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Friday, April 9, 2010.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Brindaveni Naidoo.
Making headlines today:
The World Bank has approved a controversial 3,75-billion-rand loan for the development of a coal-fired power plant by South African State-owned utility Eskom. This is despite the lack of support from major shareholder countries.
The US, the Netherlands and Britain said they abstained from supporting the loan because of environmental and other concerns about the project.
Eskom has defended the development of the 4 800 megawatt Medupi plant, in the northern Limpopo region, saying it is critical to ease the country's chronic power shortages as well as to ensure electricity flows to neighboring states.
The World Bank said the loan would help South Africa achieve a reliable electricity supply.
The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) says that it'll double its investment to produce a new-generation pick-up at its Pretoria plant, as well as the new Puma diesel engine at its Struandale plant, in Port Elizabeth, from 1,5-billion-rand to 3-billion-rand.
FMCSA president and CEO Jeff Nemeth says that the added funding will be used to increase the level of mechanisation at the plants, and to facilitate further local component development.
Assembly of the "next-generation global compact pick-up" will start in the second half of next year, with the engine plant starting production of the Puma engine in early 2011.
Also making headlines:
Work on the Automotive Investment Scheme, which forms part of government's new Automotive Production and Development Programme, is practically completed.
The skills shortage is still regarded as the number one retention challenge.
And, Department of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies confirms that the State's complaint against ArcelorMittal's steel surcharge has been lodged.
That's a round up of news making headlines today.