5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·6 May 2024

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

  • Government opens criminal cases against 26 municipalities: The National Department of Water and Sanitation has initiated 36 criminal cases against 26 municipalities. This move is part of its campaign to tackle the widespread problem of untreated sewage in various towns and cities. The municipalities are being charged for either recurring incidents of sewage spills or for not following through with the government’s mandates for cleanup. [Daily Maverick]

  • Explosive Eskom allegations: Former President Thabo Mbeki has accused Eskom, the national electricity provider, of deliberately orchestrating load-shedding, describing it as “completely unnecessary.” Despite warnings to the government in 1998 about the need for additional generation capacity and the potential for load-shedding by 2007, Mbeki asserts these were not the true causes of the power cuts. Instead, he suggests they were intentionally manufactured within Eskom. He also counters the narrative that places early load shedding blame on the government, labelling it as false. [MyBroadband]

  • Sibanye pushes on with renewables project: Sibanye-Stillwater is moving forward with renewable energy projects worth R2.5 billion, despite delays of up to 18 months due to several land claims. These claims, lodged between July 1, 2014, and July 27, 2016, affected three of the company’s renewable projects. After seeking expert advice on the claims’ validity and conducting an independent assessment, Sibanye decided to proceed with the projects. [Business Day]

  • Mashatile’s blue lights assault case back in court: Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s bodyguards are expected back in court on today, after the blue light assault case had been on break for over six months to allow the State enough time to finalise its investigations. The eight bodyguards face charges, including assault intending to cause grievous bodily harm after they were filmed assaulting off-duty soldiers on the side of the N1 highway. [EWN]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand remained firm after the US Fed decided to keep rates on hold, benefitting emerging market currencies. On Monday (6 May), the rand was trading at R18.56 to the dollar, R23.25 to the pound, and R19.93 to the euro. Oil is trading at $83.18 a barrel. [Reuters]
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