There was considerable alarm at last week’s news that the only SAA flight to take off in months experienced an extraordinarily dangerous event, with an accident averted by the aircraft’s automatic systems, which kicked in to prevent the plane from stalling as it took to the air. Aircraft accidents are true nightmare material, so the public response was not disproportionate.

However, there were other recent developments that were really more alarming. Not least of these is the spectre of four power ships moored off the SA coast, belching fumes for the next 20 years at a cost of R218bn to the consumer. That is also a nightmare prospect and came with the announcement of successful risk mitigation bidders two weeks ago...

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