A few days without load-shedding and how quickly Eskom vanishes from our TV screens and front pages. But be careful. I’ve spent the past few days speaking to as many wise heads as I can. The thing they all share is a sense of sadness that SA has come to this: that it cannot guarantee a continuous supply of something as basic as power to a light bulb. Everyone I have spoken to raises the prospect, as a real possibility, of a sudden and catastrophic collapse of the grid. Load-shedding is designed, I know, to prevent that, but it is clear from communications from Eskom and the state that they are not on top of the threat. A national blackout would last one to two weeks. Everything would shut down. There’d be no water after a few days. Water pumps need electricity. Sewerage treatment would stop. Raw excrement would flow into rivers and dams. People would fight for clean water. For petrol. We would overnight become a failed state. But we are not broken yet. We can still make choices and ...

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