Pandemic, loadshedding puts brakes on local manufacturing

JOHANNESBURG – RECOVERY in the manufacturing sector is expected to slow further in early 2021 due to the Covid-19 second wave and the return of loadshedding. Absa on Friday predicted a gloomy picture after its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined further in December dragged by declining employment. Absa said the seasonally adjusted PMI declined to 50.3 index points from 52.6 in November, the lowest level since July 2020. The reading just above 50 index points suggested that growth was levelling off after solid month-on-month gains were recorded in the wake…

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South Africa needs R178bn to help transition from coal, study says

South Africa needs a climate finance transaction of $11 billion (R178 billion) to help the country transition from coal to renewable energy and to soften the blow for communities dependent on the mining and use of the fossil fuel, a University of Cape Town study said. South Africa, through state utility Eskom Holdings, is almost entirely dependent on coal for electricity. The country produces the same quantity of greenhouse gases as the UK, which has an economy eight times larger. “The study envisions a climate finance transaction of $11 billion…

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South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as Eskom monopoly ends

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as Eskom monopoly ends  In addition to improving security of supply, the move will allow the cities to boost their fight against climate change by using power that doesn’t result in the emission of greenhouse gases. Still, it will slash revenue for Eskom, which is struggling to service a $30 billion debt bill. “Internationally many cities are at the forefront of dealing with climate-change disasters and so have adopted proactive climate-change responses,” Lauren Hermanus, director of Adapt, a South African company that provides…

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Eskom, Arcelor Among SA Firms Lacking Emissions Plans

Eskom, which accounts for two-fifths of South Africa’s greenhouse-gas emissions, leads the country’s biggest emitters in its failure to set targets to reduce its impact on the climate, a report shows. The state power utility, which produces most of its electricity from coal, also doesn’t disclose who at the company is responsible for assessing its climate-based risks, the Cape Town-based Centre for Environmental Rights said in a report released on Monday. With its economy heavily dependent on mining and manufacturing, South Africa ranks as the continent’s biggest producer of greenhouse…

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South African Energy Minister Sees Unions Backing Eskom Rescue

South African labor unions that oppose the government’s plans to split embattled state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. into three units will ultimately have to support the reforms, according to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Eskom, which supplies about 95% of the nation’s electricity and is seen as the biggest threat to the economy, is reliant on government bailouts as it struggles under 440 billion rand ($28.6 billion) of debt while reporting annual losses. Mantashe is one of the key officials charged with ensuring that there is…

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Eskom, Sasol emit over half of SA’s greenhouse gas

As South Africa makes efforts to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change, there are two major contributors that produce more than half of its greenhouse gases: Eskom and Sasol. State-owned power utility Eskom, which said it accounts for 42% of the nation’s total greenhouse gases, uses coal to generate most of the country’s electricity and Sasol, which emits 11%, makes fuel and chemicals from the mineral. The companies are South Africa’s two biggest by revenue. Read: Sasol’s South African plants threatened by emission standards South Africa’s emissions by 2025 and…

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AECI blames Eskom for under performance

JOHANNESBURG – AECI yesterday became the latest listed company to point to Eskom’s rolling blackouts earlier in the year for the under performance that underpinned some of its major divisions in the six months to end June.Chief executive Mark Dytor said the division’s Senmin’s overall volumes took a knock year-on-year due to a decrease in off-take of bulk liquid xanthate as a consequence of electricity supply constraints. Dytor said he expected the division to bounce back on lesser interruptions and a conducive international mining environment. He said while narrow reef…

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South Africa allocates extra $4.2 bln for cash-strapped Eskom

  CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – The South African government has made an extra 59 billion rand ($4.24 billion) available to state-owned power utility Eskom over the next two years so it can meet its obligations, a special appropriation bill seen by Reuters on Monday showed. Eskom, which supplies more than 90 percent of the country’s electricity but has implemented severe power cuts this year, fails to generate sufficient profit to meet its debt servicing costs and has required state cash injections to stay afloat. The cash injection, sourced from the…

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Renewable energy programme will not collapse Eskom

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the financial and operational challenges faced by power utility Eskom are not caused by the independent power producer (IPP) programme. Responding to oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday, the President said the IPPs would not collapse Eskom. He said the power utility’s headwinds are as a result of a number of factors – from State capture to poor maintenance of its power plants. “The severe financial and operational challenges currently being experienced by Eskom are not caused by the independent power producers programme, and…

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Can SA solve its energy crisis?

Breaking up Eskom’s vertically integrated model will help turnaround the ailing power utility and create more efficiencies in the energy sector. This is according to panellists at a public discussion recently on the Eskom crisis which was hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) in conjunction with Power Futures South Africa – a platform for inclusive, evidence-based discourse for a just and transformed South African energy sector. Eskom, which supplies 95% of SA’s electricity, is in a severe financial crisis and is struggling to…

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