Regulating a monopoly like Eskom is a hellishly hard thing to get right for a whole range of theoretical and practical reasons. It is even harder to regulate since Eskom is a vertically integrated monopoly as well. It is responsible for most of its own generation, it owns the transmission grid and, as a distributor, it is several times larger than the next biggest distributor, Johannesburg’s City Power. For all practical purposes, Eskom, is not just an electricity utility, it is our total electricity system. By DIRK DE VOS.