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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Gordhan cracks whip on Eskom, SA’s foreign exchange reserves increase, Fitch keeps credit rating unchanged.

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1. Pravin Gordhan takes on Eskom crisis

Public enterprises minister, Pravin Gordhan announced immediate plans to halt load shedding before the festive period begins. Gordhan said he plans to reduce stage 2 load shedding to stage 1 – 1000 MW by the end of next week. He also announced that leave for all senior managers has been cancelled so that matters on the ground can be dealt with.

Read: Load shedding: Gordhan cracks the whip

2. SA’s foreign exchange reserves

South Africa’s foreign exchange reserves for November amounted to $50 .67 billion, a slight increase from the $50.17 billion recorded in October.

3. Fitch keeps SA’s credit rating unchanged

Fitch Ratings announced on Thursday that it would keep South Africa’s sub-investment grade credit rating steady, while maintaining South Africa’s stable outlook. According to Reuters, the ratings agency however said that South Africa’s ratings are weighed down by low growth potential, government debt and contingent liabilities.

4. Government establishes ad-hoc committee to take on land bill

The government has set up an ad-hoc committee to introduce the legislation to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to explicitly favour land expropriation without compensation. According to a statement, the ad-hoc committee will comprise of 11 voting members of the National Assembly, and 14 non-voting members. The ad-hoc committee is to report to the National Assembly by March 31 on its progress.

5. Vacation club ownership probe

The National Consumer Commission set up an inquiry into the vacation ownership and timeshare industry earlier this year to resolve consumer disputes, especially challenges when it comes to settling contracts. On Thursday, a number of recommendations were made to resolve some of the issues, namely, an intervention by the Minister of Trade and Industry to provide certain information that must be disclosed by the intermediaries before consumers enter into a contract, timeshare contracts must be defined as fixed-term contracts and consumer rights pertaining to Section 14 must be applied automatically.

Read: Overhaul of vacation club and timeshare industry on the cards 

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