 2023

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

  • Eskom still in trouble: Eskom’s “Medium-Term System Adequacy Outlook 2024 – 2028” report shows that load-shedding increased by over 700% in two years and will likely have a significant electricity generation shortfall over the next five years. It further showed Eskom extensively used its open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) power plants to prevent even worse load-shedding in 2023, with costs increasing by over 50% over the last year – from R15 billion in 2022 to R30 billion in 2023. [Daily Investor]

  • Gangster state: Briefing Parliament’s Standing Committee, Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke revealed that there are 268 “material irregularities” at municipalities across the country. Since the office’s new powers came into effect in April 2019, they have experienced a R5.19 billion financial loss due to the irregularities. Out of the 268 material irregularities, 194 of them were linked to a material financial loss resulting from non-compliance or suspected fraud. Governance expert Sandile Swana said there are little to no consequences for those committing crimes, adding that the ANC protects wrong-doers. “We are running a gangster state”. [702]

  •  SA is holding its breath: Powerful US Democratic Party Senator Chris Coons is circulating a discussion draft of a Bill to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) for 16 years that would also require an immediate “out-of-cycle” review of South Africa’s eligibility for Agoa. This could lead to South Africa being removed next year from the programme, which has provided considerable benefits to SA exporters to the US of cars, fruits and wine, in particular. [Daily Maverick]

  • SA chooses a side: International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor said the government will decide whether its continued relationship with Israel can be sustained based on the briefing it will get from the recalled South African embassy officials following the war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The DA has slammed the government’s decision to recall its diplomats from the Israeli capital Tel Aviv as “counterintuitive”, while the ANC has welcomed it. [TimesLive]

  • Markets: The South African rand slipped on Monday due to Pandor’s announcement that the country was recalling diplomats from Israel, giving back some of the gains the currency made last week on hopes for the end of the U.S. Fed’s tightening cycle. On Tuesday (6 November), the rand was trading at R18.35 to the dollar, R22.64 to the pound and R19.65 to the euro. Oil is trading at $84.61 a barrel. [Reuters]
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