🔒 The Editor’s Desk: Forget Ramaphoria, it’s time to get real

Load shedding once again paralysed South Africa this week, destroying confidence and eroding the viability of many businesses. As Eskom trotted out its well-worn “wet coal” excuse, many South Africans experienced a familiar frustration. Unfortunately, President Ramaphosa was nowhere to be seen – he was on a mission to Togo. As Alec Hogg and I discuss in this episode, it’s time for the Ramaphosa administration to stop coasting on our goodwill and start delivering. Perhaps, as Alec argues, the proposed SAA business rescue plan is the first step. – Felicity Duncan

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Load shedding – or, to call it like I see it, rolling blackouts – are a painful and frightening aspect of daily life in South Africa. Blackouts are scary. They leave people feeling vulnerable. They are also economically devastating, especially when they are sustained and frequent. No one wants to start a business when there’s no guarantee they’ll even be able to keep the literal lights on (never mind the figurative).

It’s especially frustrating that almost two years into Cyril Ramaphosa’s incumbency, there is still no light at the end of the tunnel (forgive the metaphor). Eskom blamed the blackouts on that old chestnut “wet coal”, a phrase that reminds one forcibly of the depths of the Zuma years. This week, Alec Hogg argues that it is time for the new administration to stop talking and start doing.

In that vein, the recently announced SAA business rescue is a positive sign. It’s a pragmatic compromise between privatisation and state bailout that has the potential to satisfy parties on all sides while leaving SAA functional. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come, perhaps even at Eskom.

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