Doing business with SA
Standard & Poor's and Fitch both kept their ratings of South Africa steady on Friday.
They were confident that The Treasury was committed to tight fiscal discipline, but
warned that weak economic growth, industrial action and persistent electricity
shortages kept their outlook negative.
Prompted by concerns about the effect the power outages are having on households
and businesses across the country, the government has drawn up a five-point plan to
deal with the electricity crisis. A war room has been set up to oversee the
implementation of the plan.
A crop of a nicotine-free, GMO-free tobacco plant called Solaris is soon to be harvested
in South Africa's Limpopo province – and turned into bio-jet fuel. Working with
international partners, South African Airways plans to have its first domestic test flight
using the fuel as early as next year.
The One Environmental System, which is aimed at improving the competitiveness of
South Africa's mining industry by simplifying procedures for licensing, environmental
authorisations and water use, came into effect this week.
Despite public resistance, there are many positive benefits to nuclear energy, not least
of which is an end to load shedding and blackouts. "People need to understand that we
are not a scary industry; we are in your everyday world," says the Nuclear Energy
Corporation of South Africa's Xolisa Mabhongo.
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