Peter Bruce Columnist

Shame. Hardly had President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a new dawn for a broken-up Eskom in his state of the nation address last Thursday than Eskom announced stage 2 load-shedding on Sunday. It probably was just a coincidence but units at Eskom’s not-even-finished Medupi coal-fired power station had failed (engineers warn the welding and boilers at Medupi and Kusile are so badly put together that they will in fact never function optimally) and older plant is constantly breaking down. We will see you on the streets, was the warning from Irvin Jim, leader of the National Metalworkers Union of SA, in response to plans to split Eskom into three units — generation, transmission and distribution. Both Jim and his partner, Zwelinzima Vavi, former head of Cosatu, insist that Ramaphosa, in breaking up the monopoly, is preparing it for privatisation. But how do they know? Ramaphosa has made it clear, and, surely, reasonably so, that the national grid, the future transmissions business, will re...

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