Trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel is the weakest link in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “reconfigured” economic cluster, and should have been axed along with the others. The cluster hasn’t been strengthened, and the same unimaginative, unscientific and regressive “economic growth and regulatory” thinking will persist.

I may be perceived as harsh to suggest Patel should have been axed, or at least reassigned. His critics have tended to ask him “to do more/better” but never quite get around to asking for him to be removed altogether. Here’s why: as politicians go Patel is an affable guy, even if the bar for likeability is rather low in SA. And that is the most compelling reason Patel has been able to remain below the radar of the political commentariat — to pass muster you merely need not be corrupt and be able to string together comforting but vacuous platitudes to be considered competent enough for high office...

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