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It is no secret that the country was in serious trouble before the arrival of Covid-19. The shock of the pandemic was an accelerator for an already deteriorating economy. As the National Planning Commission (NPC) December 2020 report reviewing progress with the National Development Plan (NDP) succinctly put it: “Covid-19 revealed in great clarity the structural limitations on creating growth and employment and the significant state capacity constraints.”

We all agree on what needs to happen: structural reforms that have long been acknowledged can lift the country out of its economic stagnation and raise the quality of life for all South Africans. Yet in spite of all the high-level commitments made by the administration in each and every presidential address since the RDP’s promise for “favourable amendments to legislative and regulatory conditions” to ease the path of business growth for job creation (especially for small business), the government adds layer upon layer of cont...

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