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. Jabu Mabuza, the Eskom board chair, may have intended to inspire citizen co-operation by urging them to take responsibility for “putting us back in a sustainable way”. By that he means South Africans are all to blame for the catastrophic venality and incompetence that ...

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