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Plettenberg Bay is the poster resort for the glaring inequalities confronting SA — magnificent R50m mansions overlooking Robberg Beach, a proverbial stone’s throw from the shacks dotting nearby New Horizons settlement. Plett, though, was also the place where I had a reunion during the festive season with one of the foremost business leaders in SA from the fraught 1980s. Readers of some vintage will recall when PW Botha hedged his reform strategy with lashings of repression and marooned himself on the banks of the Rubicon that he proved unwilling to cross. He died, perhaps aptly, in the postapartheid era. Botha might be long gone, but the dilemma for reformists seeking to make transcending changes but fearful of the consequences in terms of holding on to power and preserving party unity, has immediate application as SA again enters a moment of political transition. I suggested to my eminent interlocutor, who was at the forefront of progressive business thinking long before it became ...

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