For all the latest news in South Africa, be sure to review
our wrap of major headlines on Friday 31 January.
As Eskom shudders under the weight of plant breakdowns, resulting from its dismal maintenance programme, another beleaguered state-owned enterprise, South African Airways (SAA), announces a reduced flight plan for February amid growing financial concerns. In sports news, the 2020 Super Rugby season gets underway.
Today’s latest news
in South Africa, Friday 31 January
Eskom implements load
South Africa’s embattled power utility, Eskom, was forced to restart rotational power cuts on Thursday evening, following a sharp spike in breakdowns and dwindling fuel reserves. Eskom, which recently acquired a new CEO in André de Ruyter, has gotten off to the shakiest of starts in 2020 – worryingly, the utility’s problems, and subsequent load shedding schedules, are expected to continue unabated.
This recent bout of powerlessness comes at the worst possible time for the South African economy, with global ratings agencies keeping a steady finger on the pulse of the country’s state-owned enterprises ahead of vital credit announcements.
It seems likely that Eskom’s numerous failings will result in a downgrade which is sure to have far-reaching repercussions for South Africa’s already-frail economic prospects.
SAA cancels flights
after receiving R3.5 billion
Despite receiving a much-needed R3.5 billion lifeline from the
Development Bank of Southern Africa, SAA will still reduce its flight plan in
The national carrier, which was placed under business rescue administration at the end of 2019, has confirmed that 53 domestic and 46 international “low demand” flights would be chopped from February’s roster. SAA has defended the controversial move, arguing that cost-cutting measures need to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
SAA’s business practitioners Les Matuson and Siviwe Dongwana
have endorsed the decision to trim operational expenses.
without compensation: Deadline extended
The deadline for written submissions regarding the amending of Section 25 of the Constitution has been extended for a month, parliament’s ad hoc committee on the issue said on Thursday.
Committee chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga said the committee unanimously resolved to extend the deadline to 29 February 2020.
“This is mainly because the Bill was published over the festive season, and the public did not have sufficient time to comment meaningfully on the Bill. The initial deadline was 31 January 2020,” said the committee via an e-mailed statement.
The aim of the Bill is to amend the constitution so as to,
among other things, provide that where land and any improvements thereon are
expropriated for the purposes of land reform, nil compensation may be payable.
traffickers owe government millions
The seven Chinese nationals, who were arrested for alleged human trafficking in 2019, are believed to owe the Department of Employment and Labour R7 million for contravening various labour laws.
This emerged on Wednesday during the testimony of Gauteng Provincial Chief Inspector (PCI) Advocate Michael Msiza in the bail hearing of the seven in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Msiza, on behalf of the department, submitted a statement requesting that further criminal charges be imposed on the accused for contravention of the labour laws.
Kevin Tsao, Chen Hui, Qin Li, Jiaqing Zhou, Ma Biao, Dai Junying, and Zhang Zhilian were arrested in November 2019 for illegally operating Beautiful City Pty Ltd in Village Deep, in Johannesburg.
The Chinese nationals were arrested during the joint operation by the department’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch, South African Police Services (SAPS), Home Affairs and the Hawks.
The arrests came after the departments received tip-offs
alleging that the Chinese nationals were allegedly involved in the trafficking
of illegal immigrants and subjecting them to forced labour. (Source: SAnews)
Super Rugby: Veteran
Steyn back at flyhalf for Bulls
Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am will lead the Sharks team in their Super Rugby opener with the Bulls at Kings Park, in Durban, on Friday evening, with a number of players set to make their competition debut for both teams.
Ox Nche (loosehead prop), James Venter (flank) and
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (No 8) will all make their Sharks debuts, while there’s also
a number of new faces on the bench.
The home team have a Springbok-laden backline, consisting of Springbok Rugby World Cup winners Makazole Mapimpi (left wing), Sbu Nkosi (right wing) and Am (outside centre), as well as fellow Springboks André Esterhuizen (inside centre) and Curwin Bosch (flyhalf).
The Bulls welcome back former Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn,
35, who last played for the Pretoria outfit in 2013 and is the only three-time
Super Rugby champion that remains within the South African circuit. His duel
with Bosch is bound to play a key role in the outcome of the match. (Source: ANA)
‘Fit’ Lungi Ngidi potential boost for Proteas ahead of England ODI series
Proteas bowling speed star Lungi Ngidi is unlikely to play a part in the One Day International (ODI) series against world champions England, despite being declared fit.
The fast bowler missed the recent Test series between the two nations after suffering a hamstring strain while doing duty for the Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League.
He has since been enrolled in a conditioning and high-performance camp along with fellow internationals Tabraiz Shamsi and Jon-Jon Smuts, as well as uncapped Warriors quick Sisanda Magala.
According to Cricket South Africa (CSA), Ngidi will join the Proteas camp throughout the duration of the three-match ODI series while working with conditioning coach Tumi Masekela.
The 23-year-old, however, is still in line to make the squad for the subsequent T20 Internationals taking place from Wednesday 12 February.
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