Like many South Africans I was hugely relieved by President Ramaphosa’s ANC election victory in December 2017. So relieved, in fact, that I barely registered that my brand-new book was now almost certainly dead in the water.

Published two months earlier, On the Brink: SA’s political and fiscal cliffhanger concluded that SA would continue its fiscal slide unless a new government embraced a private sector-led growth model. Like many, I assumed Ramaphosa would achieve this U-turn in time. At the very least, his election meant the country was no longer “on the brink”. Little did I expect that by December 2019 SA’s public finances would be in irreversible decline and I would be writing that SA was back on the brink.

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