The definition of insanity, it is said, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. While the source of this axiom is unknown, its cogency is undisputed. In seeking to find solutions to reverse the stagnant economic growth, gross inequality and high unemployment that have been plaguing SA since the dawn of democracy, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts, including the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan he unveiled in October, are to be welcomed, with some reservation.

The plan — which aims to “create jobs, reindustrialise the economy, accelerate economic reforms and crack down on corruption” — is premised on increasing investments in infrastructure projects, expanding energy generation, creating more jobs in the public and private sectors and supporting local production and an increase in exported goods, driven by localisation targets for goods...

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