When it comes to the latest news in South Africa, we’ve got your covered with our morning wrap of major headlines on Thursday 9 January.
As the record-breaking class of 2019 digest their matric exam results, questions surrounding tertiary education, employment opportunities and the mixed reflection on South Africa’s education system dominate the discourse. The ruling African National Congress (ANC), which celebrated its 108th anniversary on Wednesday, is readying itself for a weekend birthday bash in Kimberley, amid concerns that it may be unable to pay salaries in the new year. In sports news, a jam packed event calendar promises to boost the country’s tourism.
Today’s latest news in South Africa, Thursday 9 January
Matric exams results revealed – what happens next?
The class of 2019 has been praised for smashing records, chiefly by achieving an overall pass rate of 81.3%, the highest results since the dawn of democracy. While questions still linger over the relationship between the pass rate and the education system’s proficiency – with opposition parties pointing to a dismally high dropout rate as an example of government’s failures – further concerns regarding employment opportunities have dampened the spirit.
Renewed calls for the ruling ANC to urgently reduce the dismally high unemployment rate – by fostering investor confidence, preparing for the fourth industrial revolution and implementing state-endorsed employment schemes – have, once again, dominated discussions following the release of the NSC matric results.
A recent employment outlook survey for 2020 estimated that work opportunities would enter a five-year low, with only a select few sectors showing notable growth and subsequent openings.
ANC ready to party but may struggle to pay new year salaries
While the ANC readies to paint Kimberley green and gold on Saturday 11 January, employees fear that their salaries will not be paid on time. These renewed concerns, which first emerged in December 2019 year, have been confirmed by party insiders.
Last month, ANC general manager, Febe Potgieter Qubule, notified employees that the party would not be able to settle its salary bill.
It’s been alleged that President Cyril Ramaphosa has been ‘forced’ to bankroll January’s wage bill from his personal wealth. ANC Treasurer General Paul Mashatile had attempted to secure funds from Saudi Arabia but was unsuccessful.
While the party’s top brass party in Kimberly, celebrating 108 years of the ANC, regular staffers are set to sit without a salary for two months in a row. The ANC’s anniversary celebrations are expected to cost in excess of R50 million.
Darker nights: Eskom dims the lights
Eskom’s dismal predicament shows no signs of improving, despite emergency measures being undertaken to mitigate load shedding. Rotational blackouts continued at Stage 2 last night, after the embattled utility reported that additional breakdowns further diminished generational capacity. As a result, Eskom was forced to exhaust its diesel reserves, leaving South Africa at the mercy of load shedding.
Eskom did, however, note that load shedding would be limited to the night time hours in order to minimise its impact on daytime operations. The utility added that the likelihood of load shedding into the weekend remained high.
Karoo rain welcomed, despite flash-flooding in certain areas
The drought-stricken Karoo received a much needed downpour on Wednesday. Despite flash flooding reported in and around Oudtshoorn, residents of the Klein Karoo welcomed the deluge with open arms, especially after a particularly dry 2019.
In the Eastern Cape, which is currently gripped by the country’s worst drought, Aberdeen and Graaff Reinet enjoyed a steady downpour. According to initial reports, almost 70mm of rain was recorded in Adelaide near Fort Beaufort.
SA bow out of ATP Cup despite Kevin Anderson’s tenacious performance
Kevin Anderson of South Africa crowned his comeback with hard-fought, gritty performance to defeat France’s Benoît Paire 2-6 7-6 (1) 7-6 (5) in their ATP Cup Group A No 2 singles match in Brisbane, Australia, on Wednesday.
In the overall scheme of things, the outcome of this match did not have a bearing on SA advancing to the ‘Final Eight’ of the competition after they were whitewashed 3-0 by Serbia in their opener. South stormed back to defeat Chile 3-0 but that was not good enough to secure one of two group runners-up slots that were up for grabs.
As the six group winners (A-F) Australia, Great Britain, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Argentina advanced to the Final Eight in Sydney. They will be joined by the best second-placed teams Belgium and Croatia/Canada. (Source: ANA)
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