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State Companies News

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables  

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2020 Organised business, labour, community and government have officially signed a social compact in support of debt-laden Eskom that also endorses the need for a “just transition” for coal workers and communities as the electricity system begins to transition to higher levels of renewable energy and... 

South Africa offers bankrupt airline’s staff less than legally required 

By: Bloomberg     8th December 2020 The Department of Public Enterprises has asked workers at the bankrupt national airline to accept three months’ pay rather than the eight months they are entitled to by labour law and the terms of a business rescue plan, according to a labour union leader. The offer was made at the weekend and... 

South Africa offers bankrupt airline’s staff less than legally required

Seifsa calls for moratorium on power hikes as Eskom makes case for cost-reflectivity 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2020 Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) used the platform created by ongoing National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) hearings to call for a moratorium on additional electricity tariff hikes, arguing that further increases would undermine the country’s... 

Seifsa calls for moratorium on power hikes as Eskom makes case for cost-reflectivity

Government urges SAA employees to be patient while it resolves unpaid salaries   

By: African News Agency      4th December 2020 South Africa’s department of public enterprises said on Friday it was sympathetic to the plight of South African Airways employees who have not received salaries for several months and urged them to be patient while it worked to find a solution. The financially struggling state-owned national... 

 Government urges SAA employees to be patient while it resolves unpaid salaries

Sasol's rights issue and 2.0 transformation programme  

4th December 2020 Sasol is still mulling over whether or not to proceed with a rights issue to help it deal with its debt burden. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses this and the ‘Sasol 2.0’ transformation programme. 

Sasol's rights issue and 2.0 transformation programme
Sasol's right issue and 2.0 transformation programme

Govt gives SAA R1.5bn, but administrators say they can't use it

By: Reuters     3rd December 2020 Administrators for South African Airways, which has been under a form of bankruptcy protection for a year, said on Thursday that they had received R1.5-billion from the government but that they could not use it yet. The administrators said in a statement that conditions on how the R1.5-billion... 

Govt gives SAA R1.5bn, but administrators say they can't use it

Land Bank creditor urges South Africa to speed up rescue efforts

By: Bloomberg     3rd December 2020 South Africa’s National Treasury and the state-owned Land and Agricultural Development Bank are being accused of dragging their heels in negotiating a rescue package for the stricken lender, leaving creditors in the dark as debt repayments loom. Asset managers and other lenders are yet to receive... 

SA Supreme Court dismisses Airlink’s claim against national carrier SAA   

By: African News Agency      1st December 2020 Privately owned airline Airlink said on Tuesday it was disappointed, but respected the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss its claim against South African Airways. Airlink, which services the southern Africa region, applied to the Johannesburg High Court in January for a declaratory... 

 SA Supreme Court dismisses Airlink’s claim against national carrier SAA

Eskom to be charged with misleading regulator over pollution

By: Bloomberg     30th November 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s State power utility, said it will be charged with supplying misleading information to the national air quality officer as well exceeding emissions limits at the Kendal coal-fired power plant and breaching its Atmospheric Emission License. “Eskom can confirm it has... 

Agri SA calls for govt aid as Land Bank is too important to fail

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th November 2020 Industry organisation Agri SA has warned that the action by Moody’s Investor Service to lower the Lank Bank and Eskom’s respective ratings pose a risk to food security and overall economic recovery in South Africa. It says Moody’s downgraded the State-owned Land Bank as a result of ongoing... 

SA's prospects for future coal projects 

27th November 2020 The role of new coal in South Africa’s electricity mix is coming under increasing scrutiny, with Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter the latest to question whether it can indeed be built. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the prospects for future coal projects. 

SA's prospects for future coal projects
SA's prospects for future coal projects

SA govt funding for SAA business rescue will not hurt other services, Mabuza says  

By: African News Agency      27th November 2020 South Africa’s government will do all it can to minimise any adverse impact that the re-prioritisation of budget allocations to free up R10.5-billion towards national carrier South African Airways’s business rescue might have on other services, Deputy President David Mabuza has said. The... 

Deputy President David Mabuza
Deputy President David Mabuza

Speed up SAA restructure so it can continue key role in Africa - aviation official 

By: News24Wire      26th November 2020 The regional representative of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for the SA government to speed up its contribution to assist the airline in restructuring. He says South African Airways (SAA) and South Africa have played a major role in the growth of aviation in... 

Speed up SAA restructure so it can continue key role in Africa - aviation official

South Africa could sell shares in restructured national airline  

By: Bloomberg     25th November 2020 South Africa could offer to sell shares in the bankrupt national airline to the public as part of an ambitious new plan to revive the carrier outlined by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. The government could bring the various parts of the South African Airways group into one company that would be... 

South Africa could sell shares in restructured national airline

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed 

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has again called on government to open the way for the procurement of more new electricity capacity in addition to the 11 800 MW outlined in a recently gazetted Ministerial determination, cautioning that the 1 500 MW of new coal included in the determination is unlikely... 

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

Nersa sets Feb 5 deadline for written comment on proposed nuclear determination 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has given stakeholders until February 5 to comment on a Section 34 determination received from Minerals Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe for the procurement of new nuclear capacity post-2030. The draft determination delivered to... 

Nersa sets Feb 5 deadline for written comment on proposed nuclear determination

CEF, SFF welcome High Court decision on sale of strategic crude oil reserves

20th November 2020 The Central Energy Fund (CEF) and its subsidiary, the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), have welcomed the Western Cape High Court's judgment in reversing the 2015 sale of South Africa's strategic crude oil reserves. The CEF stated that the "landmark victory" was the culmination of a series of court... 

Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition  

20th November 2020   Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about plans by Eskom to repurpose and repower three coal-fired power stations that are due for decommissioning, why it is important for creating a just transition framework and the need for South Africa to determine... 

Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition
Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology 

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2020 The World Bank reports that Eskom’s large-scale battery energy storage initiative, which will involve the installation of  battery energy storage systems (BESS) across up to eight sites, is being treated as a “flagship” initiative by the global development finance institution, which has committed... 

The Skaapvlei site, with the Sere wind farm in the background
The Skaapvlei site, with the Sere wind farm in the background

SAA rescue plan meant to address past sins, not lay out the airline's future - BRP 

By: News24Wire      19th November 2020 The business rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) is not intended to formulate a strategy for the future of the airline, according to Siviwe Dongwana, one of the state-owned flag carrier's joint rescue practitioners. Formulating a strategy for a "new SAA" would be the prerogative of a new... 

Proposal to nationalise central bank sends 'negative signal' – Treasury 

By: Reuters     18th November 2020 South Africa's treasury does not support a private member's bill seeking to nationalise the central bank, a senior official said on Wednesday during the first day of public hearings on an issue that has rattled investors in the recession-hit economy. The bill to change the ownership of the South... 

Proposal to nationalise central bank sends 'negative signal' – Treasury

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom expects to complete its socioeconomic impact studies by the end of March for the planned shutdown of the Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina power stations, in Mpumalanga, which are the first of ten coal plants scheduled for decommissioning by 2040. The decommissioning... 

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world 

13th November 2020 Financially and environmentally beleaguered energy and chemicals group Sasol is working to reset its business for a low-carbon world. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the emerging strategy. 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world
Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world

Consultancy laments construction sector decline

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th November 2020 The construction sector experienced a significant contraction in terms of the change in value added to the gross domestic product year-on-year in quarter two of 2020, at -30.7%, compared to -2.2% in quarter one of 2020 and -0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

CONTRADICTORY MUCH? 
There is a paradox in the South African construction sector of large construction firms collapsing amid a housing backlog of about 2.3-million units
CONTRADICTORY MUCH? There is a paradox in the South African construction sector of large construction firms collapsing amid a housing backlog of about 2.3-million units

Pandemic challenges exacerbated for industry

13th November 2020 While construction sites were able to reopen in early May for civil projects, ongoing delays in terms of both the public sector being slow to change gears and client’s additional regulations around health and safety, have exacerbated challenges for both property development and construction... 

COVID-19 CONUNDRUM 
The Power Group’s construction arm has been hit with challenges no one could have foreseen with Covid-19
COVID-19 CONUNDRUM The Power Group’s construction arm has been hit with challenges no one could have foreseen with Covid-19

Gordhan: Private equity partners will not take on SAA's debt or restructuring costs 

By: News24Wire      12th November 2020 South African Airways has received interest from several private equity partners and a transaction advisor has been appointed to engage with parties in a process which could be wrapped up either in December this year or early 2021, said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The minister on... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Reuters
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Nersa to consider nuclear-determination consultation request at upcoming meeting  

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee (ELS) will consider a request for consultation on concurrence with a Section 34 Ministerial determination for the procurement of 2 500 MW of nuclear capacity when it meets on Wednesday November 11. Fulltime member... 

Fulltime member of the regulator for electricity regulation Nhlanhla Gumede
Fulltime member of the regulator for electricity regulation Nhlanhla Gumede

Eskom Political Task Team remains concerned about debt owed to the utility 

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th November 2020 The Eskom Political Task Team has agreed that all avenues should be explored to deal with the utility's debt challenge, including dealing with the underlying causes; for example inefficiencies, cost overruns, misappropriation of funds, cash losses due to unpaid debt by municipalities and other... 

SAA's R10.5bn bailout does not cover aircraft lessors, other creditors  

By: Reuters     6th November 2020 Debts to aircraft lessors and some creditors of South African Airways are not covered by a R10.5-billion government bailout, administrators said, raising the prospect that future state budgets will have to keep paying out for SAA. South Africa's government allocated the latest cash injection to... 

SAA's R10.5bn bailout does not cover aircraft lessors, other creditors

Eskom's losses, tariffs back in the spotlight 

6th November 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about power utility Eskom's unsustainable debt position and financial loss and the tariff increases it is seeking.  

Eskom's losses, tariffs back in the spotlight
Eskom's losses, tariffs back in the spotlight

Ramaphosa urges new council to work quickly on rescuing struggling SA state firms 

By: African News Agency      6th November 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wants a council he appointed in June to work quickly towards repositioning struggling state-owned enterprises as effective instruments of economic transformation and development, his office said late on Thursday. The Presidential State-owned Enterprises... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa eases defence firm Denel's bailout terms 

By: Reuters     6th November 2020 South Africa's government has eased the terms of a R576-million bailout given to state defence company Denel for the financial year that ends in March 2021, officials told Reuters. Denel, which makes military equipment for South Africa's armed forces and export, has faced a liquidity crisis and... 

South Africa eases defence firm Denel's bailout terms

Eskom says it needs R23bn more from tariffs in 2021 to remain a going concern  

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom argued on Thursday that it required additional revenue of R23-billion for the upcoming financial year to remain a going concern and told the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) that further tariff increases, beyond the 5.22% already approved for... 

Eskom says it needs R23bn more from tariffs in 2021 to remain a going concern

Gordhan: 'No winners' if SAA should be liquidated 

By: News24Wire      5th November 2020 Avoiding the liquidation of South African Airways will ensure the aviation market remains competitive and it means consumers won't be forced to be price takers, said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. SAA was placed in business rescue in early December 2019; the process has been ongoing... 

Embattled SA post office searching for an expert to turn things around, says Ndabeni-Abrahams  

By: News24Wire      3rd November 2020 Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says the government is looking for an expert to fix the SA Post Office. SAPO's turnaround plan will be similar to the recovery plan which is being implemented at the SABC. On Tuesday, Ndabeni-Abrahams told Parliament's Portfolio Committee on... 

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Numsa, Sacca, welcome bailout for SAA and attacks its critics

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd November 2020 Two trade unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) have jointly welcomed the announcement that the government is to provide funding of R10-5-billion to financially-embattled State-owned national flag carrier South... 

Eskom introduces 400 kV transmission line construction project to municipalities

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has introduced its project for the construction of the 282 km of 400 kV transmission line, with associated feeder and transformer bays, which will be construction between the Gromis substation, in the Northern Cape, and the Juno substation, in the Western Cape. The... 

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