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The big story: Ramaphosa’s big plan for Eskom

We’re waiting with bated breath for President Cyril Ramaphosa to reveal his plans for our nation’s beyond-urgent energy crisis. He told us on 11 July that bold action would be announced swiftly, and reiterated this yesterday

We’re still waiting, but in the meantime he managed to make things even worse by pandering to his dinosaur energy minister Gwede Mantashe who came up with the idea of … wait for it … ANOTHER state-run energy utility. Because the state has done so well with the first one. 

The “Eskom 2.0” idea evoked tremendous backlash after Ramaphosa appeared to support the idea on Friday at the South African Communist Party congress, before backtracking on Sunday.

“It is unthinkable that SA would start a new energy company, given the constraints on the fiscus and demand for debt consolidation,” Fin24’s Carol Paton wrote in response to the Eskom 2.0 idea. 

“Mantashe is running with the idea, of course. He needs something to show to his constituency. But the odds of it happening are minuscule.” Instead Paton expects that Ramaphosa will be unleashing the free market on our energy problems, the ANC’s long enthrallment with socialism be damned. 

“We are now on a rapid path to [a] smaller state and the private supply of public goods,” she wrote. 
There is some precedent. Ramaphosa shocked his archaic party and won plaudits last year when he freed up private companies to dramatically produce more electricity. Will the new announcement be as theatrical? Paton seems to think so, while others are still reeling from the Eskom 2.0 shock. Either way, hurry up won’t you Mr President? 🦖

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