Eskom is in dire straits. It is saddled with more than R450bn in debt, has inadequate capacity and is dogged by mismanagement and endemic corruption. It must also contend with its dependence on coal for electricity generation, a main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in SA.

The solution put forward by the government is to unbundle Eskom into three entities: generation, transmission and distribution. In his February budget speech, finance minister Tito Mboweni argued that this process would bring “credibility to the turnaround of Eskom and position SA’s power sector for the future”...

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