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Daily Podcast – May 06, 2024


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Daily Podcast – May 06, 2024

6th May 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Shomolekae.

Making headlines: South Africa inquiry blames authorities for neglect leading to deadly fire; Ramokgopa insists loadshedding not being ‘stage managed’ ahead of elections; And, Mozambique's ruling party announces Chapo as presidential candidate





South Africa inquiry blames authorities for neglect leading to deadly fire

An inquiry into a fire that killed 77 people in Johannesburg last year blamed neglect by authorities for allowing a building to become a den for guns, murder, drugs and combustible trash, and failing to evacuate it once it was clear it was a hazard.

South Africa opened the inquiry last October to determine responsibility for the blaze on August 31 last year in the rundown centre of its commercial hub.

The fire cast light on the gangs that seize abandoned public buildings to illegally rent them out. Many victims were so badly burned they had to be identified with DNA testing.

In the full inquiry report, the justices said the city "acknowledges that it failed to comply with the applicable laws but argued that it should not be held accountable since the building's decline was facilitated by "the illegal conduct of the residents, threats issued ... to its officials and the hijacking of the building".



Ramokgopa insists loadshedding not being ‘stage managed’ ahead of elections

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa denies that the prevailing reprieve from loadshedding has been “stage managed” to improve the prospects of the governing African National Congress ahead of the May 29 poll, attributing it instead to “orchestrated” engineering efforts undertaken by Eskom over the past 18 months.

Speaking during a briefing that coincided with the fortieth consecutive day of no loadshedding and amid growing societal cynicism about the timing of such supply stability, the Minister also strenuously denied that the improved performance was because Eskom was relying more heavily on the diesel-fuelled open cycle gas turbines that it owned as well as those operated by independent power producers.

In April, when no loadshedding was implemented, Ramokgopa said that Eskom had spent R1.15-billion on diesel to produce 126 Gigawatt hours of electricity from the Eskom and independent power producers diesel-fuelled open cycle gas turbines, representing a marked improvement on the R3.14-billion spent in April 2023 to produce 470 Gigawatt hours.

Eskom had set aside R22-billion for diesel in 2024/25, having exceeded its R30-billion budget in 2023/24 by R3-billion.

Rather, the Minister attributed the improvement primarily to a recovery in the performance of the six coal stations of Kusile, Matimba, Majuba, Lethabo, Matla and Medupi, whose average energy availability factor had recently climbed to above 60%.



And, Mozambique's ruling party announces Chapo as presidential candidate

Mozambique's ruling FRELIMO party has announced Daniel Chapo will be its presidential candidate in an election scheduled for October.

FRELIMO has governed the southern African country since gaining independence in 1975 and hopes Chapo will lead the party to another victory in the October 9 election.

Mozambique's constitution limits the president to two five-year terms. However, there had been media speculation that President Filipe Nyusi would seek a third term after his re-election as party leader in 2022.

A relatively unknown figure in national politics, Chapo is the governor of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane. He won 225 votes or around 94% cast by the party's central committee, according to a party statement.


That’s a roundup of news making headlines today

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