Even before Covid-19 the SA economy displayed comorbidities — above all, unusually deep inequalities and high joblessness. These twin ills limit growth by fuelling social and political contestation, and have provided fertile ground for state capture.

A successful recovery plan will have to tackle these roots — above all, deep class disparities in education; unusually inequitable work organisation and pay scales; and stark divides in inherited household wealth and municipal services. In contrast, the current project centres on vanilla plans for infrastructure investment combined, incongruously, with cuts to government spending. And it ignores the need for strong measures to avoid a second Covid wave, which would reverse the economic gains so far. ..

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