By: Sheila Barradas
3rd November 2008
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Sheila Barradas.
Making headlines today:
The new minister for public enterprises, Brigitte Mabandla, said that South Africa may face fresh power cuts early in 2009. This is because voluntary energy savings have fallen "woefully" below the required 10%.
State-owned utility Eskom has been rationing electricity since January, when the national grid nearly collapsed. The utility provides 95% of the country's power.
The utility has agreed to voluntary cuts with big power consumers to reduce their demand by up to 10% of their normal power requirements. Mabandla said that the risk for power blackouts would rise unless more energy was saved.
She said savings on a voluntary basis were at 2%.
South Africa's monthly trade deficit widened to 7,1-billion rand in September. On Friday, data indicated that the current account deficit will remain large.
The South African Revenue Service said the increase from August's 5,12-billion rand trade deficit was largely due to higher imports of minerals products such as oil, as well as more shipments of machinery and chemical products.
Exports rose 1,12% from the previous month to 61,07-billion rand. Imports rose 4,07% to 68,8-billion rand.
Economists had forecast a shortfall of 4-billion rand.
A wide trade deficit has led to an increase in the current account deficit, which swelled to 7,3% of GDP last year, its widest in nearly four decades.
Also making headlines:
Bus manufacturer Marcopolo South Africa invests 10-million dollars in its Germiston plant.
The Communications Minister loses the Altech appeal.
Mercedes-Benz's South African export plant will remain busy, despite a jittery US car market.
And, the public comment period for the PBMR project is extended.
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit engineeringnews.co.za.
Edited by: Shannon de Ryhove