The president is angry. His public enterprises minister has assumed a de facto executive role in trying to get Eskom to stop power outages. If he had known or had been told that there would be load shedding this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa would have done what Thabo Mbeki did in 2008: apologise to South Africans for the economic calamity that would follow load shedding. Since Ramaphosa announced last Thursday that Eskom would be split into three entities — generation, transmission and distribution — a lot of finger pointing has been taking place and unlikely alliances formed. Union federation Cosatu and former affiliate the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), now part of Zwelinzima Vavi’s SA Federation of Trade Unions, have been up in arms about Ramaphosa’s announcement. Cosatu’s Gauteng constituency is threatening to withdraw its support for the ANC in the upcoming elections, and Irvin Jim, the firebrand general secretary of Numsa, is on the warpath. As often happens,...

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