There are a great many excellent quotes out there about crises, but let’s go with Antonio Gramsci, who was something of an expert on the subject: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” There is no shortage of morbid symptoms to be found in SA today. The place is a hospice; if not, a graveyard. Death and decay are everywhere. Our infrastructure is collapsing, our institutions infected with some dread disease and our leadership compromised and incompetent. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is more particular. It defines a “crisis” as: “A time of intense difficulty or danger” or “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made”. It speaks primarily to a moment, as opposed to the inevitable symptoms of an age — of an instance when, perched on the precipice, a critical call must be made. Both definitions are important for different reasons. The first because ...

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