The positive and well-meaning presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa is being manacled by special interests, and he will have to stare down at least one or two to make a success of his administration. With a 179-vote margin of victory at the party's conference in Johannesburg in December last year, he has to tread carefully - but is his careful treading turning into an egg dance that could scramble his presidency? The evidence seems to be stacking up. Take Eskom. Its new management had decided not to grant a wage increase, which is hard but necessary as the impacts of state capture and corruption have made it effectively bankrupt but for huge government debt guarantees. But workers took the mid-winter labour bargaining round and turned it into a weapon. Faced with the first sets of power-station sabotage, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan backed down. Since then trade unions have dug in their heels and refused to settle at even an inflation-busting 7%. The workers, organised by Soli...

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