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Alea iacta est — the die is cast — declared Julius Caesar in 49BC, as he was about to defy the Roman Senate by marching across the Rubicon river on his way to capturing Rome. Caesar, by breaking the law, knew he’d reached the point of no return and would spark a civil war. In the end, he emerged victorious and was appointed dictator of Rome — then the world’s superpower. Eskom’s immense debt, R420bn at last count, may just present the proverbial Rubicon moment for Cyril Ramaphosa’s SA. By announcing an "unbundling" of Eskom into three separate units — one to generate electricity, one to transmit the power over long distances, and one to distribute it into people’s homes — Ramaphosa seems to have reached a similar point of no return, with his leftist allies and trade unions. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), a breakaway from the Cosatu federation which speaks for 80% of Eskom staff alongside the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), was the first to reject the move. Nu...

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