Politics, the cliché goes, is “the art of the possible…”. But the Otto von Bizmarck quote goes on, “... the attainable — the art of the next best”. In the SA Airways deal, it is very much the next best that we have. If, that is, the deal is possible at all.

All sides of the political spectrum will feel it is less than they wanted. The ANC, in the form of most of the national executive committee, wanted the state to retain control. As I have written here before, that was simply impossible. ..

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