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Thursday, March 5, 2009.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
Making headlines today:
South Africa is confident it can overcome structural and financial challenges to balance a power shortage with climate concerns. It will do this through greater subsidies, tax breaks and clear policies on renewable energy.
Deputy Director General at the Department of Minerals and Energy, Nelisiwe Magubane, said the government is trying to attract larger investments in renewables. Renewable energy is so far largely absent from the country's energy mix.
South Africa depends on coal for 90% of its electricity needs. Moves to diversify to other energy sources have stalled due to a lack of policy framework and incentives for investors.
However, the country's power regulator is drafting a feed-in-tariff to stimulate large-scale investments in renewable energy. A decision is expected by the end of March.
On Thursday, acting Transnet CEO Chris Wells gave the assurance that the State-owned freight logistics group was in good financial shape. He said that Transnet wouldn't be contemplating any retrenchments, despite acknowledging a significant slowdown in demand.
He also re-emphasised that the group remained committed to its 80-billion-rand five-year capital expenditure programme. However, the group was reviewing the funding plan on an ongoing basis, given the change in its revenue outlook, as well as access and pricing constraints on the capital markets.
It was, however, not contemplating any approach to government for assistance or guarantees.
Also making headlines:
Cement producer Afrisam shaves 1-billion-rand off its debt through an opportunistic transaction.
BP considers the legal challenge to the pipeline tariff hike.
Solid wood products group York Timbers suspends its acquisition programme.
And, South Africa's political parties unpack their economic policies.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit engineeringnews.co.za.