One of the most revealing things about public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan’s letter to Solidarity head Dirk Hermann, asking for help in “mobilising the critical skills” Eskom needs to do its job, is the uncertainty over whether the minister was entirely in earnest.

If at first glance it seems obvious that the government (a senior member of it, anyway) now fully recognises the skills crisis that is surely unarguably of its own making and is willing to take help from whoever offers it, even a passing familiarity with the ways of the ANC, and the near-alpine heap of examples of the flat contradiction between what is stated and what is actually done, means any claim to certainty is conditional...

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