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Happening in South Africa today: Load shedding, EFF protest, Digital Vibes




It’s a busy day in the South Africa news cycle. The Economic Freedom Front (EFF) is planning a protest, fuel price sparks concern, and stage 2 load shedding is back.

Meanwhile, motorists fearing another fuel price hike are fearing the worst. However, while some experts predict the price could skyrocket to R40 in due course, others disagree.

Here’s a quick recap.

South Africa news today: 8 March

Load shedding here again

Don’t shoot the messenger but load shedding is back.

Eskom on Monday said it will be implementing stage 2 load shedding “due to multiple unit failures” at Medupi Power Station, and units going offline at Matla, Kendal, Matimba, Kusile and Grootvlei.

“This, in addition to other units that had tripped during the weekend, reduced available generation capacity and forced Eskom to rely heavily on emergency generation reserves to keep the lights on.”

South Africans will have to navigate load shedding and rolling blackouts until 5am on Wednesday 5am.

“Just last week we were talking about a possible increase to R25 per litre and now we are talking about R40. The fuel price will depend on how strong the rand is,” he says.

Fuel price uncertainty in South Africa

André Thomashausen, an emeritus professor of international law at Unisa, said the fuel price reaching R40 price per litre is a worst-case scenario for South Africa.

If this happens, it could severely hinder South Africa’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery and have a “devastating effect on all the parameters of the current budget”.

However, Economist Dawie Roodt said that despite the oil traders’ forecasted $200 oil price not being totally impossible, this massive price would probably not be here to stay.

He said there are many other alternatives, “Americans are already talking to the Venezuelans, and Venezuela is currently under sanctions.”.

Then again, Prof. Jannie Rossouw, visiting professor at the Wits Business School, said the fuel price reaching R40 per litre is not as unlikely as we would like to think.

READ MORE: Fuel price reaching R40 per litre not as unlikely

EFF protests

EFF members will gather at the Randburg Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning at 8am.

From there, the party’s Deputy Secretary-General Poppy Mailola will lead a protest against a Bolt E-Hailing Driver accused of raping passengers.

The party said this comes after “national concerns about the failure of Bolt to conduct adequate security checks on its drivers and widespread abuse of female passengers”

“There is no safe place for women. Public transport remains a notorious place for men to sexually assault and abuse women who use it”, the party said on Monday.

International Women’s Day – ‘Break The Bias’

International Women’s Day – observed on 8 March) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

This year’s theme – Break the Bias – illustrates how biases still exist and highlights an important issue: without taking action, we create more barriers for women to overcome.

Career Development Officer Paige M McDonough says: “Some biases may be subtle or even unconscious, meaning the preferences are so deeply ingrained that it is hard to recognise that they exist”.

“This unconscious bias can be gauged through online implicit bias assessments offered by organisations such as Project Implicit, a not-for-profit organisation founded by a group of scientists with the aim of educating the public about biases”.

Icasa’s Spectrum Auction

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA/) said it “stands ready for the much-anticipated and long-awaited” Spectrum Auction today.

The International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) – also referred to as high demand-spectrum, in include six qualified bidders for auction.

“We appreciate the way bidders participated in the seminar and the extensive engagement in that regard. This is exemplary of the commitment and positive spirit we all require during this delicate period”, says ICASA Chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

SIU vs Digital Vibes

The Special Tribunal will hear the joinder application in the Digital Vibes cases today.

The respondents are opposing the application and have filed their Heads of Argument as per the outcomes of several case management meetings preceding the hearing of the joinder application.

However, the SIU obtained evidence showing that the respondents “are all recipients of monies deriving from the impugned transactions” between the health department and Digital Vibes.

N2 Nodal Development project in the EC

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, is expected to conduct an oversight visit to the N2 Nodal Development project in the Eastern Cape.

The Minister will visit the project located in Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, on Tuesday.

The N2 Nodal Development forms part of the Infrastructure Investment Plan approved by the Cabinet in May 2020. It was gazetted as Strategic Integrated Project 24e, in line with the Infrastructure Development Act in July 2020.

The Infrastructure Investment Plan forms a central part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) aimed at stimulating economic growth and job creation, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October 2020.

In world News

By AFP.

Russia to open Ukraine ‘humanitarian routes’

Russia planned to open humanitarian corridors in Ukraine Tuesday for civilians to flee besieged cities, but Kyiv insisted the move was a publicity stunt and people would not be able to escape.

Moscow’s offer to evacuate residents was condemned because most of the routes led into Russia or its ally Belarus, and as the invading forces maintained a devastating shelling campaign.

The Ukrainian military said Tuesday, nearly two weeks into the war, that Russia was ramping up its troops and equipment around the main conflict zones.

Australia flood toll rises to 20

The death toll from week-long floods battering Australia’s east coast rose to 20 on Tuesday, after the bodies of a man and a woman were discovered in floodwaters in Sydney.

Police said it was “suspected” the pair is a missing mother and son whose car was abandoned in a stormwater canal.

Tens of thousands of Sydney residents have been told to evacuate their homes as severe storms and flash flooding inundated swathes of Australia’s largest city Tuesday.

Scuba divers help preserve historic Bangkok mansion

A 200-year-old Chinese mansion in Bangkok’s heart isn’t an obvious place for a scuba school, but in a city relentlessly demolishing its architectural heritage the business is helping preserve the historic home.

Dive instructor Poosak Posayachinda’s family has owned the traditional teak-walled So Heng Tai for eight generations, but it lives on thanks largely to his decision to convert it into a scuba academy.

The survival of the building, originally built as a home and office for the family business trading birds’ nests with China, is a rare success story in a city that harbours little sentiment — or legal protections — for historic architectural gems.

Repression of women on rise in rebel-held Yemen

Her voice shaking, 26-year-old Balqees recounts her ordeal at a Huthi rebel checkpoint in northern Yemen, where experts say repression of women is rampant after years of civil war.

“There is no limit to their shame,” she said, asking to use a pseudonym for fear of reprisal.

The Huthis, from the Zaidi Shiite sect of Islam, whose traditional stronghold is Yemen’s mountainous north, control the capital Sanaa as well as swathes of the country.

Happening in SA Parliament today

  • Standing Committee on Appropriations: Comments by the Parliamentary Budget Office on the 2022 Division of Revenue Bill
  • Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs: Progress report by KZN Province on addressing the challenges raised in the Auditor-General’s Special Report on financial management government’s Covid-19 initiatives
  • Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy: Briefing by the Parliamentary Legal Service on the recent High Court decision relating to the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP); Providing a clear way forward to the PCMRE, relating to its envisaged Inquiry, taking into consideration the recent court outcome
  • Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Briefing on an Updated Status Report on Implementation of Portfolio Committee Recommendations on an Oversight Visit to KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape (February 2021)
  • Portfolio Committee on Communications: Briefing by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and their entities on the 2021/22 First
  • and Second Quarter Expenditure and Financial Reports
  • Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry: Response from the DTIC and Adv. vd Merwe on submissions received wrt the Copyright Amendment Bill [1]
  • Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture: Briefing by Softball South Africa on their financial report, township and rural developmental programmes, governance and related matters;
  • Portfolio Committee on Transport: Briefing by the Minister of Transport on the report findings of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) aircraft accident investigation; Deliberations on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill; Report back by the subcommittee on the Public Protector Report on a systematic investigation into the illegal conversion of goods carrying Toyota Quantum Panel Vans into Passenger carrying MiniBus Taxis to transport members of the public on the extension of its scope of work and programme;
  • Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Processing of Agricultural Produce Agents Amendment Bill: An overview of the operational and regulatory environment for agricultural exports and marketing in South Africa by the DALRRD and NAMC
  • Standing Committee on Public Accounts: Discussion and members input on the planning proposal financial oversight of State Security Agency
  • Portfolio Committee on Environment, Forestry and Fisheries: Adoption of minutes of the previous meeting; Briefing by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the Performance Report of DFFE and associated recommendations; and Briefing on the First and Second Quarterly Performance Report for 2021/22 by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities: Briefing by the National Youth Development Agency on 2nd & 3rd quarterly report for 2021/22 and amended APP for 2021/22
  • Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation: Briefing by the Department of Water and Sanitation on the Disciplinary cases and matters investigated by the department, as well as investigations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and other Law Enforcement Agencies

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