The recession has come as a cold shower to policy makers and their economic advisers, but only because they decided to ignore the facts. Whether they chose so out of expediency or sheer ignorance, I don’t know. About five years ago, I started writing about SA’s myopic approach to economic growth, predicting GDP would contract annually, leading to a recession in the middle of 2017. Every single year, I diligently produced my projections of future growth, which parted significantly from the optimistic data published by the Reserve Bank and even from the less benevolent estimates of the World Bank. I was right, they were not. No doubt our leaders are responsible for the current contraction, but the root causes go beyond SA. A systemic shift is occurring globally, with the old model of large-scale industrialisation unable to produce growth almost anywhere. European economies are stagnant and so has been Japan for a few decades. China has more than halved its growth expectations, while B...

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