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I suppose it is progress that the ANC’s national executive committee now accepts the importance of introducing “equity partners” into underperforming state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The problem is that the idea — giving outside investors minority stakes in return for their capital and expertise — isn’t going to fly. There is no sucker unwise enough to take such a deal, especially given the government’s history of abusing minority shareholders.

We proved it first with the introduction of private shareholders at SAA. Back in 1999 Swissair took a 20% stake, but when it became clear that the government wasn’t going to follow through with full privatisation, the Swiss got out...

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