We appreciate that Trevor Manuel’s article is an edited version of a speech, but “a united front”, “focus[ing] on employment” and “speak[ing] with one voice” are, with respect, not policy positions (“Our problem: spending more on the past than the future (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2020-03-12-trevor-manuel-our-problem-spending-more-on-the-past-than-the-future/)”, March 12).

His assessment of the state of the country is accurate enough, but there is no recognition that this is in part a consequence of policies he once promoted in government. Nor is there any recognition that warnings at the time explicitly of the present outcomes were ignored. The question, which extends beyond Manuel to the broader Mbeki-era administration and their erstwhile allies in business, is which of the policies they jointly agreed to do they think should now be changed or repealed? ..

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