A myth is doing the rounds, particularly in the financial sector. It goes like this: if the ANC is able to secure 60% in the 2019 national and provincial elections, President Cyril Ramaphosa will have the mandate he needs to implement meaningful reform and all will be good with the world. The argument is that, as things stand, Ramaphosa has inherited a poisoned chalice. He has a fragile internal majority and, thus, is more or less bound to pre-existing ANC policy, of which the confusing mess that is the ANC’s current position on land reform constitutes the preeminent threat to economic confidence and certainty. It is a myth because it appears to be built entirely on a foundation of blind faith, misplaced hope and an ahistorical analysis that ignores both evidence and precedent. Look at Ramaphosa’s actual record, inside and outside the ANC, and it is quite clear he is a follower, not a leader. Ramaphosa has fashioned his approach to power around compromise and majoritarianism, not vi...

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