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Business news headlines: Tumisang Ndlovu – Moneyweb

President Jacob Zuma expected to announce new sources of energy.

HANNA BARRY: Good evening and welcome to the SAfm Market Update with Moneyweb. My name is Hanna Barry, in for Siki Mgabadeli for the remainder of the week.
   It is results season and tonight we chat to Ian Moir of Woolworths about the retailer’s interim results, competition from foreign clothing labels and how it views its prospects in South Africa.
   Nick Holland, Gold Fields CEO, also talks results with us and the investigation or inquiry, as Nick says, by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into a BEE transaction related to Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine.
   Lastly, Robert Hersov of Invest Africa chats to Moneyweb at the Mining Indaba about why Africa presents such a brilliant investment opportunity.
   Our market watcher this evening is David Shapiro of Sasfin. Lots to come, but first Tumisang Ndlovu has your business news headlines.

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Thanks, Hanna. Good evening.
   President Jacob Zuma is expected to make bold announcements on new sources of energy during the 2015 State of the Nation Address. Zuma will deliver his speech at seven this evening amid growing concern over Eskom’s power supply and financial challenges which have led to a series of nationwide blackouts. Eskom, which is battling power supply as well as financial challenges, began rolling out nationwide load-shedding late last year and government set up a war room to deal with Eskom’s woes at the time. Its spokesperson Donald Diphoko:

DONALD DIPHOKO: Among those are going to be announceemnts that relate to new sources of energy that are going to be fed into the grid. I would suggest that everybody listens to the State of the Nation Address. The President is going to give an overview of what the direction is.

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Still on Eskom, the struggling parastatal has again sought to reassure South Africans that it’s doing everything in its power to avoid a total blackout. Following several days of consecutive blackouts the power utility has said that there is no threat of load-shedding today, although the power grid remains constrained.
   And the rand continues to struggle as it’s still trading over R11. 75/dollar, and above R18.02/pound. The local currency hit its lowest level since 2002 yesterday afternoon. Analysts say the currency is affected by continued power cuts, weak sentiment ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s 2015 State of the Nation Address and heightened uncertainty over Greece’s debt crisis. Economist Mike Schüssler shares his views:

MIKE SCHÜSSLER: The energy crisis plays a role, but I think there’s a bigger role that’s playing now in the international arena, and in that the dollar is gaining strength against the euro. If you look back at the last few weeks, the euro has lost about 4, 5% of its value.

TUMISANG NDLOVU: Financial indicators this hour: the rand is at R11.76/dollar, R18.03/pound and R13.38/euro. Gold is trading at $1 221.25/oz, platinum at $1 200.63/oz and Brent crude oil at $56.39/barrel.

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