Flash Briefing: Mantashe rejects climate aid coal ban; NUMSA rejects increased wage offer; Cele claims insurrection case almost ‘cracked’

  • Rich nations shouldn’t force South Africa to ban new coal-power projects and impose other conditions as a requirement for funding to help reduce its environmental footprint, the country’s energy minister said. Gwede Mantashe last month skipped a meeting with climate envoys from the UK, US, Germany, France and the European Union, where an initial amount of almost $5bn in concessional loans and grants was discussed. The envoys aim to reach an emissions-reduction deal with South Africa that could be announced at the COP26 climate talks that begin in Glasgow later this month and serve as a model for other countries seeking to transition to green energy. “They must not give us conditions, they are developed countries,” Mantashe said in an interview. “We are a developing economy, they must talk to our program.”
  • South African steelworkers will continue to strike after rejecting an increased wage offer from employers. An industry body raised its salary-increase offer to 6% last week from 4.4%. Talks on Wednesday aimed at reaching an agreement failed, said Lucio Trentini, CEO of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa. Discussions are being held Thursday on a way forward, he said. According to NUMSA Treasurer, NUMSA rejected the pay offer because it only came from one of the four industry associations that the labour union’s members belong to. According to Seifsa, the strike has cost the industry about R500m in lost output and the work stoppage has also resulted in the loss of about R100m in wages.
  • Three months on, police minister Bheki Cele says that the South African police are ‘close’ to cracking the insurrection plot, which the state claims was behind the mid-July riots and looting in KwaZulu Natal and parts of Gauteng. Eighteen people have been arrested in connection with the alleged insurrection scheme, with Cele saying their cases are all at different stages. The government argues that these individuals used their platforms and behind-the-scenes scheming to incite the masses to protest the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma. 
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