Seven years ago I wrote in this column that, for all its incompetence, there were three things SA’s public service did dazzlingly well — better, in fact, than anywhere else in the world (“ANC will deliver just enough to stay in power”, May 31 2013).

First, it administered antiretroviral treatment to more than 2-million people. Nobody else had done this. Few people expected that we could, what with our rickety clinics and lacklustre personnel...

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