President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a plan to get SA out of its worst post-apartheid economic crisis was his most important speech. It will set the tone for the election in 2019 and his first term in office. He had two choices: to change course and implement a real stimulus plan to revive the economy and put it on a path towards rapid growth and job creation or to double down on the austerity policies that will deepen the economic crisis. Instead, the president presented an old salad — structural reforms and austerity — that was tossed in a new dressing of his masterful delivery and drizzled with investment banking buzzwords such as "blended finance" and "quasi-equity". It was also a remix of former finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s long-forgotten 14-point recovery plan that he launched in July 2017 and his budget speech, minus the quotes from US hip hop star Kendrick Lamar. There are three macroeconomic policy tools that can boost a country’s GDP growth in the short term. Th...

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