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Amid talks deadlock, Mugabe signs security and media law reforms in Zimbabwe

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: January 19, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe signed into law changes to
Zimbabwe's media, security and electoral laws negotiated with the opposition
before March presidential and parliamentary elections, the
government-controlled Herald newspaper reported Saturday.

The amendments — negotiated in South Africa-mediated talks between the
ruling party and opposition aimed at ending Zimbabwe's political and
economic crisis — were rushed through parliament at the end of 2007.

The opposition has given a muted welcome to the amendments, but says nothing
short of a new constitution would guarantee polling was free and fair. Most
civic groups agree.

The new security laws make it easier to hold political rallies, which in the
past were often banned by police on the pretense that parties failed to meet
strict security requirements. Under the new legislation, only courts can ban
political activities on security grounds.

The amendment will be tested Wednesday when the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change plans to hold a "Freedom Walk" in Harare to protest the
worsening economic hardships and press its demands for constitutional

Police have not commented on the march or its possible security risks, and
it remains unclear whether they planned to move against demonstrators. The
state media, however, has accused the opposition of taking a confrontational
stance despite months of negotiations with the ruling party on political
South African President Thabo Mbeki, who was appointed mediator after a
brutal government clampdown in March, visited Harare on Thursday for talks
with Mugabe and opposition leaders that ended inconclusively.

Mbeki told reporters in Harare that work was still in progress on what he
called outstanding "impediments," without elaborating. There is a news
blackout on the talks, though opposition demands for a new constitution have
been the main unresolved issue.

Uncharacteristically, Mugabe refused to comment Thursday and appeared terse
and irritated in a news brief to state television. His government insists
there is not enough time before March elections to meet all the opposition
demands, but has refused to delay the vote until June, as demanded by the
opposition. Mugabe, 83, is widely expected to win the elections, given his
party's hold on power and divisions in the opposition movement.

The revised media laws relax rules for journalists obtaining licenses, and
sets up a new licensing authority — the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

Independent media groups, which are virtually outlawed at present, say will
also be put to the test in coming weeks as foreign journalists seek visas
and state media accreditation to visit Zimbabwe for the elections. In the
recent past, foreign journalists have routinely been denied visas and
accreditation for reporting from Zimbabwe.

The electoral amendments provide for opposition lawmakers to nominate some
members of the state Electoral Commission.

Critics say the changes do not go far enough, and that the commission would
still be heavily weighted in favor of the government and ruling party. There
is no guarantee for the presence of independent foreign election observers.

Mugabe insists only visiting observers from "friendly progressive nations"
will be permitted to monitor polling, effectively excluding monitors from
former colonial power Britain, the European Union or the United States.

The Herald said the new laws went into effect Jan. 11, though the news was
released only on Saturday.

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Zimbabwe judge orders feuding church to worship at different times

Earth Times

Posted : Sat, 19 Jan 2008 16:59:00 GMT
Author : DPA

Harare - A judge in the Zimbabwean capital Harare Saturday ordered two
factions of the bitterly-divided Anglican Church to worship at different
times, an official said. High Court Judge Rita Makarau said supporters of
axed bishop Nolbert Kunonga could hold their services in churches between 7
and 10 Sunday morning.

Those loyal to newly-appointed bishop Sebastian Bakare could use the
churches after 11 am, a spokesman for Bakare said.

Riot police last week disrupted services in several Anglican churches
in the capital, apparently in defence of Kunonga who is refusing to stop
using Anglican Church property despite being stripped of his clergyman's

At least three pro-Bakare priests and more than a dozen parishioners
were reported arrested.

Kunonga is an ardent supporter of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe,
who has granted him a farm under his controversial programme of white land

In September, the ousted bishop pulled the Harare diocese of the
Anglican Church out of the regional mother body - the Province of Central
Africa - claiming it wasn't tough enough on homosexuals. Many in the church
suspected he had other motives, to do with his support for 83-year-old

Christopher Tapera, the spokesman for the Bakare faction, said he was
happy with the ruling.

"What makes us happy is that tomorrow were going to church without
fear, without interruption from the police or the former bishop's thugs,"
Tapera told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

"We are inviting all Anglicans tomorrow to go to church to worship God
freely, without intimidation and fear," he said.

He said police had agreed to uphold the court order and not to take
sides. Saturday's ruling is an interim one. Another High Court judge still
has to rule on who owns the church property.

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Simba Makoni challenging Robert Mugabe

The Telegraph

By Stephen Bevan in Pretoria
Last Updated: 5:12pm GMT 19/01/2008

The first serious challenger to Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe
from within his own party this week resigned his membership in what is seen
as a precursor to the formation of a breakaway party.

Former finance minister and member of the Zanu PF politburo, Simba
Makoni, is being backed by a powerful anti-Mugabe faction within the ruling
party led by Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Mrs Mujuru's husband, retired army general Solomon Mujuru, is expected
to announce next month that he will stand against Mr Mugabe in the
Presidential election in March.

However Mr Mugabe 83, is determined to block any challenge and is said
to have refused to accept Mr Makoni's resignation.

A source close to the breakaway party, tentatively known as “Patriotic
Front” said: “Makoni tended his resignation earlier this week and Mugabe has
rejected it and insisted he remains a full member of the party.”

Mr Mugabe has suggested the issue be discussed at the Politburo
meeting on Wednesday. Mr Makoni, 53, is a graduate of Leeds University and
former executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community.

He is regarded by both the business community and many Western
diplomats as the only credible alternative to Mr Mugabe. In his letter to Mr
Mugabe, Mr Makoni complained that he had been blocked from standing as a
Zanu PF parliamentary candidate in his home area in Eastern Zimbabwe and had
been accused of disloyalty to the party.

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Makoni: hope for Zim poll?

Mail and Guardian

Mail & Guardian reporter

19 January 2008 11:59

      Only last month President Robert Mugabe appeared to have crushed
all internal opposition when his party backed his bid for a sixth term as
president, but it now seems that he finds himself having to put down a fresh
internal party rebellion.

      Since the start of the year, the Zimbabwean media have been rife
with speculation that Simba Makoni, a senior member of Mugabe’s politburo
and a former finance minister in his government, is preparing to lead a
dissident group to challenge Mugabe for the presidency in March.

      But Makoni himself has refused to be drawn into the speculation.

      One of the key drivers of the push, Kudzai Mbudzi, a retired
army major, told the Mail & Guardian that there was no chance a new party
would emerge. Instead, he said, there was a bid to push for change from
within the ruling party.

      “We are not going to abandon Zanu-PF. If you are on a bus, and
you have a problem with the driving, you do not abandon the bus. You simply
change the driver,” Mbudzi said.

      Makoni was a representative of Zanu-PF in Europe during the
liberation struggle and, at age 30, he became one of the youngest members of
Mugabe’s first post-independence cabinet.

      He later honed his diplomatic skills as executive secretary of
the Southern African Development Community, before returning to the private
business sector. He was back in government in 2000 as finance minister, but
left three years later after a public row with Mugabe over economic policy.

      However, he has remained a member of the politburo, the most
senior body in Zanu-PF. There, his reformist stance has led to frequent
clashes with the more radical figures that dominate Mugabe’s inner circle.

      Makoni was among a group of politburo members that opposed
Mugabe’s radical price slashing campaign in June last year, a stance that
won him the backing of influential ruling party figures who were mainly
opposed to the initiative because it damaged their own business interests.

      Party insiders now say it is these same business people who are
agitating for change and pushing Makoni’s name forward.

      In December, speaking at a public debate held by Ibbo Mandaza, a
publisher he is close to, Makoni further stoked tensions with the Zanu-PF
leadership when he decried Zimbabwe’s decay.

      “The old Zimbabwean was admired, envied across the region and
worldwide. The new Zimbab-wean is only despised, mocked and pitied by his
neighbours. The old Zimbabwean leader I knew was there for service, the new
one is only there for privilege,” he said.

      His reformist agenda gives him cross-party appeal, and he is
highly regarded by Western governments and business.

      But there are doubts as to whether a Zanu-PF splinter movement
would be able to prise rural support from Mugabe. If anything, it is likely
the breakaway would only split the opposition vote.

      Reports suggest the new grouping would not favour a coalition
with the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      An independent poll in 2003 placed Makoni second behind MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai in popularity among urban supporters, but he
remains largely unknown in rural areas. Any new challenger to Mugabe would
also need to win over the top rank of the security forces, increasingly
influential in Zimbabwean politics.

      Makoni is said to enjoy the support of Solomon Mujuru, a former
head of the Zimbabwe National Army. Vitalis Zvinavashe, who succeeded Mujuru
as army general before his own retirement four years ago, is also said to
back a change of leadership.

      The news of a possible dissident faction within Zanu-PF has
added life to what has otherwise been a dull start to the election campaign.

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The spirit lives on

More than any other year in the last half-century, 1968 was the year that
ordinary people decide to stand up and be counted, and that radical spirit
survives today. Here we talk to activists who are making their voices heard
through music, comedy, vigils, climbing, camping ... and even cricket

Sunday January 20, 2008
The Observer


Dumi Tutani, 38
The singer

In 2001 Tutani co-founded the Zimbabwe Vigil which meets weekly outside
Zimbabwe House at 429 Strand, and has become the largest regular
demonstration in London.

He's an easy man to find. Head to the Strand on a Saturday afternoon
(2-6pm), come rain or shine, and look for the man leading a crowd in song.

The Zimbabwe vigils started six years ago with five people, and now attract
around 100 a week.

'We thought if we tell the people in the street that their tax money is
going to prop up dictators, they will demand change,' says the soft-spoken
musician. Singing, drumming and stomping toyi-toyi dancing were a natural
accompaniment. 'Back home wherever a few people gather, be it a funeral, a
wedding or just working in the fields, then we sing.'

Tutani fled the persecution suffered by members of Zimbabwe's leading
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, and arrived in London
in 2001. He lives in West Norwood, south London, with his wife and
one-year-old son, Zizi, and got his immigration papers last month.

It's impossible to protest in Zimbabwe. The Public Order and Security Act
means a handful of civilians standing together is a public order offence.
Demonstrators are regularly beaten by baton-wielding policemen, and
sometimes even shot.

'The Zimbabwe Embassy is the closest we can get to Robert Mugabe,' says
Tutani. 'The situation is getting consistently worse. People don't have
access to medicine, clean water, basic food or education: people are dying
every day. We have to raise awareness until there are free elections.'

The vigil is portable, too, flying to Lisbon for the EU-Africa heads of
state summit last month, where, amid a throng of protesters, the
all-singing, all-dancing Zimbabweans gained widespread attention. Mugabe was
furious to be upstaged, and his mouthpiece, the Herald newspaper, bitterly
denounced the protesters as puppets of the UK government.

Elections are scheduled for March but they are unlikely to be free or fair
or monitored by the international community.

'They're a sham. People in the diaspora are not allowed to vote, opposition
parties are not allowed to campaign, there are no international observers on
the ground,' says Tutani. 'We're not going anywhere.

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Giant Water Bugs

Saturday 19th January 2008

Dear Family and Friends,
We are having a bountiful rainy season this year; the type that we haven't
seen for many years. Its the kind of rainy season that I remember from when
I was a teenager where I got wet on the way to school in the morning, again
at lunchtime or on the way to sports in the afternoon, and yet again on the
way home at dusk.
This is the rainy season that Zimbabwe so desperately needs to fill the
rivers dams and lakes and replenish the ground water to revive springs,
wells and boreholes. Its the kind of rainy season which reminds us that life
in Africa is tough and dramatic - its hot, humid, tropical and conditions
can change in a very short space of time: a rising river, flooded bridge or
tar that simply subsides into the sand.

The rains have bought great infestations of insects and sand fleas; there
are more slugs and snails than seem physically possible and then there are
the insects with the unimposing title of Giant Water Bugs which really are
the stuff of nightmares. These fearsome brown creatures are four inches
long, have large shiny eyes, give off an absolutely foul smell if you touch
or squash them and have a frightening pair of grasping front legs.
Apparently the water bugs attack tadpoles and small fish and inflict a
painful wound if you hold them - not that anyone would want to do that -

This abundant rainy season is making the grass grow faster than you can cut
it and making the weeds grow even faster still. The sedges are thick, shiny
and lush; the khaki bush tall and distinctly aromatic; the black jacks
prolific and covered with a myriad black seeds reaching out to stick on
anything that comes too near. There are snakes in the thick undergrowth this
season too, prolific even in suburban gardens: green, black and brown ones
and others that are distinctly identifiable: Egyptian cobras, burrowing
adders and grass snakes.

This is the kind of rainy season where it seems the news from the farmers
should be good. In fact every night on the State propaganda come the jingles
and video clips bragging that this is: "The Mother Of All Seasons." The news
starting to come from small farmers in the rural areas is not good though.
They didn't have enough seed in the first place and negligible amounts of
fertilizer. One rural farmer I met spoke of the part of his crop on high
ground being OK but desperately in need of fertilizer to feed the developing
maize cobs. He said there was no fertilizer to be found - even if he had the
money to buy it. He said that the maize lower down the slope was a complete
write off. It was knee high and yellow and inundated with water. Water which
bubbled up from underground, which poured down as rain and which rushed down
the fields as run off , not even slowed by contours which are no longer
built or maintained and no longer exist. When I asked the man what the
outlook for his whole crop was, he said i t was bleak. He doubted it would
produce enough food for his family for even three months. He asked me if I
thought international donors would be coming soon to help the people in
rural areas with food; he said many people were already in need. He said
that by March there would be a few cobs of green maize to eat straight from
the field but by the winter months (June and July) for sure people would be
starving. Is this the reason why Zanu PF are adamant that elections be held
in March?
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.
Dear Family and Friends,
CORRECTION: Further to my letter entitled: "56 Days," stating the 9th of
March to be Zimbabwe's election date, my source is now unable to confirm
that this is in fact the exact date. I therefore apologise unreservedly.
Love cathy.

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A letter from the diaspora

18th January 2008

Dear Friends.
President Mbeki has come and gone. On Thursday he flew into Harare and had
talks with Mugabe, Tsangirai and Mutambara in what we must assume was a
last-ditch attempt to break the logjam in the talks between the two sides.
Having assured the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern earlier in the week
that the talks were on track with only a couple of sticking points
remaining, it seems odd that Mr Mbeki should feel the need to rush to Harare
to consult the principal players. Interesting that they did not all sit down
together to talk; could it be that Mugabe's arrogance will not even allow
him to sit down with the man he knows poses a real threat to his position?

Whatever the reason, Mbeki flew out on the same day that he flew in; like
Julius Caesar 'he came, he saw'…but he definitely did not conquer Mugabe's
rock-like intransigence. According to independent Zimbabwean press reports
this morning, Friday 18.01.08 Mugabe has refused a) to implement the agreed
constitutional changes before the elections and b) to postpone the date of
the so-called harmonised elections. Those are the 'sticking points' that are
holding up progress but Mbeki continues to believe - and tell the rest of
the world so - that he will achieve a breakthrough. It is an ongoing process
he says. I call it fiddling while Rome burns.

Looking in from the outside, it is hard to see what basis Mbeki has for
optimism. The South African President appears to be suffering from a nasty
case of delusion, a dangerous condition for a politician who is himself
facing serious problems at home with his own credibility at stake. Mbeki
needs a settlement of the Zimbabwean problem to restore his standing on the
national and international stage. Yet he continues to mislead himself and
the world that he has the situation under control and that a settlement is
just round the corner.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe staggers from one crisis to another. One would think,
with the horrendous example of Kenya's rigged elections, that any politician
with the people's interests at heart would understand that free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe are an urgent priority. Instead, we clearly see that
Zimbabwe is heading for yet another rigged election with the connivance of a
SADC appointed mediator who appears blind to the suffering of the Zimbabwean

That suffering worsened this last week as Zimbabweans continued the
desperate search for cash, for food, for uniforms for their children
returning to school for another year. Gideon Gono magnanimously announced
that ' to provide relief and convenience' for the Zimbabwean public larger
denomination notes up to 10 million will be available as from this Friday.
It is surely an admission that the economy is totally out of control when
the size of cash withdrawls is increased ten times from 50 to 500 million of
the useless bearer cheques. And what can the desperate Zimbabwean buy for
his or her monopoly money? With power cuts a daily reality the price of one
candle is $3 million, a loaf of bread, if you can find one, will cost you
over a million, a chicken costs $24 million and a packet of sausages $30
million! And now some schools are instructing parents to send their children
back to boarding school with food and all the Minister of Education can say
is that he will look into the situation.

For me, looking in from this secular island, one story from Zimbabwe more
than any other absolutely shocked me. I myself have no religious affiliation
but I understand very well that my fellow countrymen and women are for the
most part believers. For Zimbabweans, their faith is their comfort and
solace in these terrible times. The thought of police and CIO agents
violently expelling priests and parishioners from churches in and around
Harare is truly shocking. It seems there are no depths that Mugabe's
supporters will not descend to; in this case it was followers of the Mugabe
puppet Bishop Kunonga who called on their thugs in the police and CIO to
prevent Kunonga's opponents from holding church services. Even the normally
passive Anglican church in the person of the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan
Williams has unequivocally comdemned Kunonga's action.

Truly there is no area of life in Zimbabwe that Mugabe and Zanu PF has not
managed to infiltrate and divide. While South Africa and the rest of the
world look on, the country is rent asunder by internal divisions in all
walks of life, including the opposition party. Never before has it been so
important that the opponents of Mugabe act with wisdom and true leadership.
The fate of 11 million people lies in their hands.
Yours in the struggle. PH

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Cuban ambassador confirms Havana's support of Zim

Mail and Guardian

Harare, Zimbabwe

19 January 2008 09:58

      Cuba will support crisis-riddled Zimbabwe, which is being
"punished" by the West for seizing white-owned farms, the Cuban ambassador
was quoted as saying in Harare on Saturday.

      In a belated address to mark the 49th anniversary of the Cuban
Revolution, ambassador Cosme Torres Espinoza told reporters that there were
similarities in the way the United States treated Cuba and Zimbabwe.

      Cuba is under an economic blockade. The US, the European Union
and other Western countries have imposed travel sanctions and asset freezes
on more than 100 top officials of Zimbabwe's ruling party to protest against
rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe.

      Mugabe blames the sanctions for Zimbabwe's deepening economic
rot: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates annual inflation in
this once-prosperous country reached 115 000% in December, reports said this

      "I can see similar trends in the way America deals with Cuba and
Zimbabwe," the Cuban ambassador said. Cuba has been sending doctors to staff
many of Zimbabwe's rural hospitals, deserted by locals over poor pay and

      "The Cuban Revolution has been successful because our people
understand the goals of the revolution and have benefited from
independence," said the ambassador in quotes carried by the official Herald

      "We are therefore prepared to work with Zimbabwe in its quest
for economic, social and political freedom," he added.

      Western countries maintain the sanctions they have imposed on
Zimbabwe are only targeted measures and that Mugabe's misrule -- including
his controversial seven-year programme of white land seizures -- is entirely
to blame for the crisis.

      The US granted Zimbabwe $220-million in aid in 2007, US
ambassador James McGee was quoted as saying this week. -- Sapa-dpa

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Zimbabweans queue for jobs that South Africans won't do

Business Report

January 20, 2008

By Wiseman Khuzwayo

Johannesburg - Limpopo farmers have used permits from the department of home
affairs to bring thousands of Zimbabwean labourers into the country to do
seasonal jobs that unemployed South Africans are not prepared to do.

Home affairs granted the concession to employ Zimbabwean farm workers to
farmers in the Musina district before rolling out the work permit system

Mpho Moloi, the director of the regional home affairs office in Polokwane,
said the concession to use migrant workers had been extended to all farmers
in South Africa, because most farm work was seasonal and there were not
enough locals willing to do the work.

However, Moloi could not provide statistics on the number of Zimbabwean
migrants employed under the concession in the Musina district, which borders

According to the department of labour, a survey conducted by the
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) showed that most farms in the
area sourced 80 percent of their labour from Zimbabwe and 20 percent

The survey further showed that the overall labour force on those farms
ranged between 1 000 and 2 000 workers, depending on the season, although
other evidence suggests there could be many more.

In October 2001 the number of Zimbabwean migrant workers was estimated at 5
500 when farmers brought a high court application to stop them being
deported by home affairs.

The farms in the district produce tropical and subtropical fruit and most of
their Zimbabwean workers are seasonal fruit pickers.

The concession preceded the Immigration Act of 2002.

When home affairs cracked down on illegal immigrants in 2001, three rebel
farmer associations belonging to the Soutpansberg District Agricultural
Union decided to act unilaterally to retain the services of their skilled
Zimbabwean staff, some of whom had worked for them for more than 15 years.

The Weipe, Pont Drift and Njelele farmers' associations applied to the
Pretoria high court to interdict home affairs from deporting their workers
in October 2001. The associations said their situation was unique because
most of their members farmed on the banks of the Limpopo River.

They argued that the workers and their families lived on both sides of the
border and had become irreplaceable components of their farming operations.
In an agreement that was made an order of court, the three farmers'
associations agreed to remove the motion.

Home affairs, in return, agreed not to arrest the farmers or deport the
workers. The department allowed the affected farmers to present exceptional
cases of labourers who could be exempted from deportation.

Exceptional cases included those where a foreigner was married to a South
African spouse and qualified for life partnership recognition.

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Eskom pulls plug on SA's neighbours

Mail and Guardian

Johannesburg, South Africa

20 January 2008 10:05

      Eskom has been forced to slash power supplies to neighbouring
countries in a desperate bid to meet local demand, Business Report said on

      The beleaguered utility, which generates 95% of its electricity
for local use, exports surplus power to Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe -- 
countries that will now no longer be fed from South Africa's troubled grid,
the report said.

       Speaking to Business Times on Friday, Eskom's chief executive
Jacob Maroga said export power was reduced whenever South Africa faced a
shortage -- but added that local consumers needed to save as much as 20% of
consumption to ease the problem.

      Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland, which are also supplied by
the parastatal, face partial cuts in their supply as the power company tries
to alleviate the effect on South African consumers.

      "Ironically, Eskom is in talks with Mozambique and the
Democratic Republic of Congo to buy electricity from power-generation
projects the two countries have planned," Business Report said.

      The Mozambican projects alone are expected to generate more than
2 100MW, some of which Eskom will be able to acquire.

      Maroga -- who has faced a barrage from hundreds of thousands of
angry South Africans who have been subjected to multiple power failures this
week -- told Business Report that reduced supplies to neighbouring countries
depended on the severity of the crisis in South Africa.

      Eskom has also warned that the power failures will continue in
the week ahead. South Africa's peak demand has reached 36 700MW, while Eskom
is able to supply 38 500MW.

      Maroga explained to the newspaper that to cope effectively with
this demand and for the power cuts to ease, Eskom has to shed 1 500MW and
build a reserve capacity.

      This reserve, designed to cater for unexpected surges in demand,
is internationally kept at about 15% of total demand. Eskom's has been
reduced to about 8%, which is insufficient for reliable supply. Power cuts
are needed to prevent the system from crashing.

      As part of its more than R720-billion plan to increase capacity
over the long term, Eskom is in talks with two international nuclear power
giants to boost the generation capacity at Koeberg. It is also planning to
build new nuclear power stations.

      Business losses
      For now, though, businesses are losing millions of rands, with
some of them facing financial disaster, said Business Report.

      "The Killarney Mall in Johannesburg was hit by five power cuts
between last Friday and Wednesday, and tenants lost more than 12 hours of
trading." Kathy Norton, the mall's assistant manager, said the owners were
looking at acquiring additional generators.

      Mining companies, banking and retail groups, restaurants and
shopping centres have already spent millions of rands on industrial
generators to keep their operations running.

       Deon Pohl, Absa's IT facilities manager, told the newspaper that
the bank now had more than 180 industrial generators as part of a massive
roll-out that cost about R62-million. Nedbank, which also plans to acquire
more generators, is spending about R385 000 at each of its branches

      First National Bank was spending R88-million on generators at
its branches, according to head of infrastructure and development, Kabelo

      Discovery Health, which spent R30-million on generators and UPS
units, puts the cost of running these at about R16 000 for every hour the
power is out.

       Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa chief
executive Brett Duncan described the situation as "unacceptable" and a
massive blow to tourism.

      Richard Drinkrow, owner of Mainstream Refrigeration, said
supermarkets were throwing out tonnes of ruined stock. "When the power is
out and they can't get the refrigeration running, within about 25 minutes
that stock has to be condemned," he said.

      Africa's largest food retailer, Shoprite, has generators that
supply power for limited periods to keep fridges, freezers and pay points
operating, but no baking or cooking can be done during power outages.

      Pick n Pay's director of property and operations, Izak Joubert,
said the company's generators ran a certain percentage of the store's
lighting and checkouts.

      Business Report quoted Milk Producers' Organisation of South
Africa chief executive Bertus de Jongh as saying that while many large-scale
farmers had invested in generators to preserve their produce, smaller
farmers would not be able not afford the added expense. -- Sapa

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