Tim Cohen Senior editor: Business Day

Sometimes perspective requires distance, perhaps always. It’s hard to nail down specifically what the past few tumultuous weeks mean for SA; what they say, what they don’t say, what the consequences are. Like a painting still being completed, we can see the outlines but not the detail. I find myself vacillating between a new sense of hope and an old sense of foreboding. The most obvious outline is that we have at the very least an opportunity for renewal, and it was that spirit President Cyril Ramaphosa (it still feels weird to say that) captured rather beautifully in the state of the nation address on Friday. The repeated channelling of the Mandela era was much less gratuitous than I thought it would be, and the final quote from a song by recently deceased Hugh Masekela was a fine moment. Ramaphosa essentially put on display his great trump card — his Mandela-esque ability to draw people together, to get them to agree, to make people feel included and respected.He did so by tapping...

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