Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Eskom’s Q3 plans: Eskom board chair Mpho Makwana says its new transmission company should be operational by Q3 2023. Makwana said an operational transmission company should bring new players to the energy market. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Eskom would be unbundled into three separate units – transmission, generation and distribution – in 2019, with delays drawing widespread criticism as it is seen as crucial to reforming the energy market. [Mail and Guardian].
- DA on Post Office: The DA says it does not want the South African Post Office (SAPO) to receive any more bailouts after the entity was placed under provisional liquidation. National Treasury gave SAPO a R2.4 billion bailout in February, but the DA said the entity should be shut down and not receive any more funds. However, the party said that in the event of further allocation, the money should be used to cover benefit contributions for staff and pensioners and not the entity’s debt. [TimesLive]
- Good news for beer: Dutch brewer Heineken says it will invest over R15 billion to expand its operations in South Africa. The investment aligns with the company’s R38 billion takeover of the Distell group. South Africa’s competition authorities previously said that Heineken could purchase Distell but added that Newco – the company forming from the merger of Heineken South Africa and Namibia Breweries – had to invest in the local breweries and beverages sector. [Moneyweb]
- Tshwane’s R3 billion problem: The City of Tshwane must cut its expenses by at least R3 billion after the National Treasury issued a directive. The city is currently in unfunded status, meaning that its expenditure is greater than its projected revenue. In the adjustment budget presented by Mayor Cilliers Brink, the city said it will attempt to increase tariffs for services such as sanitation and refuse. However, the ANC and EFF have indicated that they will vote against Brink’s budget, citing it as unrealistic. [EWN]
- Markets: South Africa’s rand jumped on Thursday as the dollar fell after US data showed producer prices dropped last month, fuelling expectations that the Federal Reserve is near the end of its rate hiking cycle. Shaun Murison from IG said that a weaker dollar helped lift commodity prices and emerging market currencies. On Friday (14 April), the rand was trading at R18.02/$, R19.96/€, and R22.60/£. Brent crude is trading at $86.41 a barrel. [Nasdaq]
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