Does anyone have the slightest idea what is going on? On Thursday President Cyril Ramaphosa presents his economic recovery programme to parliament, a first — but never final — exposition of his plan to return SA to a path of economic growth, and also to present his credentials as a reformer.

Just a few days ago though there was the most awful kerfuffle. The presidential economic advisory council, appointed a year ago, produced a 122-page report urging Ramaphosa to freeze the public sector wage bill, but not necessarily cut back on pro-poor government programmes as was initially planned to meet finance minister Tito Mboweni’s tough 87% debt-to-GDP ceiling in two years’ time...

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