As the debate about the potential use of their pensions to rescue Eskom and other failing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) refuses to go away completely, what lessons should public servants take from their conflict with the government over the 2018 wage agreement? Perhaps the most important would be not to take anything for granted.

Cosatu’s leaders have been among the most enthusiastic about the idea of using funds in the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), whose biggest client is the 1.2-million member Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), to deal with the financial crisis at state-owned companies...

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