Eskom has done it. Again. Just as the country looked like it was about to wriggle out of its self-inflicted growth constraints, the power utility tightened the straitjacket, as rolling blackouts swept through the country. It came at an awful time. President Cyril Ramaphosa, his investment advisers and local CEOs have been scouring the globe impressing on skittish global investors that after a destructive decade, SA is again open for business. And he has scored some apparent morale-boosting successes, including pledges of about R300bn. But the abrupt return of power rationing seriously undercuts his message. That Eskom slid back into load-shedding wasn’t a surprise; after all, experts had been warning of this for weeks. Rather, it was the scale and magnitude of the collapse — the grid lost 4,000MW of its 46,000MW on Monday — that shocked the country. Even more disturbing, though, are revelations that the utility’s newest mega power stations contributed the most to the rolling blackou...

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