News in South Africa 11th February:
1. Stage 1 load shedding continues:
Eskom will continue to implement stage 1 rotational load shedding until 6 a.m. on Wednesday due to a shortage of capacity and the need to replenish its emergency reserves.
This means power cuts will not be suspended between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday during peak traffic.
It said it would provide an update on Tuesday evening about its prognosis for Wednesday.
“Our teams are working hard to reduce unplanned outages or breakdowns, which were at 11 016MW as at 06:55 this morning,” said Eskom. “Critical maintenance continues to be conducted on units that are currently on planned outages.”
2. Eskom’s tariff hike application dismissed:
The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed Eskom’s urgent application to implement electricity tariff hikes of 16.6% and 16.7% over the next two years.
Judge Jody Kollapen dismissed the request as not urgent, but stated that the merits of the case would be heard in Part B of the review process.
Eskom had sought interim relief, wanting 16.6% and 16.7% tariff hikes over the next two years. It argued that a lower increases threatened its financial viability.
The application was split in two parts:
- Part A sought an order to allow the company to implement a tariff decision before the beginning of the financial year in April 2020.
- Part B involved a challenge of the regulator’s decision to withhold part of its equity in the multi-year price determination (MYPD 4) ruling.
3. SA Post Office CEO suspended:
It has emerged that the acting SA Post Office CEO Lindiwe Kwele has been suspended – only four months after assuming the role.
Advocate Eric Mabuza says he is representing Kwele, calling the charges against her “frivolous”.
Business Day first reported on Monday that Kwele was suspended in early December 2019. Mabuza confirmed the suspension.
He said the charges relate to, among other things, “general restructuring” and issues surrounding procurement of laptops.
Kwele took over the running of the Post Office in August 2019 after the resignation of Mark Barnes. Before that she had a number of years’ experience working in various senior leadership positions.
4. PRASA accused of alleged abuse of dominance:
The Competition Commission says it has referred the state-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and its subsidiary, bus operator Autopax, to the Competition Tribunal for alleged abuse of dominance.
The competition watchdog says following an investigation of complaints by various long-distance bus operators, it found that that Prasa restricted or denied access to Johannesburg Park Station to Autopax competitors, and charged them “excessive” fees for the use of the transport hub.
Prasa is the sole owner and manager of intermodal terminal facilities in the country – including Park Station – and its subsidiary operates two bus services, Translux and City to City, which services long distance routes linking major cities.
5. Investec’s Asset Management business separated:
Investec’s shareholders have approve the separation of its asset management business, which will be known as Ninety One.