SA’s bad economic performance is unlikely to give more sway to populist voices and will rather empower reformers in the government to pursue the right policies, Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago said. “We cannot stop some people from saying populist things, but we can win the policy debates — and we are winning,” Kganyago told an investor conference on Thursday in New York, in his second reference to populism this week. “Bad economic outcomes, in this case, seem to be supporting better policies.” Kganyago said on October 30 that the nation spent too much time debating populist issues, such as the proposed nationalisation of the central bank, instead of focusing on steps to boost the economy, which fell into a recession in the second quarter. GDP has not expanded more than 2% annually since 2013, complicating the government’s task of trimming a 27% jobless rate and reducing poverty. The ANC decided in December it would pursue changes to the constitution to make land expropriatio...

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