Neels Blom Writer at large

A bitter truth is sinking in: Eskom wants more money and we the people are going to give it to the failing state-owned power utility. First it will be a R100bn or so to fund the interest on debt it cannot repay, and then hundreds of billions more if SA is going to continue as anything remotely resembling a modern state. It is not as though we have the cash lying around, but it will be found and most likely through loan sharks that will see the nation indebted beyond any hope of economic development. Still, prudent little citizen investors should be doing their sums before submitting to the inevitable co-option, if only to maintain an illusion of honour. But before we get to that there is a little matter of semantics. When Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza (ably patronised by public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan) explained to the nation its “choice of pain” at a media briefing last week about rolling power failures, he said that Eskom’s failure to meet SA’s electricity needs “are problems...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now