Eskom woes trickle down to aspiring coal barons

As Eskom prepares to shut down five power stations in Mpumalanga, it has also emerged that the state-owned power supplier abandoned its plans to establish a R1 billion fund that was intended to solve the scarcity of investment capital for would-be coal mining entrepreneurs and emerging black miners.

The revelation that the Black Emerging Miners Development Fund, unveiled in 2014, never got off the ground is seen as a blow to efforts to open up the coal industry to emerging players, who were banking on accessing capital from the fund on favourable terms.

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Eskom appoints debt collectors to chase defaulters

Power utility Eskom has appointed 30 companies to crack down on consumers who are in arrears with their electricity bills, according to a source.

The plan could put Eskom on a collision course with communities and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) which has accused the state entity of overstepping its constitutional mandate and threatening electricity services.

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SA’s renewable power plan runs out of steam

South Africa’s infant renewable energy industry appears to be running out of steam after a galloping start. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme kicked off on a high note after being approved in 2011 and quickly attracted huge interest from investors, thanks to the generosity of state-owned power utility Eskom, which bought solar and wind energy from independent power producers (IPPs) at high tariffs in the early bidding rounds of the programme.

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Sasol’s Mozambique gas project paying off despite criticism

There is a school of thought that is suspicious of foreign direct investment (FDI), viewing it as nothing more than a plundering of natural resources and exploitation of consumers by ruthless capitalists, who once they are done with sucking the blood out of hapless domestic economies, move on to the next host to carry on with the pillaging.

Many multinational companies that invest in emerging economies try to do their best to avoid being linked to this crude description of FDI, which is akin to modern-day imperialism.

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Tanking oil prices threaten SA's shale gas ambition

South Africa’s long-held ambition of becoming a major player in the shale gas market could come under threat if oil prices continue to tumble in the face of an oil glut masterminded by Saudi Arabia’s flooding of the world with cheap oil to drive shale frackers out of the oil global market.

Oil pundits in the US, where there was a vibrant shale gas industry before oil prices started heading south, are leading the charge in predicting that oil prices could crash to $10 a barrel this year, triggering massive debt defaults by companies producing oil from shale gas.

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