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Daily Podcast – April 09, 2024


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Daily Podcast – April 09, 2024

9th April 2024


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April 09, 2024.

For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Halima Frost.



Making headlines:


Eskom aims to keep breakdowns below 14 GW this winter as it cuts diesel budget

Mashaba promises ActionSA govt will prioritise student funding ahead of other govt spend

And, Unions, industry prepare for ‘tough’ talks as metals, engineering negotiations set to get under way


Eskom aims to keep breakdowns below 14 GW this winter as it cuts diesel budget

State-owned electricity utility Eskom will reduce planned maintenance to 3 000 MW during the upcoming winter season and will seek to keep unplanned breakdowns to below 14 000 MW in a bid to navigate the high-demand period with limited loadshedding.

During the summer period, from September to the end of March, the utility set a target of restricting unplanned breakdowns to 14 500 MW during the high-maintenance summer months, when average planned maintenance levels of 7 000 MW were targeted.

During those periods when breakdowns exceeded the target, loadshedding was typically implemented, at times at high levels of intensity of between Stage 4 and 6.

While the winter outlook was still being finalised, Eskom confirmed during a briefing on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan that it should be released later this month.

The diesel budget for the 2024/25 financial year will be below the R30-billion set aside for the operation of the Eskom and independent power producer open-cycle gas turbines in 2023/24; a budget that had been marginally exceeded.


Mashaba promises ActionSA govt will prioritise student funding ahead of other govt spend

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba notes there is an urgent need to address tertiary education funding, alongside reforms to the country’s institutions of learning, to “fix the country”.

Mashaba was speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, held at Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, where he committed that an ActionSA government would significantly expand and improve access to a variety of post-matric opportunities, whether through traditional academic routes in universities, or via colleges dedicated to technical skills and vocational training.

He said institutions such as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme have been plagued with corruption allegations as thousands of students go homeless or without food.

Mashaba said while his party worked towards growing the economy through its plan for economic prosperity, it would achieve its goal of ensuring that no academically qualified student was excluded from further education through aggressive reprioritisation of the national Budget away from wasteful expenditure such as State-owned enterprise bailouts and VIP security.


Unions, industry prepare for ‘tough’ talks as metals, engineering negotiations set to get under way

Trade unions and industry associations expect negotiations at the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council, which are set to start on April 10, in Boksburg, to be tough.

Trade union Solidarity says the negotiations will be challenging because of an agreement that was reached during the Covid-19 pandemic period. In terms of that agreement, salary increases were only calculated on the minimum salary scales per job grade, which disadvantages skilled employees on the higher scales the most.

Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis says employers now want to continue this practice and, while trade unions are aware that the sector is under pressure, this will be opposed. This is because skilled employees are disadvantaged in particular by this practice and skilled employees’ disposable income continues to shrink, leaving them no choice but to leave the country, taking their skills abroad.

Solidarity notes that, in response to these circumstances, the six trade unions involved in the negotiations, agreed not to come to the table with a long list of salary demands, but rather to make every effort for employees to receive increases on their actual salaries again.


That’s a roundup of news making headlines today

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