Flash Briefing: Godongwana downplays SA crime; Eskom starts court action over NERSA rejection; hostage situation leaves SA govt red-faced

  • South Africa’s finance minister urged investors not to be deterred by what he termed “isolated” incidents of criminality, and assured them that improving safety and security is one of the government’s top priorities. “I would argue that people must invest in South Africa,” Enoch Godongwana said in an online panel discussion on Sunday. “We cannot let an isolated incident, which is not a feature of our society, be a reason for lack of investment.” The latest police statistics show there were 5,760 murders in South Africa in the three months through June, an average of 62 a day.
  • Eskom has started court proceedings to review the regulator’s rejection of a price plan into 2025 that outlines how much the utility can charge electricity consumers. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa on Sept. 30 called for a pricing methodology review and discarded the so-called MYPD 5 revenue application of Eskom, which is unprofitable and struggles under about R400bn of debt. “This is impossible both from a legal process and timing point of view,” the utility had said.
  • The spectacle of two South African cabinet ministers being held hostage by military veterans demanding an audience with the president has embarrassed the government and highlighted security concerns ahead of next month’s municipal elections. Defense Minister Thandi Modise, herself a former combatant in the fight against White-minority rule, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele were prevented from leaving a hotel near the capital, Pretoria, on Thursday after talks with the veterans collapsed. The stand-off lasted less than an hour before special forces stormed the venue, firing teargas and arresting 56 people who now face kidnapping charges. No one was hurt. “We were there against our will, but it was not a violent situation,” Gungubele later told reporters.
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