Tim Cohen Senior editor: Business Day

The first sentence of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenina reads: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." And so it is with corrupt public entities. Much of recent public debate has focused, understandably, on Eskom, which is such a cornerstone of the economy and whose gradual erosion has been the subject of a million articles. The numbers are huge and the consequences enormous; so much so that Eskom’s revitalisation now has a real urgency to it. But my eye was caught by a small story about the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) finally submitting — eight months late — its 2016-17 annual report. That is almost all that needs to be said; it’s 2017-18 report is almost due. What can a year-old report really tell us? As it turns out, quite a bit. Prasa’s function is pretty important because of SA’s warped history of widely spread-out living spaces. If anything could help fix this problem, it would be a cheap and efficient rail service. Prasa...

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