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It’s a bad habit, and a cliché. But it seems to take a crisis to prompt government to act in SA, which is why stage 6 load-shedding has seen the president and his ministers seized with the power crisis and swooping in to inspect ailing power stations. If they are truly seized and ready to do what it takes, it can’t be too soon.

But crises also have a habit of generating new ideas. Two particularly inventive ones have emerged over the past week and need interrogating. First, the National Planning Commission (NPC) has proposed the declaration of an “energy emergency” to enable government to override some of the red tape preventing the delivery of new generation capacity...

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