News in South Africa 4th February:
1. New energy solution in the works:
Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said at the Investing in African Mining Indaba yesterday that government hoped to create a new power generation entity distinct from Eskom. Government will also give the green light to mining companies to generate energy for self-use without a licence.
Mantashe told reporters during a briefing after his address that he had invited investors to either partner with the government or invest on their own in the creation of an alternative power generation entity.
“By this time next year we hope we can say we have a site for energy generation outside of Eskom. We want people to sell energy through transmission. We want to take the pressure off of Eskom,” said Mantashe.
2. Eskom changes load shedding philosophy:
Eskom says it will aim to suspend load shedding during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening.
On Tuesday, it is aiming to suspend power cuts between 6am and 9am, and again between 4pm and 6pm. This comes after it suspended rotational power outages between 4pm and 6pm on Monday for the first time in a bid to “help ease traffic congestion”.
“Suspending load shedding during the peak traffic hours is a pilot programme aimed at achieving an appropriate Loadshedding Philosophy for the country,” the utility said in a statement. “As this is not possible everyday, it will be confirmed each day, dependent on the risk based on the available capacity and emergency reserves on the day.”
3. Tongaat Hulett shares plummet:
Shares in sugar producer Tongaat Hulett plunged by over 60% on Monday morning as it resumed trading on the JSE after a 7-month suspension.
The group had asked the stock exchange to suspend its shares in June 2019 after it uncovered accounting irregularities that resulted in inflated assets and profits. The probe lead to the restatement of the group’s September 2018 results.
4. Petrol and diesel price lowers:
South African motorists will be paying 13 cents per litre less for petrol and 5 c/l less for diesel from midnight on Tuesday, according to Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe.
Mantashe, in a statement on Monday, said the main reason for the decrease in the fuel prices was lower global crude oil prices during the period under review.
Price changes, which will come into effect just after midnight on Tuesday, include:
- Petrol (both 93 ULP and LRP): thirteen cents per litre (13.00 c/l) decrease
- Petrol (both 95 ULP and LRP): thirteen cents per litre (13.00 c/l) decrease;
- Diesel (0.05% sulphur): five cents per litre (5.00 c/l) decrease;
- Diesel (0.005% sulphur): five cents per litre (5.00 c/l) decrease;
5. Chinese shares slump:
Buckle up for another tough day on the markets: Overnight, Chinese shares slumped almost 8% after Hong Kong shut its border crossings to mainland China.