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State Companies News

Eskom mulls alternatives to R300bn emissions-compliance spend  

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2021 Coal-heavy electricity utility Eskom has reiterated its commitment to complying with South Africa’s tightening minimum emission standards, but CEO Andre de Ruyter has also indicated that it is considering capital-light alternatives, as well as noncoal repowering solutions to meet its obligations,... 

Maintenance progress alone insufficient to eliminate load-shedding risk amid 4 GW deficit   

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter insisted on Monday that, despite a recent return to load-shedding, progress was being made on the utility’s so-called reliability maintenance programme to improve the performance of the coal fleet to the point where the risk of rotational power cuts would be materially... 

Andre de Ruyter and Jan Oberholzer
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter on the 4GW supply gap and what solutions could be used to help close it. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Mbalula joins PRASA launch of People’s Responsibility to Protect initiative

By: Yvonne Silaule     15th March 2021 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on March 15 joined Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane in Pretoria for the launch of the People’s Responsibility to Protect project. The project is aimed at creating partnerships between PRASA and local communities living near... 

Mbalula joins PRASA launch of People’s Responsibility to Protect initiative

Opinion: Addressing the misconceptions around Eskom’s proposed electricity tariff changes

12th March 2021 In this opinion piece, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) COO Niveshen Govender points out that proposed changes to the electricity tariffs charged by Eskom  shows that the utility is moving to a more proactive position that responds to the needs of consumers but also... 

Opinion: Addressing the misconceptions around Eskom’s proposed electricity tariff changes

New report highlights decade of falling electricity production in South Africa  

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2021 A new Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) report offers a sobering picture of declining electricity system production and demand between 2010 and 2020 – a trend that was amplified further during Covid-hit 2020, when demand slumped by a sharp 5.1%, or 11.8 TWh, to a decade low... 

New report highlights decade of falling electricity production in South Africa

Luxury train makes Covid-19 testing mandatory, free for travelers

By: Simone Liedtke     11th March 2021 Rapid antigen testing for Covid-19 has been made mandatory and free for all guests and crew, prior to travelling on the luxury Blue Train, which is operated by State-owned Transnet. The rapid test complements a comprehensive set of precautionary measures administered for the safety and peace of... 

Luxury train makes Covid-19 testing mandatory, free for travelers

PetroSA opaque on job cuts, union says

By: Bloomberg     11th March 2021 A South African labour union asked mediators to force the State oil company PetroSA to provide more information on proposals that may result in 40% of its employees losing their jobs. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) made submissions to the Commission for Conciliation,... 

Denel braces for more losses, denies 'trading recklessly'

By: Reuters     10th March 2021 South Africa's State weapons manufacturer Denel expects to make further losses in its current financial year, it said in a presentation on Wednesday as its acting chair denied the company was trading "recklessly" at a hearing by lawmakers. Denel makes military equipment for South Africa's armed... 

Eskom to implement Stage 2 load-shedding until Friday night  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th March 2021 Power utility Eskom says it will implement Stage 2 load-shedding from 17:00 on Wednesday until 23:00 on Friday as the generation capacity is severely constrained. "There is a probability that load-shedding may be implemented at short notice should any further breakdowns occur before then," it... 

Eskom to implement Stage 2 load-shedding until Friday night

S&P sees Eskom debt solution as key to unlocking restructuring  

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2021 Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings sees finding a solution to Eskom’s unsustainable debt position as potentially key to meeting the timelines proposed for the broader restructuring of the State-owned utility into three units of generation, transmission and distribution – an unbundling that is also... 

S&P sees Eskom debt solution as key to unlocking restructuring

Denel allowed another extension to try and comply with Court order 

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2021 Financially-beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel has been granted yet another time extension to try and achieve compliance with the Labour Court order of August 4 last year, the Uasa trade union has reported. The Labour Court had then ruled, in a case brought by the union, that... 

Transnet approaching the courts over controversial contracts to procure 1064 locomotives

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 Transnet officials have worked until midnight to finalise a review application on the controversial contracts related to the procurement of 1064 locomotives, members of Parliament heard. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday was briefed by Transnet officials, including... 

Brian Molefe: I have no regrets that I knew the Guptas

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 Former Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe insisted before the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday that he was not betrayed by the Guptas, and challenged those who felt that his relationship with the controversial family was wrong to present evidence of wrongdoing. Molefe was on... 

Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe

Eskom board to initiate probe into racism allegations against De Ruyter 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th March 2021 The Eskom board has resolved to initiate an investigation into an allegation of racism made against CEO André de Ruyter, indicating in a statement that an independent senior counsel would be appointed to conduct the probe. The counsel, the board said, would be empowered to interview any person... 

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Saldanha Terminal invests R1.2m in additional dust suppressing canons

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 The Saldanha Bulk Terminal, in South Africa, has invested R1.2-million in two additional dust-suppressing cannons that will be used on ship loaders as cargo flows from the chutes to the vessel hatch. The investment is said to be a continued commitment to ensuring a clean operation on the West... 

Dust Suppresor 1
Dust Suppresor 1

NSFAS still faces funding shortfall, cannot yet accommodate first-time university students 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2021 The National Student Financial Aid Scheme is facing a shortfall on its funding for this year and it has, therefore, been unable to confirm funding eligibility for first-time university students. This does not apply to returning NSFAS beneficiary students who meet the academic and other relevant... 

NSFAS still faces funding shortfall, cannot yet accommodate first-time university students

De Ruyter: Suspension of procurement chief will not hobble department 

By: News24Wire      5th March 2021 Eskom CEO André de Ruyter told Parliament on Friday morning that the suspension of the power utility's chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, will not compromise Eskom's ability to stay on top of its procurement deviations and expansions. Tshitangano was suspended for poor performance. On... 

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Labour Court dismisses SAA pilots' application for leave to appeal lockout 

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Labour Court has on Thursday dismissed an application by the SAA Pilots Association for leave to appeal a prior judgment in December 2020 which held that the lock-out of the pilots was lawful and protected in terms of the Labour Relations Act. SAAPA members have been locked out since 18... 

Labour Court dismisses SAA pilots' application for leave to appeal lockout

'Unwarranted attacks' against Eskom could distract management from getting it back on track

By: News24Wire      4th March 2021 The Eskom board has claimed that a number of allegations made in the public and media, including against its CEO Andre de Ruyter, are aiming to influence internal operations and good governance processes at the state power utility.   These allegations and what the board regards as accompanying... 

Suspended Eskom procurement chief raises allegations against De Ruyter in letter to MPs 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2021 The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has received a letter from Eskom's suspended chief procurement officer Solly Tshitangano which levels allegations against CEO André de Ruyter. As a result the committee decided not to proceed with a scheduled meeting on Wednesday, in which it was to be... 

Eskom CEO André de Ruyter
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

Denel board exits linked to lack of budget funds, official says

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 A series of recent resignations from the board of directors of South Africa's state-owned defence company Denel is linked to funding not being made available in the government's 2021 budget, a senior official told Reuters on Wednesday. "There were expectations from the board that there will be... 

Mantashe sees new industries emerging from South Africa’s renewables-led drive to boost electricity supply 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2021 South Africa’s move to increase electricity generation capacity provided a “unique opportunity” for the development of new industries, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said this week. Addressing delegates virtually during Canada’s annual Prospectors and Developers Association... 

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Glencore 'used relationship' with Ramaphosa to 'extort' Eskom, former CEO Brian Molefe claims 

By: News24Wire      2nd March 2021 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has told the State Capture Inquiry that Glencore used its relationship with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who used to be the chairperson of its Optimum coal mine, to try to extort money from the power utility as it renegotiated the terms of its contract. Optimum, which... 

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Labour Court rules dismissal of top Prasa executives was unlawful

By: News24Wire      2nd March 2021 The Labour Court in Johannesburg handed judgment on Tuesday declaring the termination of employment of three Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's executives unlawful. They are former chief operating officer Nkosinathi Khena, former executive for risk and legal compliance Onica Ngoye and former... 

Labour Court rules dismissal of top Prasa executives was unlawful

Denel finance chief quits

By: News24Wire      2nd March 2021 South African State-owned defence company Denel said on Monday that CFO Carmen le Grange had resigned, extending a recent string of resignations that have deepened a crisis at the struggling firm. Last week, Fin24 reported that the company's chief operating officer William Hlakoane was appointed... 

Nersa approves Transnet petroleum tariff

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has set the Petroleum Pipelines System tariff, which will allow State-owned rail entity Transnet to realise an 11.15% decrease in allowable revenue (AR) compared with the 2020/21 tariff period. However, owing to a forecasted reduction in the... 

Eskom bondholders take comfort from guarantee amid rescue talks

By: Bloomberg     1st March 2021 Bondholders of South Africa’s state-owned electricity company are watching the latest round of rescue talks from a distance. Yields suggest they’re confident their money is safe, whether or not the discussions result in a sustainable solution for Eskom Holdings' $32-billion debt pile. Eskom’s... 

No real growth without fixing structural impediments first – Econometrix 

By: Irma Venter     26th February 2021 “The only way out of our economic dilemma is to get this economy to grow faster,” says Econometrix chief economist Dr Azar Jammine. “And, in order to achieve that, we need to address the key structural impediments that have been holding back our economic growth performance.” 

No real growth without fixing structural impediments first – Econometrix

DPE defends SAA vaccine flight to Brussels

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th February 2021 The Department of Public Enterprises has defended the recent flight by a South African Airways aircraft to Brussels, in Belgium, to collect anti-Covid-19 vaccines. State-owned SAA is currently undergoing a controversial business rescue process. The flight was funded by the South African... 

Eskom suspends chief procurement officer over 'non-performance in procurement savings'  

By: News24Wire      26th February 2021 Eskom has suspended its chief procurement officer, Solly Tshitangano, and will be instituting disciplinary action against him, following allegations of poor performance over the last year. Andre de Ruyter, Eskom's group chief executive officer, confirmed to News24 that Tshitangano had been... 

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Denel says two more board members resign

By: Reuters     26th February 2021 State-owned defence company Denel said on Thursday that two board members, including chairwoman Monhla Hlahla, had resigned, days after it said several other board members had resigned. "The recruitment process of the chairperson is underway and the appointment will be communicated to all... 

Manufacturing recovery’s slow pace a concern, Seifsa

26th February 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) is concerned about the slow pace of recovery in the manufacturing sector, as depicted by the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) number of 50.9 last month – lower than the 2020 fourth quarter average. 

MULTIPLIER EFFECT 
The manufacturing sector remains key to the growth and development of South Africa owing to its multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy
MULTIPLIER EFFECT The manufacturing sector remains key to the growth and development of South Africa owing to its multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy

Government commits to improving infrastructure spending 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The 2021 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24, outlines that R93.1-billion has been earmarked for economic regulation and infrastructure, from consolidated government expenditure of R2.02-trillion each year over the medium term. To boost infrastructure spending,... 

Eskom Kusile R745m corruption matter postponed for more than 3 months

By: News24Wire      23rd February 2021 The case against two former Eskom executives who were allegedly involved in a R745-million corruption case at the Kusile power station has been postponed for more than three months.   Former Eskom Group Executive for the Group Capital Division Abram Masango and former contracts manager France... 

NPC underscores importance of developmental State for South Africa  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd February 2021 South Africa’s challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality cannot be changed without a capable, professional, ethical and developmental State, speakers noted during a webinar hosted by government agency the National Planning Commission (NPC) on February 23. The NPC envisages a capable and... 

South Africa needs a capable and developmental State, says the NPC
Dr Pulane Molokwane details what a capable, professional and ethical developmental State entails, as well as the work the National Planning Commission has undertaken in pursuing this.

Unpacking opportunities in Africa’s gas sector

19th February 2021 Africa’s oil and gas potential will grow significantly over the next two decades, driven by population growth, urbanisation and the emergence of a wealthier middle class in Africa, according to the Africa Energy Indaba, which will take place virtually from March 1 to 5. 

OPPORTUNITIES GALORE 
There is no doubt that Africa remains open for exploration by oil and gas companies
OPPORTUNITIES GALORE There is no doubt that Africa remains open for exploration by oil and gas companies

Union blasts Denel directors after worker suicides: still no game plan for recovery 

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th February 2021 Trade union Uasa has reacted strongly to two reported suicides by Denel workers earlier this week. The union described the news as “distressing and heart-wrenching”. It accused the State-owned defence industrial group of “simply looking on” while its unpaid or underpaid employees struggled to pay... 

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