Africa Brief: Energy, electricity, coal, hotels, and more

South Africa gears up for rush of energy explorers

Exxon Mobil, US energy producer intends to search for crude and natural gas in South Africa. Dave van der Spuy (resource evaluation manager at Petroleum SA) believes the level of activity and interest in SA is at its highest. With SA being the continent’s biggest oil importer, international energy companies with new technologies are entering SA. Mozambique is another energy province, with the largest gas finds.

SA produces more coal than any other African nation, which it uses to generate three quarters of its power. The biggest restriction on the economy of SA is the availability of energy; however SA is boosting power generation capacity. In order to attract energy mix expansions, the government has offered seismic data to explorers. SA has also agreed to shale-gas exploration as soon as a regulatory framework is in place, as the government wants to diversify.

Shale and deepwater drilling will also provide new sources of income for SA. SA has also granted increased technical co-operation permits and exploration licences compared to last year.

For the full story, read SA gears up for rush of energy explorers by Paul Burkhardt, published in Business Day on 08/01/2013.

Zambia: Zesco to build new power line

Zesco has planned to build a new power line to provide electricity to new mines once it receives the approval it has applied for.

For the full story, read Zambia: Zesco to build new power line by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

Marketing deal lifts Coal of Africa

Coal of Africa rose by 23%, its highest in more than 4 years after appointing Vitol to market its coal and no longer needing to fund an export terminal expansion.

For the full story, read Marketing deal lifts Coal of Africa by Bloomberg, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

Exciting prospects for hotel groups expanding into Africa

Due to the rapid African economic growth and the ability to accommodate travellers in the region, both local and international hotel groups are looking to expand in the rest of Africa. For South Africa, from a growth point of view, the market is already saturated for any new supply.

For the full story, read Exciting prospects for hotel groups expanding into Africa by Nick Hedley, published in Business Day on 08/01/2013.

Swazi economy “under control” after Sacu injection of R7.1bn

Swaziland no longer requires a bail-out loan from South Africa due to an increase in revenue from Sacu. Swaziland’s Finance Minister believes the economy is now under control.

Economists, however are questioning whether Swaziland is experiencing an economic resurgence, as majority of government revenue comes from Sacu and Swaziland is also tied to the poor performing economy of Somalia.

For the full story, read Swazi economy “under control” after Sacu injection of R7.1bn by Sandile Lukhele, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

Zimbabwe asks banks to curb lending rates

In order to help the economy to recover, the government has asked the financial services industry to curb lending rates. According to the agreement between the Reserve Bank and 23 other banks, the lending rates are not allowed to be more than 10% above the companies’ cost of financing.

Per the agreement, banks will also be compelled to pay interest of at least 4% on certain deposits and design accounts with lower bank charges for customers. Tendai Biti, finance minister said the country could amend its banking laws.

Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe is also included in this agreement, which has the highest market value on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.

For the full story, read Zimbabwe asks banks to curb lending rates by Godfrey Marawanyika, published in The Star, Business Report on 08/01/2013.

David Okwara

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