One interpretation of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to withdraw extra freebies given to ministers and deputy ministers is that it shows sensitivity to what the public thinks of government and its decisions. That would be a good thing.

However, this would miss the fact that SA’s problem is far deeper. Its politicians long ago lost their sense of public ethos and empathy for the poorest citizens. It’s not only cabinet ministers and their deputies. Councillors and provincial politicians are even worse...

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