For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Lynne Davis.
Making headlines: South Africa narrowly avoids a recession, Cabinet backs plan to cut 7 000 jobs at Post Office and, No loadshedding during the day until further notice
South Africa narrowly avoids a recession
Despite record levels of loadshedding and aggressive rate hikes, South Africa's first-quarter Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.4%.
according to a Thomson Reuters poll, this was exactly in line with economists' consensus forecast.
The economy shrank by a revised 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2022.
While the South African economy is now slightly bigger than before the Covid pandemic, it still remains below its peak in the third quarter of last year.
Cabinet backs plan to cut 7 000 jobs at Post Office
The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has filed an application with the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to place the SA Post Office into business rescue in a bid to save it from liquidation.
The department's draft business rescue plan includes steep staff cuts to reduce SAPO's salary bill, which has far outstripped revenue.
The plan, which Cabinet has approved, is centred around cutting 7 000 of the Post Office's roughly 11 000 staff to save around R1.5-billion a year in employee costs.
The Post Office owes hundreds of millions of rands to creditors, landlords, its medical aid fund and its pension fund.
It received a R2.4-billion bailout from Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana in his 2023 Budget in February, but the funds have not yet been handed over.
No loadshedding during the day until further notice
Loadshedding will be suspended from midnight to 4pm every day until further notice, with Stage 3 implemented over the evening peak, due to "further improvement on the available generation capacity".
Stage 3 loadshedding will last from 4pm until midnight.
Breakdowns are currently at 16 056MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 2 407MW.
Eskom said that over the past 24 hours, a generating unit each at Kriel and Majuba power stations were returned to service. At the same time, a generation unit each at Duvha, Hendrina, Kendal, Lethabo and Matla power stations were taken out of service due to breakdowns.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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