President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address placed growth and job creation at the centre of the nation’s agenda. He also outlined some policy shifts in how this might be achieved, but has he done enough to shift the needle on growth? There are several stretch targets and bold policy promises in the address that could turn up the dial on growth and to which Ramaphosa’s cabinet can be held accountable. What’s missing is a credible bureaucracy to actually implement them. If there were, economists would be falling over themselves to revise their growth forecasts upward. At best, the Ramaphosa’s speech might have made them a bit more hopeful, but probably not enough to shift their view of the country’s growth prospects from “average” to “attractive”. It all sounds so good on paper: foreign direct investment leapt from R17bn in 2017 to R70bn in 2018. In addition, 2018’s investment summit attracted R300bn in investment pledges. These will be followed up by the investment envoys...

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