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SA’s political leaders are scrambling to find emergency solutions to the latest load-shedding crisis. It’s a situation that has long needed political intervention, just not necessarily the kind the president and some of his ministers have offered so far.

Take first the illegal strike, which has over the past couple of weeks been the proverbial straw that tipped Eskom into stage 6 load-shedding. Eskom was already struggling to keep the lights on; the strike, and the violence and intimidation that accompanied it, took even more capacity out of the system, prompting even deeper power cuts. Now the striking workers have their 7% wage increase at a cost to Eskom of at least R1bn...

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