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[1/3] U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen attends media briefing ahead of bilateral talks with South Africa's Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana (not pictured), at the treasury offices in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2023. The United States, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union backed South Africa's "Just Energy Transition Partnership," or JETP, in late 2021 with a combined $8.5 billion, but the total cost could be ten times that high. "The United States' commitment to the energy transition being 'just' is firm. That is why President Biden made an additional commitment to President Ramaphosa of $45 million in grant funding to support South Africa’s efforts," Yellen said. But President Cyril Ramaphosa's plan to transition South Africa away from coal and towards renewable energy has divided the governing African National Congress (ANC).
[1/4] U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and South Africa's Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana attend bilateral talks, at the treasury offices in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2023. Nevertheless Lavrov made a stopover after visiting South Africa, which his counterpart Thulisile Dladla described as a "profound honour." Eswatini relies on the United States for aid, but its absolute monarchy has suffered U.S. criticism on human rights. South Africa, alongside Russia and China, is pushing for a "multipolar" world in which geopolitical power is less concentrated around the United States. "It hasn't delivered the kind of benefits South Africa was hoping to get."
As Africa struggles with economic headwinds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and, notably, Washington's own monetary policy, Africans are asking for proof the United States will stay the course this time. African countries have become collateral victims of this year's rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, aimed at curbing inflation at home. African countries are also finding it harder to access capital markets to meet their fiscal needs and refinance maturing debt. The United States, meanwhile, has largely failed to offer viable alternatives to cheap Chinese credit, officials said. One senior U.S. Treasury official said the United States had long been engaged in Africa, funding anti-HIV work and working on other health issues.
[1/2] South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor shakes hands with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, ahead of their bilateral meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, January 23, 2023. Lavrov met his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, after flying in earlier in the day on a trip some South African opposition parties and the small Ukrainian community have condemned as insensitive. President Cyril Ramaphosa's government regards South Africa as neutral in the Ukraine conflict and has expressed a desire to mediate. The South African armed forces said last week the exercise is a "means to strengthen the already flourishing relations between South Africa, Russia and China". There was no official public comment from the Ukrainian embassy but officials said it had asked the South African government to help push President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's 10-point peace plan, which he proposed to the G20 in November.
But outgoing CEO Andre De Ruyter also re-affirmed that power cuts would continue for two more years at least. South Africans were braced for worse, with the risk of "stage 8 load shedding" - more than half a day with no power. "We would really urge South Africans to plan (evening) consumption such that ... we have reduced demand," he said. Creaking coal-fire power stations, corruption in coal supply contracts, criminal sabotage and failure to ease up regulation to enable private providers to swiftly bring renewable energy on tap have all left South Africa in a deep power deficit. Eskom's Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said that by the end of March the firm should be able to bring 1,862 megawatts back online, and that it would focus on keeping its top six power stations running smoothly.
[1/2] A man walks beneath electricity pylons during frequent power outages from South African utility Eskom, caused by its ageing coal-fired plants, in Orlando, Soweto, South Africa, January 16, 2023. REUTERS/Siphiwe SibekoSummarySummary Companies Power cuts to become less severe from TuesdayDepends on generators returning to service as plannedEskom tells politicians power cuts to continue into 2024JOHANNESBURG, Jan 16 (Reuters) - South Africa's state-owned power utility Eskom said it would shorten power cuts from Tuesday morning as 14 generators come back on tap this week, but electricity shortages look set to continue at least into 2024. The past week has seen some of the worst power cuts on record in Africa's most industrialised nation, at least six hours a day for most households and often as much as 10 hours. The company implemented power cuts on more than 200 days last year, the most in a calendar year. The utility said it had procured an additional 50 million litres of diesel, which would be used to manage pumped storage dam levels and limit power cuts.
Johannesburg tanker explosion death toll rises to 15
  + stars: | 2022-12-26 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 26 (Reuters) - The death toll from a gas tanker that exploded in Johannesburg on Saturday has risen to fifteen, authorities said, from an earlier estimate of eight. "In terms of fatalities ... this number has now risen to 15," including three hospital staff members, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said late on Sunday. Phaahla suggested that the death toll might later rise because of the nature of the injuries some survivors had sustained. "We are told that of those who survived, many of them have quite severe burns, so we still have a long way to go," he said. Reporting by Tim Cocks; Editing by Kirsten DonovanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/5] Clothes and shoes are displayed for sale at a roadside night market in central Harare, Zimbabwe December 12, 2022. Tinotenda Taruberekera, a 21-year-old clothing vendor, says he makes more money selling at night than during the day. "In the afternoon, there are constant battles with police so selling at night helps," said Taruberekera. The street traders often undercut prices in mainstream shops, which have costly overheads, and this can eat into the retailers' market share. For college student Obert Chinganyama, street vendors offer bargains he cannot get in stores.
South Africa's ANC gathers to vote on new leader
  + stars: | 2022-12-18 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
[1/2] South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attends the nomination process of the top African National Congress (ANC) officials in the 55th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 18, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya HishamJOHANNESBURG, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Delegates of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) gathered on Sunday to choose a new party leader, pitting President Cyril Ramaphosa against former health minister Zweli Mkhize. They will vote on Sunday after the ANC nominated the two candidates late on Saturday. Ramaphosa's backers were singing songs in support of him and were holding up two fingers signalling a second term as leader. Former president Jacob Zuma's supporters are seeking to use the scandal to oust Ramaphosa.
[1/2] South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attends the 55th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg. REUTERS/Sumaya HishamJOHANNESBURG, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Party allies, and even some rivals, of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday condemned opponents who disrupted his opening speech with chants and shouting at a conference of the ruling ANC on Friday. Ramaphosa, who was speaking at a five-day gathering of the African National Congress (ANC) to elect candidates for 2024 national elections, is seeking a second term and is widely seen as the party's strongest candidate. We are all interested to emerge here with a very solid, strong leadership," ANC deputy presidential hopeful and Eastern Cape ANC Chairperson Oscar Mabuyane told reporters. What they did yesterday soiled (their) campaign," Zamani Saul, Northern Cape ANC chairperson told SABC news.
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Senior officials in South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) were gathering on Friday to decide whether President Cyril Ramaphosa should stay on after an inquiry found evidence of misconduct over cash hidden at his farm. The president's future has been in doubt since a report by a panel of experts was made public on Wednesday. The South African rand stabilised on Friday, after closing 2% weaker against the dollar on Thursday on speculation that Ramaphosa was going to resign. Local media reported widely that he was considering quitting on Thursday but was then convinced by his own supporters within the NEC to stay. "We are quite determined that the president has to stay," Mathole Motshekga, an NEC member, told local Radio 786.
[1/2] South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Rodger Bosch/Pool via REUTERSJOHANNESBURG, Dec 1 (Reuters) - President Cyril Ramaphosa, the anti-apartheid champion who become one of South Africa's wealthiest businessmen and then its most powerful politician, was battling for his political survival on Thursday. Ramaphosa was the leading negotiator for the African National Congress (ANC) during talks that led to a peaceful end to apartheid in 1994, which enabled Nelson Mandela to become South Africa's first Black president. Shanduka Holdings, which is unlisted, has become one of the biggest black-owned groups in the country, holding 10% stakes in South Africa's biggest bank, Standard Bank, and insurer Liberty. Ramaphosa's negotiating skills at constitutional talks in the early 1990s won him grudging respect from South Africa's last white president, F.W.
[1/2] Foreign Minister of South Africa Naledi Pandor addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Mike SegarJOHANNESBURG, Dec 1 (Reuters) - A panel report that found preliminary evidence that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office is a "troubling moment" for the government and governing party, South Africa's foreign minister Naledi Pandor said in an interview at the Reuters NEXT conference. Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes. Pandor added that she was still reading the panel report on the robbery at Ramaphosa's farm and that she did not want to rush into the public space with additional comments. Reporting by Tim Cocks and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Alexander Winning, James Macharia ChegeOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing. But with less than a month to go before the party chooses its next candidate, he is battling for political survival. HOW IT ALL STARTEDEverything changed for Ramaphosa when South Africa's former spy chief, Arthur Fraser, walked into a police station in June and accused him of money laundering and covering up a large theft of cash. Ramaphosa, acknowledged there had been a break-in and said that cash proceeds from the sale of game had been stolen. RAMIFICATIONSThe affair has been a huge embarrassment for Ramaphosa who has repeatedly spoken about taking a tough line on graft.
[1/3] South African president Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at the Green Hydrogen Summit at Century City in Cape Town, South Africa, November 29, 2022. The inquiry centred on the theft of a millions of dollars of cash from the billionaire president's farm in 2020, which came to light in June. The country's biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has called for an early election and the report has plunged the governing African National Congress (ANC) into crisis. The ANC's executive committee is due to meet to discuss the panel report on Thursday evening. Asked by Reuters about a local media report that Ramaphosa was due to address the nation on Thursday, Ramaphosa's spokesman Vincent Magwenya said: "An announcement is imminent.
[1/5] Yael Gabay, The Plant Based Treaty global co-director with a team give away free vegan burgers during COP27 climate summit in Red Sea resort at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, November 14, 2022. "We have to move away from animal production." "It would result in more intensive livestock production that would require larger areas of land to produce the animal feed, putting pressure on forest land," Reisinger told Reuters. THE OTHER WHITE MEATCampaigners have even protested the food kiosks at the summit selling burgers and chicken - foods they say don't belong at a climate conference. "When you enter the conference, you have the scent of grilled animal meat in your nose.
Ramaphosa was concluding the African National Congress (ANC) executive committee meeting before an elective conference next month chooses the party's candidate for 2024 national elections. The president faces multiple challengers from within the party, mostly allied to his predecessor Jacob Zuma. Much may depend on whether Ramaphosa is seen as the best candidate to revive the fortunes of the ANC, the popularity of which is at an all-time low. He also pledged to forge ahead with policies to improve the standard of public education and introduce universal health insurance. The ANC's black empowerment initiatives were also mentioned, with Ramaphosa saying the measures need to be more "broad-based".
[1/5] Workers prepare a plant-based polony used as an alternative or meat substitute at meat processor Feinschmecker, in Germiston, in the East Rand region of Johannesburg, South Africa, October 11, 2022. That could be heartening for climate scientists, who say shifting diets from emissions-heavy meat and dairy towards more plant-based foods is vital to the fight against climate change. Plant-based meat substitutes are growing by 6.5% a year and sales are expected to reach $561 million by 2023, according to Research and Markets - more than half Africa's share of a global market forecast to hit $162 billion by 2030. But the popularity of veggie alternatives would have been unthinkable even a decade ago and the market is outstripping forecast growth for meat. She gave up meat over climate concerns and her diabetes.
Nov 3 (Reuters) - Methane emissions have emerged as a top threat to the global climate, with scientists and policymakers calling for aggressive action to curb the output. At last year's U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, more than 100 countries pledged a 30% cut from 2020 methane emissions levels by 2030. "If you're interested in the climate impacts, we'll be experiencing in 2050 ... you'd be absolutely screaming about methane emissions." WHERE IT COMES FROMThree-fifths of the world's estimated methane emissions are from human activity; the rest are from natural sources like swamps. The European Union recently endorsed labeling some natural gas projects as "green" in a major boost to the industry.
[1/3] A destroyed tank is seen in a field in the aftermath of fighting between the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) forces in Kasagita town, in Afar region, Ethiopia, February 25, 2022. Earlier on Wednesday, the AU had invited media to what it described as a briefing by Obasanjo. It was only when the event began, about three hours behind schedule, that it became clear a truce was about to be signed. Implementation of the peace agreement signed today is critical for its success," said Obasanjo, adding that this would be supervised and monitored by a high-level AU panel. Neither Eritrea nor the regional forces participated in the talks in South Africa and there was no mention at Wednesday's ceremony of whether they would abide by the truce.
Giant wind turbines dot the landscape at the Darling Wind Power national demonstration project near Cape Town July 17, 2009. The project is the country's first independent wind power producer and currently has four turbines, with plans for another six. South Africa is also seeking to become a hub for so-called green hydrogen and electric vehicle manufacturing -- both of which could attract significant private sector investment. Coal makes up four-fifths of South Africa's power generation, so turning state utility Eskom to renewables is a priority for the government. Moving South Africa's economy into greener energy will require vast funds in the longer term, with some analysts estimating at least $250 billion over the next three decades.
Explainer: How methane leaks accelerate global warming
  + stars: | 2022-09-27 | by ( Tim Cocks | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +4 min
Methane, the main component of natural gas, can leak from pipelines and drill sites, and is also emitted from farming and food waste. Scientists normally compare the warming effects of methane and carbon dioxide over one century, and over that timescale methane is 28 times worse. "If you're interested in the climate impacts we'll be experiencing in 2050 ... you'd be absolutely screaming about methane emissions." WHERE IT COMES FROMThree-fifths of the world's estimated methane emissions are from human activity; the rest, from natural sources like swamps. The European Union recently endorsed labeling some natural gas projects as "green" in a major boost to the industry.
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