Who remembers the statement: “This thing of having a bottle of water that you can get for R7 procured by the government for R27, because you want to create a middle-class person who must have a business, is not on … It must stop”? Or, more to the point, who remembers who said it?

Few could be expected to remember; seven years have passed and it’s been more of the same. Believe it or not, ANC veteran Gwede Mantashe uttered those words. His bracing candour of 2012 — captured in the blunt synopsis of a contemporary headline: “BEE now a rip-off’” — has lost its punch because, far from ditching the costly and ineffective strategy, the government has pursued it with greater enthusiasm.

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