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South Africa: Ramaphosa Campaign Gains Momentum

Ramaphosa appears to be gaining the advantage in his bid to succeed Zuma as ANC president. With less than five months to go before the ANC national conference in December, Ramaphosa is building on the Zuma camp’s failure to secure the advantage and key concessions at the July ANC policy conference. However, Ramaphosa still has

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South Africa: Cape Town Case to Raise Pressure Over IPPs: Implications for Eskom

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille announced on 27 July that the city will take Minister of Energy Mmamoloko Kubayi to court, in a bid to be allowed to purchase electricity directly from IPPs. Although Cape Town, led by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), is focused on renewable energy, the court case will have implications

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South Africa: Zwane’s Proposed Mining License Moratorium: Warning Sign for Investors

On 19 July, Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane provided a notice of intention to implement a moratorium on processing new and renewed prospecting and mining rights. This represents a significant escalation in tensions with the mining sector, even though there are major doubts over the legality of Zwane’s proposal. The moratorium appears to be

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South Africa: Gigaba Announces New 14-Point Plan as Eskom’s Troubles Grow

On 13 July Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba announced a new list of planned government interventions under the “Inclusive Growth Action Plan.” While the timeline for implementing various initiatives is welcome, the plan has been criticized for its failure to address the structural issues undermining long-term growth. Likewise, the plan did not address the lack

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South Africa: Slow Signs of Exploration Activity in 2017

Despite political and regulatory uncertainty, PASA has continued to see some muted exploration interest in 2017, mostly in onshore blocks. Onshore activity continues to experience greater opposition from communities and other economic sectors, particularly agriculture. Additionally, environmental concerns and the potential impact on the fishing sector have raised opposition toward offshore exploration, including seismic surveys.

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South Africa: ANC Policy Conference Signals Deepening Divisions to Come

While some radical policy interventions were raised at the ANC policy conference, such as nationalizing Sasol, they did not gain significant support. However, there were several debates that will negatively affect investor sentiment towards South Africa. These include a proposal to nationalize the South African Reserve Bank, which is coming under media attack for lacking

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South Africa: Parliamentary Inquiry Likely to Expose Eskom Mismanagement

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises met on 21 June to determine the procedures for its inquiry into mismanagement at Eskom, the state-owned power utility. Eskom plays a central role in energy policy issues and has considerable political backing, enabling its long-running refusal to sign agreements with successful independent power producer (IPP) bidders. The inquiry’s

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South Africa: Procedural Squabbles Likely to Delay New Upstream Development Bill

On 13 June the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources, part of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), held the first of three public hearings on the MPRDA Amendment Bill. The South African Oil and Gas Association (SAOGA), the NGO Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and the National House of Traditional Leaders all submitted

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South Africa: New Mining Charter Preludes Upstream Black Economic Empowerment

Minister Zwane announced on 6 June 2017 that the much-delayed update to the Mining Charter will be published in the Government Gazette by mid-June. Proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill suggest that the upstream oil and gas sector will not be required to comply with the Mining Charter.

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South Africa: DA Will Struggle to Form Opposition Coalition

The DA has started coalition talks with other opposition parties, including the EFF, ahead of the 2019 general elections. DA Federal Leader Mmusi Maimane said on 16 May that his party will consider a pre-election coalition agreement if it improves the chances of winning the election. However, there are wide political and ideological differences between