When a character named English Bob arrives in the town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming, a deputy sheriff tells him and his companion to surrender their firearms to the authorities for the duration of their stay. Bob, who is packing two pistols, says they aren’t carrying any, adding, “We rely upon the goodwill of our fellow men and the forbearance of reptiles.”

These words from Clint Eastwood’s last western movie, Unforgiven, came to mind while listening to President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing his plan for dealing with the country’s energy crisis...

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