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5 important things happening in South Africa today



Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

  • Eskom embracing renewables: Eskom is launching the second phase of its land-lease programme, adding up to 500MW of renewable energy to the grid. Eskom is leasing four parcels of its available land in Mpumalanga, which is located near energy infrastructure, eliminating the requirement to build further grid connections. The first phase of the program was signed last year and is expected to generate 1,800MW of renewable energy.

  • South Africa needs these skills: President Cyril Rampahosa says South Africa needs to broaden access to technical and vocational training, as these are skills that South Africa sorely needs. The President said that he wants subjects in agriculture, maritime and nautical sciences, and electrical, civil and mechanical technologies introduced at schools across the country, as these are vocations that the economy requires more.

  • Sugar crisis: The South African Cane Growers Association is calling on the government to introduce short-term measures to reduce the effects of load shedding on the sugar industry.   According to the association, the industry is set to lose R800 million this year due to the energy crisis. The agriculture sector has been severely affected by load shedding, with many concerned that food prices will increase.

  • New interim Johannesburg mayor: Councillor Thapelo Amad from AL Jama-ah is set to stand as the Mayor of Johannesburg for the ANC-led coalition later today, but only on an interim basis. In a motion of no confidence yesterday, the DA’s Mpho Phalatse was ousted as Johannesburg Mayor. The decision came after the DA-led coalition failed to negotiate with the Patriotic Alliance (PA), who wanted two mayoral committee portfolios.

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand weakened on Thursday after the central bank raised its main lending rate by 25 basis points to 7.25%, less than expected by most economists polled by Reuters. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) played it cautiously with the latest rate hike, suggesting it is nearing the end of a tightening cycle that started in November 2021, analysts said. On Friday (27 January), the rand was trading at R17.25/$, R18.75/€, and R21.36/£. Brent crude is trading at $87.83 a barrel.
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