March fourteen, 2008
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Irma Venter.
In the news making headlines today:
State-owned utility, Eskom, made a commitment on Thursday to limit its unplanned outages to a maximum of two thousand five hundred mega watts, as South Africa enters a new phase of power rationing.
Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with key industrial users and municipalities, CEO Jacob Maroga, said that the country still needed to save three thousand mega watts between March and July, but that this would have to be divided more equally than it had during the stabilisation phase between February and March.
South Africa's mining output dropped by ten comma seven percent during January, compared with the figure for the same month in 2007, official data showed on Thursday.
This took the country to mine output levels last seen in early 2003.
Gold production took the biggest knock, being sixteen comma five percent down, after safety shutdowns and the power crisis curbed output, government's statistic agency Statistics South Africa reported. Platinum group-metals' output declined by fifteen comma nine percent, while coal production fell by twelve comma five percent on a year-on-year basis.
Diversified miner Rio Tinto, is in discussions with the South African government to review the timing of its planned aluminium smelter at Coega, in the Eastern Cape, in light of the country's power shortage, the company said on Thursday.
"A team, consisting of members from government, Rio Tinto, and Eskom, are reviewing the terms of the project in order to align its timing with the availability of secure power generation capacity from Eskom," Rio Tinto said in a statement.
The company inherited the two comma seven billion dollar project when it bought Canadian aluminium producer, Alcan, last year.
Government will table draft legislation intended to regulate the private health sector, including private hospitals, within two months, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Wednesday.
She told the National Assembly that it was clear that the government could not sustain unregulated private health care service delivery in this country, and at the same time regulate the medical schemes industry.
The department had been working to draft legislation to present to the Assembly that will enable it to contain costs, prevent bad business practices, and protect the consumer.
Also making headlines today:
Maize price misconceptions are distorting South Africa's biofuels strategy
New R250-million international aviation centre for Cape Town
Government's 2010 World Cup unit's Director General steps down
Uranium One declines to comment on reports of job cuts
ArcelorMittal files lawsuit over Canadian iron-ore acquisition
South African court reserves judgment on Zuma case
And, Chad and Sudan leaders sign a peace pact in Dakar
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za, miningweekly.com and polity.org.za