Despite many mentions of Eskom in this week's budget, the slim annexure to the Budget Review on plans to reconfigure the utility suggests that unbundling it has yet to be thoroughly thought through. The annexure does say "the corporate restructuring and turnaround will be unprecedented in SA". But it also says that, by mid-2019, a new transmission company will have been established. It will include the transfer of staff, power lines, substations, the national control centre, property rights and peak power stations. The transmission licence will be amended and supply agreements transferred. And it will have its own board. In four months. New structures have yet to solve problems at Eskom. In 2014, the cabinet announced the setting up of a war room to deal with the electricity crisis. Yet here we are. And before the war room (after the electricity crisis of late 2007 and early 2008), the government developed the National Response Plan. Power stations were in bad shape then, and coal s...

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