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SA’s 2018 state of the nation address by the President has been postponed. This unprecedented step makes it clear that the country is seeing the final days of Jacob Zuma as president although it may take a day or a week or two before things are finalised. What’s important is that Zuma isn’t allowed to detract from the momentum that newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has started to build. This has included a successful trip to Davos where he unequivocally pulled the carpet from under the nuclear power programme favoured by Zuma. Ramaphosa has been working diligently to corral Zuma’s remaining freedoms in terms of action. Zuma was finally persuaded to establish a commission of enquiry into state capture and Ramaphosa started restoring credibility to the management of state-owned enterprises. The momentum built by Ramaphosa seems sufficient to avoid the most pressing concern — the spectre of a downgrade of SA’s long-term local currency debt rating by the ratings agency Moody’s...

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