5 things you need to know in SA business and 11 sinking cities that could soon be underwater

Business Insider SA

1. Late yesterday, Treasury released a surprise discussion document which it said could could raise average GDP growth by 2.3 percentage points over ten years and create just over one million jobs.

Read: Government just released a plan to create 1 million jobs and save the economy – here’s what you need to know

The proposed interventions include plans to make petrol cheaper and encourage new banks and supermarkets, as well as boost small businesses by excluding them from sectoral wage agreements.  

Treasury’s policy document also proposes selling Eskom’s coal-fired power stations, possibly through a series of auctions. This could earn the state R450 billion.

2. Last night, Eskom announced that all units at the Medupi power stations are now finally delivery electricity and all are connected to the electricity grid. The power station near Lephalale in Limpopo was first commissioned back in 2007.

3. The drinks maker Distell reported annual results this morning: sales in rand terms rose by more than 9% to R26 million. But sales volumes were down by almost a percent due to the weak market and more competition, particularly in the beer market. Still, cider and ready-to-drink products delivered double-digit revenue growth, with Savanna, Extreme and Bernini maintaining “excellent growth momentum” as they stole share from beer. Its profits fell by almost 2%.

4. Dis-Chem released a trading update for the past five months, with revenue up more than 13% to almost R10 billion. The group reported by strong dispensary trade. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical group Adcock Ingram reported that its headline profit was up almost 11% .

5. A Welkom construction company owner was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment after being found guilty of defrauding SARS in more than 400 cases, while another businessman received a five-year suspended sentence and a R50 000 fine for defrauding SARS. On Monday, SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter said the tax agency was in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with the National Prosecuting Authority as it seeks to ramp up the process of ridding the institution of corruption. 

11 sinking cities that could soon be underwater

Reported by Talia Lakritz 

Global temperatures and sea levels are rising. Low-lying coastal cities are already experiencing devastating floods and working to come up with creative solutions to combat rising tides.

Some cities are sinking due to increasing sea levels slowly encroaching on their coasts, while others are sinking because of excessive groundwater pumping that creates a change in pressure and volume that causes land to sink.

Here are 11 sinking cities that are in danger of disappearing.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta is sinking up to 17cm per year due to excessive groundwater pumping (which creates a change in pressure and volume that causes the land to sink). Much of the city could be underwater by 2050.

The Indonesian government recently approved a plan to move the capital 160km away from its current location on the island of Java in order to protect its 10 million residents from more flooding. The move would take about 10 years and cost $33 billion.

Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos' low coastline continues to erode, and rising seas caused by global warming put Africa's largest city in danger of flooding.

A 2012 study from the University of Plymouth found that a sea level rise of 90cm would "have a catastrophic effect on the human activities in these regions." Global sea levels are expected to rise 20cm by the end of this century.

Houston, Texas

Parts of Houston are sinking at a rate of 5cm per year due to excessive groundwater pumping.

The more Houston sinks, the more vulnerable it becomes to increasingly frequent disasters such as Hurricane Harvey, which damaged nearly 135,000 homes and displaced around 30,000 people.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh, is sinking due to rising sea levels.
Mamunur Rashid/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bangladesh produces 0.3% of the emissions that contribute to climate change, but the country is facing some of the biggest consequences of rising sea levels, according to The New York Times.

Oceans could flood 17% of Bangladesh's land and displace about 18 million of its citizens by 2050.

Venice, Italy

Getty Images Ltd. From 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear, published by Abrams

Venice is sinking at a rate of 0.2cm every year.

Italy began building a flood barrier consisting of 78 gates across its three inlets in 2003. It's known as Mose. The barrier was supposed to be completed in 2011, but will likely not be ready until 2022.

When a series of storms hit Venice in 2018, the $6.5 billion project was still incomplete. The flooding was the worst the city had seen in a decade.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach has one of the fastest rates of sea-level rising on the East Coast, factoring in both rising water levels and sinking land.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that Virginia Beach could experience up to nearly 4m of sea level rise by 2100.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is sinking at a rate of more than 1 centimeter a year and could be below sea level by 2030, according to The Guardian.

To help prevent flooding, especially during Thailand's summer rainy season, an architecture firm built an 11-acre park that can hold up to 4 million litres of rainwater called Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Parts of New Orleans are sinking at a rate of 5cm per year and could be underwater by 2100, according to a 2016 NASA study.

Some parts of New Orleans are also 460cm below sea level, and its location on a river delta increases its exposure to sea-level rise and flooding.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

According to The New York Times, 90% of the city of Rotterdam is below sea level. As ocean levels rise, the risk of flooding increases.

Like Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park, the Dutch have built "water parks" that double as reservoirs for the swelling water levels in a project called Room for the River, as well as enormous storm surge barriers.

Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria's beaches have been disappearing as sea levels continue to rise. The Mediterranean Sea could rise as much as 60cm by 2100, according to NPR.

Miami, Florida

Environmental author Jeff Goodell previously told Business Insider that "there's virtually no scenario under which you can imagine [Miami] existing at the end of the century" and referred to it as "the poster child for a major city in big trouble."

Miami's sea levels are rising at faster rates than in other areas of the world, resulting in floods, contaminated drinking water, and major damage to homes and roads.

The city may soon have to raise its structures to stay above water.

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