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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Namibia holding on to rand currency peg, Eskom woes to continue for many years, Growthpoint taps desalination, Robert McBride to appear before Zondo Commission.
Namibia commits to rand currency peg. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. Namibia holding on to rand currency peg

Neighbouring country, Namibia is holding on to its currency peg to the rand as it climbs out of a recession that was in part a result of South Africa’s slow growth. According to Bloomberg, Namibian President Hage Geingob said that after considering all options, backing ‘one-on-one with the rand is the best option,’ but is subject to any dramatic change. Namibia will also seek private investment for its energy sector in order to reduce reliance on imports from SA’s capacity-restricted Eskom. 

Read: Namibia commits to rand peg as economy limps out of recession

2. Eskom crisis likely to worsen

The worst of the Eskom crisis is yet to come, according to government estimates, which claim that Eskom may run out of a quarter of its current generating capacity over the next decade as it plans to shut down and replace its ageing power plants. According to Bloomberg, the revamp will cost the national fiscus more than R1 trillion and will span a couple of years. Furthermore, the problem is likely to worsen exponentially after 2030 as more power plants reach their end.

Read: Eskom’s power problem could get a whole lot worse

3. Growthpoint looks into desalination for water supply

Property investment company, Growthpoint is tapping into desalination solutions to ensure water supply into the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The V&A is one of the retail and office space owner’s premier investments. According to Moneyweb, Growthpoint donated land to the City of Cape Town to start the development of its own desalination plant, that began a two-million-litre-a-day operation in May last year. Growthpoint is now researching the location and supply for a separate five-million-litre-a-day operation worth R180 million. This is expected to be completed by 2021. The V&A Waterfront is half-owned by the PIC.

Read: Growthpoint taps desalination to ensure V&A water supply

4. Afrimat makes NBIO to purchase Universal Coal

Afrimat shareholders have been warned to exercise caution when trading in its shares, as the constructions material company has made a non-binding indicative offer (NBIO) to purchase the entire issued share capital of Australian-based Universal Coal, for a maximum purchase price of A$0.40 for each Universal share held. Universal Coal has operations in South Africa, and Afrimat says the offer forms part of its diversification strategy. The NBIO is subject to conditions, including the completion of a due diligence by the company.

5. Robert McBride to testify at Zondo Commission

Another big day is expected to unfold at the state capture inquiry as former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head, Robert McBride takes to the stand. According to EWN, McBride is expected to implicate more than 30 government officials and politicians for their role in state capture on Monday.

Update to follow.

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