Is Eskom yet another issue on which one side’s biases are ignorance, the other side’s the truth? Being load-shed together has not united South Africans. It has, as usual, produced two sets of competing slogans. Both are dressed up as truth yet both are almost entirely free of it. But, in the mainstream, one side gets its biases accepted as unquestioned truth. Trade union knee-jerk reactions are automatically dismissed as signs of prejudice, malice or both. To be sure, union leaders do their best to live up to the label. In an interview last week, one declared that independent power producers were ripping Eskom off, but didn’t know how much a unit of Eskom-generated electricity cost, which, of course, makes comparison impossible. They dismiss any form of private provision of a public service as a conspiracy against the people: if that were true, the government should make its own computers and tea to avoid procuring them from private suppliers. Unions have become very good at soundin...

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