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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Eskom, Eskom and more Eskom, gold miners end strikes, rand update.
President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a special task team for Eskom. Picture: Dean Hutton, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Friday:

1. Load shedding to slow until January

There’s a man who actually delivered on his promise. Last week public enterprises minister, Pravin Gordhan said that he plans to put a halt to load shedding over the festive season, and it’s been five days since the state-owned utility has implemented any load shedding. Furthermore, Eskom says the probability of load shedding remains low until mid-January 2019.

2. Ramaphosa to appoint Eskom task team

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to appoint a special task team to deal with the debt crisis at Eskom. Ramaphosa was speaking on Radio 702 when he admitted that work needs to be done to strengthen the funding and business model of the strained utility. He said a number of solutions will need to be considered.

3. Eskom to mull asset sales

Eskom continues to keep us on our toes.

The state-owned utility is looking to many different avenues to save itself from collapse. In the latest, the firm is said to be considering the sale of some of its smaller assets. According to Bloomberg, African Rainbow Capital Investment’s Patrice Motsepe is standing in line to purchase Eskom’s home-loan business or take over some or all of its operations.

Read: Eskom is said to mull asset sales as billionaire circles

4. Gold mining firms (potential) end to strike

Miners represented by the National Union of Mineworkers are expected to return to business at Gold Fields mines after a six week strike against the firm’s proposed job cuts. Reuters is reporting that production is likely to continue earnestly after Christmas, or within the first two weeks in January.

Miners at Sibanye-Stillwater are likely to return to work as well after the company extended a wage agreement to cover all of its workforce. Reuters is reporting that the extension could potentially put an end to a strike which started in mid-November.

5. Rand update

The holidays are here and it’s time to get the last minute shopping out of the way. If the rand favoured us as much as Christmas season sales did, the festive season would be a breeze. The rand retreated on Thursday, giving up earlier gains. On Friday, it was at 14:25 at 8:40 am.

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