Today's Big Stories

Load shedding returns - zero guarantees for the end of the week

The return of load shedding: Eskom has implemented Stage 1 load shedding today from 11 am to 10 pm, due an indication, with Eskom noting that the amount of demand from the national grid currently exceeds the supply end. Joburg City Power Spokesperson, Sol Masolo:

We always had the loadshedding scare hanging about us, and Eskom have advised us that they have now implemented Stage 1 loadshedding now. We are already starting to communicate with our customers via our Twitter account. We are able to stick to our load shedding schedule at the moment. Yesterday, Eskom had not been able to advise us that they would have to loadshed, so we won't know what the situation will be for later this week. We are upping our maintenance programme so we can be able to cope with load shedding. We used to own Kelvin power station, which is now privately owned, and we continue to buy power from Kelvin power station.

Protests spread: there have been more incidents of what appears to be xenophobic violence after a shop owner believed to not be South African opened fire on two people at his shop in Langlaagte in the south of Johannesburg last night, killing both. This follows several incidents of public violence in Soweto last week, where officials said they believe this is rampant criminality, while some analysts and others have strongly disagreed with that, claiming this is xenophobic violence. EWN Senior Correspondent, Gia Nicolaides:

Here in Langlaagte, it appears that a looting incident occurred, with eyewitness reports of people in a nearby informal settlement having run from across the industrial area and starting to loot. Police have gone into the informal settlement and seized a lot of stock from these shacks and police will be returning this stock back to the respective foreign shop owners. The residents meanwhile claim that they weren't looting, but that the foreign shop owner had first opened fire and they retaliated with stones. There's quite a big police presence currently and I can count at least 20/30 police cars here. It's understood that he (the shop owner in question) has fled the scene after opening fire and it is understood that he won't be returning here.

Strength in numbers: there has meanwhile been a suggestion on the Friday edition of the Midday Report by Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu that the the reason so many small spaza shops in South Africa were run by foreign nationals was because they had more experience and networks that helped them when they needed help. This morning's Business Day (BD) features a report about how these shops operate and an explanation for why they seem to do so well - written by BD's Carol Paton:

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support that a lot of foreigners generally do well in business, and this is also supported by actual research showing how foreigners borrow from each other within networks and provide support for one another. They also invest more where find your average Somali shop owner will invest about R20 000 in start up capital, whereas your average South African spaza shop owner will invest an average of R1000 in start up capital.

Lolly Jackson murder trial update: with EWN Senior Correspondent, Mandy Wiener:

We expect him (murder accused George Louka) to say that Radovan Krejcir is the man that pulled the trigger. Louka's lawyer says that he's also made other statements about other cases, but he is not saying which cases these are yet. Krejcir is currently behind bars at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria right now for an attempted murder case. Louka is currently at an undisclosed location for his safety.

Gun dump: the Times this morning notes claims that the artillery used by the Boer army during the Boer War may have been dumped into a hole in the Olifants River called Kanongat. University of Pretoria History Professor Johan Pretorius:

When the Transvaal forces were driven eastwards, they were short of ammunition by September 1900 and started destroying their guns, with almost half of their ammunition destroyed. There were still some Boer guns left by the end of the war, but they had to destroy a lot of them as a lot of the ammunition was imported from France and parts of Europe.

New BEE code shake up: a claim this morning that new Black Economic Empowerment codes for smaller firms could put those companies under pressure. CEO of EconoBee, Keith Levenstein:

The codes are going to be very difficult and the average small business is going to drop down 3 or 4 levels and struggle to remain complaint. It will make business a little more difficult for smaller businesses with an average turnover of between R10-50 million - which is a large part of the population - unless they take fairly quick action. It's not too difficult to remain compliant, but they need to act quickly. There's been confirmation to implement these new BEE codes by May this year, which doesn't give too many businesses too much time.

Hlongwa claims: there's been a claim in the last hour in Johannesburg from the DA’s Health Spokesperson in Gauteng Jack Bloom that the province’s former Health MEC Brian Hlongwa awarded tenders corruptly:

It's based on new court papers, but of course, they are allegations. I wish the process would take it's course, because this has been happening for a long time over 5 years and it's getting deeper and deeper and Mr Brian Hlongwa is still the ANC Chief Whip in Gauteng and the Premier who constantly talks about cleaning out corruption, needs to do something. I raised this 6 years ago, asking how he could afford a R7,2 million house in Bryanston and I feel vindicated now by the (existence of this) case. I am only saying what's in the court documents and I wish he (Hlongwa) would have his day in court, because the Hawks have been investigating this for the last 5 years.

US-India nuclear talks: in India - US President Barak Obama was in the position of chief guest of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an annual defence parade of military hardware, on Sunday. EWN India Correspondent, Venkat Narayan:

It's a very important visit because the US President is the executive authority who would oversee the supply of American equipment to Indian nuclear plants. Because of the (December 1984) Bhopal gas tragedy - in which an American company was involved and many Indians died, Indians have now come up with an insurance pool and it will pave the way for American equipment to be in India.

Vinyl vibes: some reports over Christmas – but again over the weekend - claiming that long playing records or vinyl LP’s are still selling well and have had a bit of a resurgence. MD of Fresh Music and the host of Solid Gold, Benjy Mudie:

The hip factor has made it very fashionable to play vinyl. Another thing is the music factor, with a lot of young people turning away from dispensable and disposable music that's being produced nowadays, wanting to turn to say a Led Zepellin for example. A vinyl is a very visceral experience, that you can physically hold, wipe and play. New vinyl is being made now for the first time in decades, there have been a lot of new South African bands that are recording in analogue to release on vinyl. I've been collecting vinyl all my life, it never died!


This article first appeared on 702 : Load shedding returns - zero guarantees for the end of the week


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