File Picture: REUTERS
File Picture: REUTERS

The rand extended gains on Friday morning as markets hear more details on the government's plans to meet electricity demand.

Minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe was briefing the media on the Integrated Resource Plan, which was discussed by the cabinet on Thursday. The plan entails the governments long-term strategy for electricity supply. 

The local currency, which is up more than 2% so far this month, broke to stronger than R15/$ on Wednesday for the first time this week. This followed Eskom's announcement that it would  implement load-shedding at stage 2, adding to investors' concern about the health of the country's largest supplier of electricity.   

“Electricity supply continues to undermine the country’s growth outlook, calling for urgent government action to resolve power constraints,” RMB economist Mpho Tsebe said. 

At 10.10am, the rand had firmed 0.36% to R14.7788/$ after reaching R14.75 in intraday trade. It has strengthened 0.57%  to R19.0167/£ and 0.37% to R16.441/€. The euro was flat $1.1124.

Gold was down 0.17% to $1,489.17/oz and platinum 0.12% to R884.44. Brent crude lost 0.17% to $59.76 a barrel. 

mjoo@businesslive.co.za