News in South Africa 3rd February:
1. Load shedding continues:
South Africans will have to contend with rotational power cuts until Thursday morning, Eskom announced on Sunday evening.
Eskom said that stage 2 load shedding would continue until 6am on Monday. Rolling blackouts would then resume at 9am.
Unplanned outages were at 11 831MW at 5pm on Sunday afternoon, still above the utility’s goal of 9 500MW.
2. Market still affected by Coronavirus fears:
The rand broke through R15/$ this weekend, as global markets sell off amid rising fears about the coronavirus. It was last trading at R14.96.
3. New CEO for Transnet:
Newly appointed Transnet CEO Portia Derby promises to clean up what she refers to as the “rot” at Transnet, she told the Sunday Times.
One such area she plans to address is the procurement side of the state-owned entity – saying it could not continue to be “opaque”.
She also said she will not stand in the way of any investigations at Transnet which might relate to former Eskom and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe, her ex-husband. The couple divorced about 10 years ago.
Fin24 recently reported on the Zondo Commission into state capture hearing that Transnet paid millions to sponsor an insert in the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper back in 2012, and the deal cannot be justified.
Transnet’s internal communications specialist Joseph Jackson provided evidence on the deal which would see Transnet sponsor the “Big Interview” insert in the newspaper. Then-group CEO Molefe had ultimately approved the deal.
4. Sasol’s share price tanks:
Shares in petrochemical company Sasol plunged by up to 9% in early trade on Friday, after it announced lower expected margins and operating profit in a trading update.
Sasol shares were trading down 7.8% at R236.50 a share at 9:40am.
It said that headline earnings per share are expected to be between R4.79 and R7.11 for the financial half year ended ended December 31, a fall of between 69% and 79% from the prior half’s HEPS of R23.25.
5. The week ahead:
The week ahead: Data out today includes manufacturing sentiment, new vehicle sales. Also, results from ArcelorMittal and Sappi, and Vodacom’s trading update are expected this week.