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SA’s "transition" often feels like what a laboratory mice treadmill looks like — a lot of running and what appears to be forward movement but the route travelled turns out to be cyclical, with the worn-out mouse remaining in the same place. Nowhere can this allegorical journey be more appropriately applied than in respect of the debate and politics around the privatisation versus nationalisation of state entities, whether at national, provincial or local levels. Turn the transitional clock back over the past 25 years and almost exactly the same scenarios and debates were playing out then. On one hand, an ANC-run state is pushing a selective privatisation agenda under intense practical and ideological pressure from international and domestic capital (alongside their public/civil society apparatchiks). On the other hand, it is defending selective state-owned entities as part of what is presented as a more interventionist "developmental state" and nationalisation agenda under somewhat ...

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