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British industry warns of factory closures without help on fuel costs
9 October 2021, 12:40 PM

Britain’s most energy-intensive manufacturers, including producers of steel, glass, ceramics and paper, have warned the government that unless something is done about soaring wholesale gas prices they could be forced to shut down production.

Wholesale gas prices have increased 400% this year in Europe, partly due to low stocks and strong demand from Asia, putting particular pressure on energy-intensive industries.

Industry bosses held talks on Friday with Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng but said these ended with no immediate solutions.

“If the government doesn’t take any action then basically what we’ll see for the steel sector is more and more pauses of production in certain times of the day and those pauses will become longer,” Gareth Stace, Director-General of UK Steel told ITV News.

Similarly, Andrew Large, Director-General of the Confederation of Paper Industries, told the same broadcaster that he could not rule out factories having to suspend production due to increased energy costs.

David Dalton of the British Glass Manufacturers Association said some companies were days away from halting production.

After meeting the industry leaders on Friday, Kwarteng’s department said he was determined to secure a competitive future for Britain’s energy-intensive industries.

It said he “promised to continue to work closely with companies over the coming days to further understand and help mitigate the impacts of any cost increases faced by businesses.”

However, some lawmakers within the ruling Conservative Party want more to be done for energy-intensive industries.

“I would like to see more government support for these industries in the short term to ensure that we don’t lose them from the UK and we don’t deter further investment,” Andrew Bridgen told the BBC.

“I think they’d like to see a cap on the prices they’re going to pay for gas.”

Britain’s economy is already struggling with a supply chain crisis.

A post-Brexit shortage of workers, exacerbated by the global strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, has hobbled Britain’s supply chains for everything from fuel and pork to poultry and bottled water, putting any recovery from the pandemic under threat.

Ramaphosa takes ANC’s election campaign to KwaZulu-Natal
9 October 2021, 12:34 PM

African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading his party’s election campaign in a door-to-door campaign at KwaMakhutha south of Durban.

Ramaphosa is joined by the party’s provincial Chairperson Sihle Zikalala and members of the National Executive Committee and the PEC.

Ramaphosa has encouraged residents to go and vote in next month’s polls.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s KZN campaign trail:

On Friday, Ramaphosa conducted his party’s election campaign in Tlokwe in the North West. The area is faced with service delivery challenges. President Ramaphosa engaged with the community members.

Ramaphosa was in the North West, encouraging people to vote for the ANC:

 

Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama announces the following venue for the Special Policy Conference to be held on the 30 November 2019 in Durban, KZN
BLF to launch election manifesto in the Vaal
9 October 2021, 11:05 AM

Black First Land First (BLF) is taking its manifesto launch for the upcoming Local Government Elections to the Vaal in Gauteng on Saturday morning.

Party leader Andile Mngxitama is scheduled to deliver the keynote address in trying to attract potential voters in the province.

The party had participated in the last General Elections in 2019, but failed to make it to the national assembly. That led to Mngxitama accusing the Independent Electoral Commission of miss managing the election results, however, decided not to challenge the IEC.

As November 1 approaches, BLF says it doesn’t want to be left behind and will go all out in attracting potential voters for these elections.

Mngxitama is expected to be joined by party members at Orange Farm as he launches the BLF election manifesto. The party is eying all the major municipalities in Gauteng, including the City of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

The video below is on the BLF’s manifesto launch:

Meanwhile, eight months ago the previously deregistered political party was given the green light to operate again after the Freedom Front Plus took the party to the Electoral Commission arguing that its registration in 2016 was irregular, as its constitution violated legislation by limiting membership to black people.

In the video below, Mngxitama maintains that although BLF has amended its Constitution, white people are not welcome in the party:

City of Joburg’s plan to take over electricity distribution to cost billions
9 October 2021, 10:50 AM

The City of Johannesburg’s plan to take over distribution from Eskom faces several costly hurdles, including R7.5 billion in outstanding consumer debt and R4 billion to take ownership of distribution infrastructure.

Electricity supply has turned into a critical election issue in Gauteng, where communities have borne the brunt of ‘load reduction’ by Eskom.

Joburg Mayor Mpho Moerane says, “Soweto and all these areas, prior to 1990/91, they were supplied electricity by the City of Johannesburg. Eskom wanted to accelerate electrification and decided that both parties, the city and Eskom that they transfer Soweto into Eskom. There was a debt. That debt was not taken over by Eskom. It remains with the city, the city wrote it off. Eskom took the supply areas without taking the debt. We are saying let’s implement the same methodology that we did around 1990/91 but we can’t take over the debt because we don’t have that money.”

Soweto to start sourcing power from City Power: Joburg Mayor

Moerane says Soweto and other parts of the city will start sourcing electricity from City Power.

Eskom has been battling to get payments from the residents.

Soweto residents owe Eskom billions of rands in unpaid bills.

Through negotiations with the city, R5 billion of the debt was written off in the past financial year.

Moerane says negotiations in this matter are at an advanced stage.

“We have a plan, we are not going to rely solely on electricity. We will be investing money [on] solar and gas to those households that they can not afford electricity. Issue of non-payment in Soweto has been there for a long time.”

“We are going to talk to our residents that we will have to give them smart meters. Smart meters will be ale to interact with your meter through a smartphone to look at your consumption,” adds Moerane.

FW de Klerk
PAC reiterates call for FW de Klerk’s arrest
9 October 2021, 10:06 AM

The Pan Africanist Congress has reiterated its call for the arrest of former President FW De Klerk for the role he allegedly played in the Mpendulo Massacre in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

Five minors died when the then South African Defense Force raided the house of Sicelo Mpendulo in 1993, looking for weapons believing the house was a base for APLA, the armed wing of the PAC.

The raid was authorised by the South African government under former President De Klerk.

Mzwandile Mfeya and Sandiso Yose were 12-years old while the Mpendulo twins, Samora and Sadat were 16. The fifth victim, Thando Mtembu, was 17.

The PAC has commemorated the massacre in Mthatha. PAC President Mwanele Nyonstho says the National Prosecuting Authority informed him a few months ago that they are taking statements and putting a docket together.

“Last time I checked that is the only report we got. We feel they are not doing it well, we feel there are some powers behind not to arrest FW de Klerk. We feel there is political interference in their investigation. What we want is justice for the kids, the families and the PAC. De Klerk must go to jail.”

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