Post 1994, SA rode a wave of global goodwill. We took advantage of it, pulling in billions in foreign investment and establishing a substantial tourism industry. That legacy gifted us membership of the G20 and the Brics group of nations, despite being economically insignificant compared with others under those acronyms. We have punched above our weight for many years. It has lulled us into a belief that the rest of the world cares about our interests.

It was a rude shock when SA and several of our neighbours were hit by global irrationality. The UK’s red-listing has destroyed a vitally needed tourist season by requiring all those returning to the UK to quarantine in government-controlled hotels at great expense. Canada’s refusal to accept SA-generated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests is an insult to the quality of medical science in the country (though partly reversed now for Canadian citizens). President Cyril Ramaphosa has loudly and angrily declared these decisions ir...

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