I have never worked so hard as I have speaking to South Africans from Sandton to Khayelitsha over the past week, helping them make sense of finance minister Tito Mboweni’s plan to grow the economy. As I spent the day with unemployed activists at a workshop organised by the Tshisimani Centre in Cape Town to help them analyse the plan, it became clear how disconnected the government is from the people it is meant to serve.

“This is a document for the elite. We don’t have money for internet to get access to it,” one participant said. Most people could not understand the strategy’s dense terminology and repetitive language...

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