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Jul 20, 2009

Daily podcast – July 20, 2009

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This podcast is brought to you by Den Braven sealants - worldwide leaders in professional sealants.

Monday, July 20, 2009.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.

Making headlines today:

South African President Jacob Zuma has named former deputy governor Gill Marcus as head of the central bank from November in a surprise appointment that will likely be welcomed by investors.

Zuma said he'd initially appointed Tito Mboweni for a third five-year term from August, but the governor asked to leave in November.

Marcus served as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank between 1999 and 2004. She was a former activist within the ruling African National Congress and is currently chairperson of banking group Absa,

Analysts said Marcus' appointment may surprise investors who were mostly expecting Mboweni to stay. However, she's well regarded by the financial community.

On Friday, Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu confirmed that there had been some schedule slippages at the 100-billion-rand Medupi project. The project is being developed near Lephalale, in the Limpopo province.

Zulu said that the project was now between "four and six months" behind the "contracted schedule", under which the first unit was initially expected to come on stream by September 2011. But, he stressed that power would still become available during the first quarter of 2012, in line with Eskom's "published schedule".

Zulu said that the project had been affected by recent strike action, and had also been afflicted by climatic and technical factors.

Once completed, Medupi would be the largest dry-cooled, coal-fired generating plant in the world, comprising six units, with a 4 800-MW installed capacity. The 800-MW units would be commissioned in phases.

Also making headlines:

South Africans cut down on electricity consumption to keep up with electricity payments after Eskom's tariff hike.
A South African trade union urges a review of inflation targeting.
MTN seeks a 3,5-billion-dollar loan for Bharti Airtel.
And, Botswana signed a controversial deal with the European Union to protect its commercial interests.

That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit


Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia
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