If you have ever waited in a queue in a public clinic, had a child in an overcrowded, under-resourced classroom in a no-fee school, or suffered at the hands of tired and dissatisfied public servants at home affairs, your experience is not unique.

A snap poll of any town or city in SA would show that you are in some sizeable, but not in any way remarkable, company. What is remarkable is the growing body of opinion pieces, parliamentary questions, soapbox remarks and fireside chatter suggesting that culling a “bloated state” is the main missing element in our policy puzzle. It is not.

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