5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·30 Apr 2024

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

  • Critics slam gas master plan: Industrial gas consumers have criticized the Department for Mineral Resources & Energy’s draft gas master plan, released for public comment last Friday, as unrealistic. They argue it fails to offer timely solutions to prevent the forecasted 2026 gas supply crisis. With Sasol’s Mozambique gas contract ending in 2026, users face a “day zero” scenario without alternative sources. [Business Day]

  • Eskom successfully appeals R16 billion tender ruling: Eskom’s appeal against a high court decision to cancel and label as illegal R16 billion tenders for maintenance at its 15 coal power stations was successful. The tenders, given to Actom and Steinmüller Africa in October 2021, were upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which also dismissed Babcock Ntuthuko Engineering’s challenge and confirmed the legality of the contracts and the high court ruling. [Moneyweb]

  • Presidency denies involvement in SSA SABC vetting scandal: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has refuted claims of a connection between the leak of an ANC meeting audio and demands for additional vetting of SABC’s news head, Moshoeshoe Monare, by the State Security Agency (SSA). A recent City Press article revealed that Monare, who assumed the role of SABC’s news chief in 2022, was asked by an SSA agent for more security checks. This request came shortly after the release of an audio clip where President Ramaphosa voiced concerns about the ANC facing negative media coverage. [Daily Maverick]

  • Ramaphosa hits back at BHP Anglo-American bid skeptics: The Presidency has expressed concerns over the narrative emerging from BHP’s billion-dollar bid for Anglo-American, challenging the perception of South Africa as a desirable location for investment. “Some analysts and sections of the media have sought to portray this market activity as a vote of no confidence in South Africa. The Presidency rejects the notion that a commercial approach by BHP Billiton equals a hostile environment for investors,” the Presidency said in a statement. [News24]

  • Markets:  The rand firmed on Monday ahead of local economic data releases and the Federal Reserve’s policy review later in the week. On Tuesday (30 April), the rand was trading at R18.69 to the dollar, R23.42 to the pound, and R20.08 to the euro. Oil is trading at $88.30 a barrel. [Reuters]

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