Tag: flooding

By Robert Brand for News24

The rand weakened the most in five months and benchmark bonds sold off as rolling power cuts, flood damage and signs of a Covid-19 comeback added to worries about the country’s economic outlook.

As global concern over rising US interest rates sent emerging-market currencies into reverse, the rand weakened more than 2% against the dollar on Tuesday, the biggest daily decline among the asset class.

Eskom warned the country may have more than 100 days of electricity blackouts this year because of outages. The government will ask parliament for additional funding of R1 billion rand to repair infrastructure damaged by deadly floods in KwaZulu Natal.

This hampers plans to reduce the budget deficit and curb government debt, a key factor preventing credit-rating upgrades. In addition, growing evidence of a resurgence of Covid “could complicate” South Africa’s economic recovery, said Brendan McKenna, an currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

The rand slumped 2.2% to R14.9717/$ late on Tuesday, the most since November 2021. The yields on 2032 government bonds climbed 18 basis points to 10.31%.

“There were some pretty severe floods in South Africa recently that caused a fair amount of damage,” McKenna said. “Looks like the government is asking for funds to start rebuilding, which could add to the debt burden and fiscal deficit.”

He said that public finances in the country were “already in bad shape, so that could be weighing on the currency too.”

Treasury yields surged Tuesday as inflation fueled by the war in Ukraine and supply-chain chaos bolstered expectations for tightening by the Federal Reserve, strengthening the dollar.

 

MTN, Vodacom networks hit by floods

By Sibongile Khumalo for News24

The torrential rains that have battered parts of KwaZulu-Natal since Saturday have shut down 500 MTN network sites in the region, the cellphone company said on Tuesday.

“The flooding in the KZN region has caused power outages at many of our sites, and while we have battery back-up at many of the sites, these batteries have been depleted,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN SA’s spokesperson.

According to the country’s second-largest cellular network provider, some of the areas impacted by the outage at this stage include Durban South, South Coast, Umlazi, Amanzimtoti, Ballito, and Salt Rock.

Technicians are working to restore connectivity in the affected areas.

Mayor of eThekwini Mxolisi Kaunda has told media that the flooding had resulted in damage to roads and had knocked out electricity supply to several parts of the city. Several water supply lines have also been affected.

Several regions across the country have been hit by heavy rains since last weekend.

Meanwhile Vodacom spokesperson, Byron Kennedy, said over 400 network towers of the company from the north to the south coast of Durban have been impacted due to disruptions to electricity supply. He said areas from Ballito to Amanzimtoti, in the south, “are currently experiencing intermittent mobile services”.

Some fibre infrastructure is also affected due to water-logged fibre ducts.

Kennedy said efforts to restore sites were being hampered by severe damage to roads and certain facilities not being accessible due to the risk of electrical shocks.

Provincial disaster management teams have revealed that over 45 people have lost their lives as a result of the heavy rains, according to a statement issued by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka.

 

Source: IOL; News24

Image credit: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

The unprecedented floods in Durban have caused massive damage to infrastructure, uprooting homes, destroying roads and sinking vehicles.

Reports indicate at least 45 people have lost their lives so far as the heavy rains continue to cause damage across the coastal city.

Transnet suspended shipping at its Durban terminals on Monday evening due to the severe flooding. Customers at the Durban terminal have been asked not to bringing trucks into the port. In a statement released on Tuesday, Transnet said that while there have been no major incidents at the terminals, it is taking precautionary measures as the flooding damaged road infrastructure in the province, affecting access to terminals. It will resume shipping at the Durban terminals when it is safe to do so, it said.

The south coast area experienced unprecedented rainfall, with between 180mm and 310mm recorded in parts of the city of Durban,
Authorities urged parents not to send pupils to school as the rain continues to pour, leaving a trail of destruction across the city.

The South African Weather Service also has warned earlier on Tuesday that more rainfall and widespread flooding is expected overnight in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape.

“Following a weekend of widespread rainfall over much of the country this past weekend, the cut-off low system responsible for the inclement weather began moving eastwards over KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape overnight,” the weather service said in a statement.

It has also issued a Level 9 for heavy rain in the province, calling on the public to be alert.

Roads in and out of the area are closed or partly closed as clean-up operations begin.

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