The week that was: Fin24's top 5 stories

From President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address to a major new oil find off SA's coast, these were the top 5 stories on Fin24 this week.

1. Transnet issues letters of precautionary suspension to 8 execs

Transnet announced on Monday morning that eight senior executives have been issued with letters of precautionary suspension resulting from past internal audit and forensic reports that were not implemented by management. 

"The decision to issue precautionary suspensions was taken after a realisation that reports done over a number of years have been piling up, with no follow up. The impression has thus been created that forensic report findings were only followed up [with] selected employees," the state-owned freight rail operator said in a statement.


2. The Eskom break-up explained: What we know so far

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday evening that debt-laden power utility Eskom would be split into three separate entities – generation, transmission and distribution – which would still fall under the company Eskom Holdings.

Eskom, which has a R419bn debt burden, has the potential to "severely damage" the country's economic and social development ambitions, the president said in his second State of the Nation Address in Parliament. 

"We need to take bold decisions and decisive action," said Ramaphosa. "The consequences may be painful, but they will be even more devastating if we delay.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa looks on a

3. Power cable supplier fined R1.3m for collusion in Eskom tenders

Power cable supplier Alcon Marepha has been fined R1.3m as part of a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission for its role in price fixing and collusion in Eskom tenders.

The order was made by the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday. Alcon has also agreed to cooperate with the commission for ongoing investigations.

Power lines feed electricity to the national grid

4. Total's huge discovery opens new petroleum play off SA's coast

Total SA said it has opened up a new “world-class” oil and gas province off the coast of South Africa after making a significant gas-condensate discovery there.

Success in the nation’s first deep-water well is a potential boon for a country that imports most of its oil, processing the remainder of its fuels from coal and natural gas.


5. Numsa to Ramaphosa: We'll meet you in the streets over Eskom

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA said it will "meet Ramaphosa in the streets" after the president announced the unbundling of Eskom in his State of the Nation Address. 

Numsa is one of three recognised unions at the debt-laden power utility. Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola told Fin24 that the union rejected Ramaphosa's announcement. 

"Numsa will continue to mobilise the working class to reject the breaking up of Eskom. That is the first phase to privatisation which will lead to massive job shedding and higher energy costs for the consumer. The decision to break Eskom up and sell it has been made," said Hlubi-Majola

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