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Monday, April 19, 2010.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon de Ryhove.
Making headlines today:
The long-anticipated unbundling of the power transmission business from State-owned electricity utility Eskom might finally take place over the coming months. This is as the Independent Systems and Market Operator, or ISMO, emerges as a separate entity.
The creation of the ISMO is viewed as an important mechanism to facilitate investment by independent power producers into the power-stressed South African environment. The Department of Energy is currently interrogating the framework for its creation and its possible business structure.
While no decisions have been made, it is understood that it's likely that the ISMO will, eventually, be responsible for both tariff aggregation and transmission operations.
This will be done to ensure that the "conflict of interest" between Eskom as generator and transmitter, as well as the ‘single buyer' of all cogenerated and IPP power, is removed.
The economic impact of the volcanic cloud halting flights across Europe will increase sharply the longer the disruption continues, forcing holiday cancellations, delaying deliveries and reducing jet fuel demand.
African exporters of flowers and vegetables by air to European supermarkets, technology companies relying on "just-in-time" deliveries of components, event organisers and others could all feel the pinch.
Economists say so far that they haven't changed their models or predictions for European growth, hoping normal service could resume this week. But in a worst-case scenario, in which the ash cloud closes European airspace for months, one economist estimates lost travel and tourism revenue alone could knock 1 to 2 percentage points off regional growth as long as it lasts. European growth had been predicted at 1 to 1,5 percent for 2010.
Also making headlines:
The United Transport & Allied Trade Union threatens to down tools at Transnet.
New environmental-impact assessment regulations will come into effect in July this year.
JSE-listed Aveng launches its Namibian seawater desalination plant.
And, fixed-line telecommunications operator Telkom offers managers voluntary early retirement packages.
That's a round up of news making headlines today.