Business confidence and employment have fallen to their worst levels in years. As observers are now saying, this can be put down to one thing: President Jacob Zuma’s government. Amid state capture, even upstanding members of the Cabinet have been deeply compromised — if not corrupted. The ANC’s glib approach to democracy has seen the economy founder in pursuit of disparate national agendas. These include visions of a developmental state and black economic empowerment — split between adherents of the National Development Plan and the far more state-interventionist New Growth Path. As these contradictions have morphed into radical economic transformation, populism and personal gain have sunk economic and legislative integrity. Allied to the notion of a developmental state, SA’s governing party has assumed that it can create markets by fiat. But the only tool it has in the toolbox is a bludgeoning instrument that bears down on the finest screw and smallest nut with the same force it wo...

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