Whenever it comes to dissecting and analysing the effects of public policy, the quality of the data is as important as the context of the environment we live in. For a country like SA, where so much is negotiable and contested — including facts themselves — dealing with data and information has become a case study in navigating facts, fiction and politics.

For example, for many people the rise in the country’s debt levels indicates that SA is clearly unable to meet its commitments on an ongoing basis and requires assistance to do so. For others, the same data may be interpreted to mean that while the country may be living beyond its means, this is to be expected in a developmental state...

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