SA, or at least the small section of it that gathers around this newspaper, has long grown frustrated with Cyril Ramaphosa. He is maddeningly cautious. When he came to power it was expected he would go, guns blazing, after the ANC faction he had defeated. Instead, he appointed a string of independent inquiries and has watched from a safe distance as they go about their slow work. It was hoped he would roll up his sleeves and revive the corpses that are the state-owned enterprises. He has said instead that nobody in the bloated and sickly Eskom will be retrenched. Some are saying he is a coward; to achieve anything of consequence in SA, it is said, one needs a depth of courage and a clarity of purpose he simply does not have. Behind all this frustration with Ramaphosa is a question seldom asked: how much power does an SA president actually have? Or, to put it at its sharpest: how governable is SA? The short answer is: not very. A governable country is one in which levels of trust and...

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