March seven, 2008
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Shannon O'Donnell.
In the news making headlines today:
South Africa will allow its mines to increase their power consumption from 90 percent to 95 percent of normal use, minerals and energy ministerial spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said on Thursday.
He said the decision was taken because of the negative impact power rationing was having on the mining sector, which is crucial to Africa's biggest economy.
Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger has told Reuters that the utility will accommodate the mines, but said it would put pressure on the system, and increase the likelihood of load shedding.
New ANC president Jacob Zuma has called for common ground to be found on the prickly issue of affirmative action.
Addressing a largely white Afrikaner gathering on Thursday night, hosted by trade union Solidarity, which is strongly opposed to the policy of affirmative action, Zuma was quoted by Sapa as saying that their concerns should be taken seriously.
The consortium building the Gautrain rapid rail project, which is set to begin operating in phases from mid-2010, is working with Johannesburg's City Power and national power utility Eskom, to ensure that its three hundred-million rand tunnel boring machine is not impacted on by load shedding, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
Bombela spokesperson Chantal Ramcharam says that it is communicating with City Power so that the municipal power firm will load shed during the machine's maintenance, and that the machine will be maintained during load shedding.
South Africa will continue engaging with the European Union to ensure that new trade agreements with African countries do not harm regional integration, President Thabo Mbeki said on Thursday.
Africa's biggest economy has criticised the economic partnership agreements designed to open up trade, and has not signed a pact that has been accepted by other members of the Southern African Customs Union.
Cabinet has approved the eight comma six billion rand Moloto rail-road corridor development initiative, that will see the provision of an integrated transport link between Gauteng and Mpumalanga, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said at a briefing in Cape Town, on Thursday.
An environmental impact assessment is expected to start shortly, and all affected municipalities will be required to update their integrated development plans and integrated transport plans, to ensure alignment with this initiative, Maseko explained.
Also making headlines today:
Power utility Eskom said its climate-change strategy was continuously evolving
January PPI quickens, increasing the likelihood of rate hikes
South Africa's first black billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, makes the Forbes rich list
Barloworld delists on three European exchanges
Top miners move to establish palladium as a jewellery brand
And, Diamond junior, Diamcor Mining, enters into a joint venture with a black investor
That's a round up of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories, visit engineeringnews.co.za, miningweekly.com and polity.org.za