Stay informed and up to date with all the latest news in
South Africa by reviewing major headlines on Wednesday 11 March 2020.
As Eskom’s operational capacity shudders following a dire
fault at the Koeberg Power Plant outside Cape Town, load shedding ramps up to
Stage 4 at the worst possible time for the South African economy. Questions
still hang over the Health Department’s readiness to combat the spread of the
deadly coronavirus and minister Zweli Mkhize’s transparency over test
protocols. In sports news, the Proteas put in their final preparations ahead of
the ODI against India on Thursday.
Today’s latest news
in South Africa, Wednesday 11 March
Koeberg trips Eskom
up, Stage 4 load shedding implemented
Things have gone from bad to worse at the embattled power
utility. On Tuesday afternoon, after already ratcheting the load shedding
schedule up from Stage 1 to Stage 2 overnight, Eskom announced that, due to a
turbine fault at Koeberg which caused a generating unit to trip, the grid was
placed under severe pressure.
As a result of the major blow to power production and with loss of capacity due to breakdowns nearing 12 000 MW, Eskom was forced to implement Stage 4 load shedding. The beleaguered state owned enterprise, which is already operating at decreased capacity due to an emergency maintenance plan, has been unable to confirm a repair time at Koeberg.
This comes at the worst possible time for the South African
economy, as the oil crash in the Middle East, together with global coronavirus
fears, wreaks havoc on the Rand and local stock exchange.
It’s estimated that Eskom’s load shedding schedule, as a
result of its critical maintenance project, will cost the South African economy
R180 billion over the next 18 months.
SANDF mission to evacuate South Africans from Wuhan underway
An operation led by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) – tasked with rescuing South Africans trapped at the epicentre of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China – has been seen-off by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The mission, to ensure the health and safety of citizens trapped by the deadly coronavirus, was marred by delays, with some reports indicating that army personnel were refusing to partake in the mission.
Late on Tuesday night, a plane packed with soldiers and bound for Wuhan, with instructions to bring 122 South Africans back home, departed OR Tambo International Airport. Officials from the Department of Health also form part of the operation which is expected to return to South Africa on Friday 13 March.
Upon their return, the evacuees and operation personnel will face quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.
Courtroom victory for
Ramaphosa: The final nail in Mkhwebane’s coffin?
Another courtroom defeat for the already-troubled Public
Protector may seal her fate ahead of a landmark parliamentary process. On
Tuesday, the Pretoria High Court determined that, in stark contrast to Public
Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report, President Cyril Rampahosa had, in fact,
not misled Parliament with regards to funding of his CR17 election campaign.
In what has added to a long report card of damning judicial
blows, the court found that Mkhwebane’s investigation into alleged donations by
Gavin Watson of African Global Operations – formerly Bosasa – was both flawed
The presidency released a statement in the wake of the ruling, welcoming the court’s judgement which reaffirmed Ramaphosa’s innocence.
Mkhwebane is due to face a parliamentary process which will
set a protocol for the removal of Chapter 9 institution leaders. It’s alleged
that Mkhwebane has acted unconstitutionally by using her office’s powers to
fight political battles.
EFF’s Godrich Gardee
resigns as a Member of Parliament
Godrich Gardee, former Secretary General of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), confirmed his resignation as an MP on Tuesday, announcing his decision to focus his time and energy as a candidate attorney.
Gardee, who is no stranger to controversy, faced criticism
from with the EFF in the lead-up to the party’s second elective conference. The
long-standing EFF member, who recently qualified as a lawyer, was accused of
being a divisive force within the party.
Vuyani Pambo, the EFF’s national spokesperson, confirmed
that Gardee was working fulltime at Mabuza Attorneys. Importantly, Pambo added
that Gardee would continue to serve on the EFF’s central command team.
CPUT students return
to campus following class closures
Following a brief impasse resulting from the disruption of classes at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), lectures were reinstated on Wednesday as calm was restored. University spokesperson Lauren Kansley confirmed that students were slowly returning to classes and that the atmosphere on campus remained quiet.
Meanwhile, at other universities across South Africa,
student protests continue to force the suspension of lectures. All academic activities
at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) remain suspended following
protests which saw burning tyres and debris block the entrance to the Pretoria
retrenchment consultation process
The business rescue practitioners (BRPs) of South African Airways (SAA) have issued a notice advising employees of the intention to begin retrenchment consultations.
In a statement, the BRPs said they have been engaging with
SAA unions in relation to the process and the intention to begin the
“Our intention has always been to preserve as many jobs as
possible through this process, while still focusing on having a sustainable
airline and platform for growth,” said the business rescue practitioners on
SAA has experienced numerous financial and business
challenges, which resulted in losses of some R26 billion over six years.
“Load factors on the airline have declined steadily from August 2019 to a low of 71% in January 2020. Forward sales have also declined significantly, with all markets showing negative or minimal growth, within a very competitive market,” said the BRPs.
The recent marked decline in travel due to the new
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to further exacerbate matters. (Source: SAnews)
India vs South
Africa: First ODI at Dharamsala – preview
The Proteas are in India to complete the second instalment
of their bilateral engagement with a three-match ODI series.
The series gets underway at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket
Association Stadium in Dharamsala. The city nestled in the foothills of the
Himalayas is one of the most breath-taking places the game of cricket is
South Africa played the very first T20I at the venue but
this will be the Proteas maiden ODI at the HPCA Stadium.
India have played four ODIs at the venue, losing two and
winning two. The side batting second has won three of the four contests at the
Read more here.
forecast, Wednesday 11 March
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