The lowlight of our annual drive from Gauteng to the Lowveld is the view from the N4. The carnage wrought on our economy by Eskom’s ageing coal fleet is reflected perfectly in the hellscape as we travel through Emalahleni, Middelburg and Makhazeni.

As coal mines give way to giant coal-fired power stations and the roads disintegrate, it’s impossible to miss the ghastly social and environmental manifestation of decline and disarray. The landscape is brutalised, and the horizon littered with smokestacks...

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