On Wednesday on these pages fellow columnist John Dludlu argued that breaking Eskom into three subsidiaries will not resolve its fundamental problems, the primary one being a lack of leadership. Allow me to expand on that and add to his list. Eskom’s problems are rooted in the macroeconomics of the ANC, particularly its distrust of markets, experience, meritocracy and its obsession with race. The party’s position on Eskom was first articulated by former finance minister Trevor Manuel in 1992 at an ANC-organised national meeting chaired by Ketso Gordhan held at the University of Cape Town. Manuel emphasised that the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were considered the commanding heights of the economy, and should therefore be in state hands. However, once in power after 1994, the ANC had a Damascene moment and introduced the growth, employment and redistribution (Gear) policy, without consulting its allies, and in the process reinforced the apartheid system of accumulation. President C...

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