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Wednesday, March 10, 2010.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Mary-Anne O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
State-owned transport utility Transnet has confirmed that the cost of its new multiproduct petroleum pipeline (NMPP) from Durban to Gauteng has escalated by 2,75-billion-rand to 15,42-billion-rand. It also reports that the project will be completed a full year later than initially scheduled.
The new NMPP network was initially expected to cost 12,67-billion-rand, and will now only be completed by December 20, 2012, instead of December 20, 2011.
Transnet Capital Projects head Neville Eve said that the cost escalations and schedule slippages were a function of the fact that the project had proceeded while still in prefeasibility stage in the interests of guaranteeing inland security of supply.
CEO Chris Wells said that the higher costs would be financed through a combination of internally generated resources and debt finance, noting that the company currently had 7-billion-rand cash on hand.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) MD Dominique Strauss-Kahn has warned South Africa that devaluing the rand would be a "very short-sighted" move for South Africa to make.
Local union federation Cosatu, an ally of the ruling ANC, has called on the central bank to widen its inflation targeting mandate and wants a much weaker rand to help boost local industries and create jobs.
Strauss-Kahn said any policy measures that led to a weakening of the rand would scare off the foreign investors and capital that are needed to fund the country's current account deficit.
The rand gained about 30% against the dollar in 2009 and is considered relatively strong at its current levels of around 7-rand-40 to the dollar.
Also making headlines:
Namibia plans to adopt nuclear power as a source of energy over the next 15 to 20 years.
Business confidence returns to pre-crisis levels.
Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel will serve on a high-level United Nations Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing.
And, South Africa will consider reinstating import duties for aluminium on economic grounds.
That's a round up of news making headlines today