China is withholding a R7-billion payment meant to help Eskom combat its current financial issues due to fears that the power utility will not complete its power station construction projects. According to a report in the City Press, the Chinese Development Bank (CDB) has become wary of Eskom’s promises and is concerned that it will not complete the construction of Medupi and Kusile. The R7-billion payment is part of a R33-billion loan which was meant only to aid in the construction of the two ongoing power station projects, and the CDB is reportedly concerned that these funds will be used on salaries and diesel instead of developing these projects.
SABC Close To Total Shutdown
The SABC is potentially facing a total broadcasting blackout because of spiraling debt woes and lack of relief funding, the Sunday Times reports. SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe told the Sunday paper that the public broadcaster cannot pay its creditors and while the company’s application for a R6.8 billion bailout was approved, the funds have not yet arrived. National Treasury agreed to provide the SABC with interim financial relief in March, to prevent the broadcaster from collapsing. It was declared technically insolvent at the end of January 2019. If it is unable to secure sufficient funding, the SABC will be forced to cut its national broadcast due to the inability to continue operations, the Sunday Times said.
Congo Ebola Deaths Top 1000
The death toll from the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has passed 1,000, the health ministry says. DRC’s Ebola outbreak began in August and is the second deadliest in history. World Health Organization deputy director Dr Michael Ryan said mistrust and violence was harming efforts to tackle the disease as it spread through the east of the country.
Trump Threatens More China Tariffs
President Donald Trump intensified pressure on China to strike a trade deal in Washington this week by threatening to more than double tariffs on $200bn of the Asian nation’s sales to the world’s largest economy. In an abrupt shift from the White House after both sides had indicated negotiations were going well, Trump tweeted on Sunday he’s not satisfied with the pace of progress and that the duties would increase Friday. He had twice delayed increasing tariffs to 25% from 10% after agreeing to a December 1 truce with President Xi Jinping to give their negotiators time to work out a comprehensive agreement.
Amazon Robots TO Unload / Load Trucks
Siemens AG and Honeywell International have built machines that pull packages from the back of a tractor-trailer and place them on conveyor belts, whizzing the parcels off for sorting. Making robots that can load trucks is more complicated, although clearing that hurdle isn’t far off. The devices, unveiled at a recent automation conference in Chicago, hold out the promise of increasing productivity while reducing the need for one of the most grueling jobs in logistics. Couriers are relying on automation to grapple with the rise of online shopping, which is fueling record demand but pressuring profit margins. Amazon’s plan to handle more of its own shipping and offer more one-day deliveries is only upping the ante.
Transnet On The Stand At State Capture Inquiry
ransnet is set to take the stand at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture this week to shed light on how the Guptas and their allies gained access to the freight rail and transport logistics company’s lucrative contracts. Board chairperson Popo Molefe is expected to give details on how billions in kickbacks ended up with the controversial family. Investigations thus far have revealed that Transnet paid more than R5billion in advisory services on the purchase of 1064 locomotives from China that the utility spent more than R50bn on.
Duarte’s In Tender Kickback Scandal
A company that scored tenders worth millions of rands from state-owned enterprises diverted money meant to fund supplier development programmes to ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte’s family members in return for them assisting it to snatch more state business. Combined Private Investigations (CPI), a company that was previously found to have spied on journalists and politicians, among them Peter Bruce, Rob Rose and Trevor Manuel, has told law-enforcement agencies that it paid more than R40m in two years to a group led by Gupta associate Salim Essa. The group included Malcolm Mabaso (a former adviser to former minister of mineral resources Mosebenzi Zwane), Duarte’s son Yusha and her ex-husband John Duarte
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