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By some measure, this year’s elections are likely to be the most populist so far, and that doesn’t augur well for the country and its prospects of improving on what was a dismal year on the economic front. The general consensus would seem to be that we shouldn’t expect much until the elections, which should take place in May but in theory could be held as late as August. In terms of the constitution, the National Assembly and provincial legislatures finish their current terms on May 6 and new polls must be held within 90 days after that. President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated that he intends to proclaim elections before the end of May, and most people are working on the assumption that they will be held that month, which makes sense for a number of practical reasons, not least the weather. It’s in all the parties’ interests that the participation rate is as high as possible, and asking voters to come out in winter would be counterproductive. If we assume that the elections are held...

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