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One step forward, three steps back. That seems to be SA’s genetic predisposition. Just as the economy jumps out of a self-inflicted recession, Eskom intervenes with power rationing, which can only propel it one way: back into recession. A modern economy relies on electricity to thrive, so unless Eskom can meet demand, confidence will sag and investment dry up. But as with the recession, this bout of load-shedding, like those in the past, was entirely avoidable. The utility’s previous and current leadership, as well as the government, have to accept the blame. It is trite to say that Eskom was deeply harmed by Jacob Zuma and his lackeys Lynne Brown and Malusi Gigaba. But let’s look at the present. The FM has argued for some time that Eskom will need another bailout of at least R50bn. It is now starting to look more like R100bn is needed. Realistically, Eskom must buy back about R200bn of its debt (now a breathtaking R419bn) just to return to a financially viable position. On the grou...

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