Hundreds of people turned up at Hyde Park Corner mall to hear former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas launch his book After Dawn in August. The allusion to dawn was not missed, coming 18 months after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “new dawn” state of the nation speech, which did so much to raise the hopes of our nation.

Things are a lot darker now, and not just because the ratings agencies are scouring the horizon for signs of an economic upturn, finding little but thunder clouds. Their assessments are met with determined statements of intent that we must “do better”, but with little of the political will required to underpin hopes with a realistic plan...

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