President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address at parliament in Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS/RODGER BOSCH/POOL
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his state of the nation address at parliament in Cape Town. Picture: REUTERS/RODGER BOSCH/POOL

Watching President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on February 7, one could smell the desperation of this presidency to explain to his gallery that the “free lunch” economics brought in by the ANC over the last 20 years is over.

The reality is that any economic policy that fails to understand that nothing is free is doomed, especially with a reconfigured world order dominated by two superpowers, the US and China, whose only interest will be driven by economic expediency.

The challenge that faces all parties contesting the elections in May is simple — the economy has to change fundamentally to bring the growth so desperately required. There will have to be a new architecture on how we bring in the masses of unemployed into the workforce.

Those party leaders seeking a manifesto should heed what Ronald Reagan’s mantra was in 1980: “Government is not the solution to our problems, it is the problem.”

John Catsicas
Via e-mail