Eskom, Jessie Duarte and Alex protests: Top stories of the week

05 April 2019 - 06:55 By Odwa Mjo
Residents in Alexandra watching service delivery protests in the township on April 3 2019.
Residents in Alexandra watching service delivery protests in the township on April 3 2019.
Image: Alon Skuy

Eskom's briefing on the state of the power utility, protests that dominated Alexandra township on Wednesday, tax revenue shortfalls and more: here are the top five stories from the week.

Eskom

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom board held a briefing on Wednesday to give an update on the state of affairs at the state-owned enterprise ahead of winter.

Eskom said it would minimise the risk of load-shedding from May to August despite a rise in electricity demand in winter months.

The power utility plans to increase supply at its power plants, ensure proper maintenance  and increase diesel supply.

Gordhan said in the case that load-shedding may occur it will only be at stage one level. 

Jessie Duarte

ANC secretary-general Jessie Duarte sparked much reaction after eNCA shared footage of her scolding one of their journalists. 

In an interview at Luthuli House, Duarte accused eNCA journalist Samkelo Maseko of asking her "attacking" questions.

Duarte accused Maseko of thinking he is the "lord of the media" and wanting to defend freedom of speech "he never fought for".

The South African National Editors' Forum condemned Duarte's actions. The ANC has since defended Duarte, claiming eNCA broadcasted a one-sided story.

Baby Daniel 

A 38-year-old man was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for the murder of 'Baby Daniel' in 2016.

He was convicted at the South Gauteng High Court for the three year-old's murder. Daniel's mother, the man's former girlfriend, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for child abuse. 

The boy was found at home in Naturena, Johannesburg with burn wounds after he was put in a bath of boiling water in June 2016.

Alex protest

Residents in Alexandra township in Johannesburg blocked roads and burned tyres on Wednesday in a service delivery protest.

A lack of waste management and an increase in the building of illegal structures were some of the grievances posed by the residents.

Protesters refused to be addressed by Johannesburg mayoral committee member for public safety Michael Sun. They demanded to speak to mayor Herman Mashaba. 

The protest was temporarily called off by the organisers on Thursday morning after rumours of private security being hired to contain protesters.

Tax revenue shortfall 

The South African Revenue Service has missed its revenue target for a fifth consecutive year. 

SARS collected R1.287-trillion in the year ending March 2019, according to its preliminary results. Although this is R57.4bn less than Treasury's original target, it still represents growth of R71.2bn, or 5.8%, from the R1.216-trillion collected in 2017/2018.

Outgoing acting Sars commissioner Mark Kingon said the weaker economic outlook can be attributed to slow improvement in production and employment due to poor investment growth in 2018 and a moderation in global trade and investment.

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