After a two-week study tour of China I returned to SA last week to re-engage with the economic content of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new dawn. Tito Mboweni, the new finance minister, delivered his maiden medium-term budget policy statement on October 24. The next day the president hosted the second of two summits he had promised in his February state of the nation address would kick-start the economy. Ramaphosa has now played all his cards on the economy, but the results have not been forthcoming. According to the latest labour-force survey, and using the more realistic expanded definition, there are now 9.8-million unemployed South Africans. The national unemployment rate is 37.3%. The figure for black Africans is 42%. Although high-frequency economic data suggest the economy could get out of the recession during the third quarter, GDP per capita will decline for the fifth consecutive year in 2018. The number of unemployed South Africans will increase to more than 10-million peopl...

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