In SA it is rare to find even-minded critics who praise the government. I suspect there is a latent fear that compliments will lead to complacency and laurels to laziness. Perhaps it’s simply that we are disappointed in almost everything; high aspirations repeatedly confronting harsh realities. Earlier in 2019 the president proclaimed that SA will be positioned “as a global competitive player within the digital revolution space”. Yet 48% of primary schools don’t have internet, 26% have no running water and 12% have no electricity. Fourth industrial revolution here we come! But sometimes the government does get it right. In 2019 an unlikely province pioneered the production and distribution of books to every grade 1 to grade 3 child: the Eastern Cape. The books were anthologies of levelled readers (stories that increase in difficulty incrementally, story by story) — crucial reading resources normally only available to middle-class children. By quietly inventing a new way to produce, ...

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