EXTRACT

The incontestable truth was spoken by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan: our weak economy – with population increases outstripping GDP growth, spiralling government debt, dismal retail and manufacturing performances, a cratering currency and petrol price surge – would go from critical to endangered if load shedding persists.

However there is another more inconvenient truth Gordhan did not utter: he cut the ground from under the feet of new Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe’s proposal to zero-rate all current salary increase demands made by unions on behalf of its 47,000 employees. Hadebe announced this (non) proposal to meet the unions’ extraordinary demands for a 15% salary hike was “off the table”. Simply put, at the first sign of grapeshot being fired by the trade unions the government ran for cover.

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