Today's Big Stories

Eskom trying to push ahead for full 25,3% electricity hike

Eskom trying to push ahead for full 25,3% electricity hike

There has been an application by Eskom in front of the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) to push up power prices. Eskom was due to ask for an increase of 12,7%, now Eskom’s current Acting CEO Brian Molefe says they have reduced that request to 9,5%. Meanwhile, there is expected to be strong opposition to this application from people who will be affected by it. EWN's Gia Nicolaides is at the Nersa-hosted briefing:

As we know, half of the 25,3% hike has been approved from the 1st of April. The remaining percentage is what Acting CEO Brian Molefe is trying to get approved, in order to buy diesel, due to the shortage, for use with the power generators. Molefe says that if we have more loadshedding, the effect on the economy will be a R6 billion loss, compared to a R1 billion loss if the 25,3% hike is approved, for the buying of diesel.

LHR working to put a stop to Operation Fiela

The organisation Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) says it is going to court to try and stop the government operation called operation Fiela which was instituted after a wave of xenophobic attacks earlier this year. Attorney at the LHR, David Cote:

This operation say it is focusing on combatting crime, but it also seems to be focusing on the poor. The Constitution of South Africa protects the rights of South Africans, but also of foreign nationals and particularly after the 8th of May, we saw a block of flats being infiltrated in the CBD without a warrant of arrest. We have no problem with crime combatting operations, but they must be done in line with the Constitution and legislation

Mantashe bashes judiciary over al-Bashir ICC matter

There has been a series of comments over the last few days by ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe in the aftermath of the departure of Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir in which he says that judges and the courts are getting too involved in the actions of government and Parliament. During a Monday edition of 702's Afternoon Drive with Xolani Gwala, Mantashe appeared to say that courts should not get involved in the actions of Parliament. UCT Law Professor David Unterhalter:

I don't think he does (have a point) and his comments are unwarranted and he ought to be very careful. The courts are there to ensure legality is upheld. The Constitution is created to ensure that there is a system of checks and balances and the Judiciary is there to ensure that the Executive acts within the bounds of legality. It's not a balanced view (Mantashe's).

Major Gautrain township expansion plan set to start from 2016

As the Gautrain celebrates its 5th birthday, there has been confirmation that the Gautrain is going to grow dramatically over the next few years and will provide services to Soweto in Johannesburg and Mabopane in Pretoria. Gautrain Management Agency CEO, Jack van der Merwe:

This is part of the Gauteng Transport Masterplan: from the East of Pretoria in Mamelodi, down to the South West of Johannesburg in Naledi will be factored in. We will have even 200 km additional of roadway, with 18 stations. The environmental feasiblity assessment will be done mid-year next year and then we will go and get funding for it. I doubt it will take 10 years to fundraise like we did last time, so we're thinking this will be implemented within 3 or 4 years.

Fioramonti on declassifying SA schools to address basic education sector crisis

A piece in the Business Day newspaper this morning by University of Pretoria Political Economy Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti notes that our education system even in the better resourced schools is not properly training our children for the future. In the piece, Fioramonti says:"There is no future for SA if we do not join forces and intellects to address the basic education crisis. But in order to do that, we need innovation, creative thinking and, above all, the capacity to connect the dots between the social, economic and political dynamics that have led to this state of affairs. And for that, we need better education and better collective leadership." Fioramonti unpacks his stance:

I believe that our general debate on schooling in SA tends rely on the dismal state of public education in this country and that the future of this country is reliant upon good education. What I'm saying is that collaboration is more progressive. We should avoid separation between primary and secondary school altogether: excellence should be taught within a context of competition.

Obama's use of the N-word and the debate around racism in America

In the US, there has been a huge debate raging after US President Barack Obama used what is called the 'N-word' during a discussion about race. Obama was speaking on a podcast programme. Dr Millard Arnold is an African-American former US diplomat currently living in South Africa:

I think it's instructive that the focus is more on the President's use of the word, rather than the message (that Obama was conveying). I think it's a message that conversations around this need to happen in America: to many Americans, racism is still very rampant and I think that is what the President's message was. If you go by the departure point that only racists use the N-word and that when I don't use the N-word, I'm not a racist - it reduces this debate to its simplicity and there needs to be a bigger conversation.


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