Explained: the ANC’s economic policy pitfalls
The ANC election manifesto is either an innocuous wish list or an unsettling reminder that some of what the party’s members want would ruin the economy
The ANC’s election manifesto is not government policy, but it is revealing as an indicator of what the ruling party wishes the government would prioritise over the next five years. It should therefore ring some warning bells about the potential long-term risks of investing in SA. Two headline threats from the manifesto have garnered most of the attention. These are to change the mandate of the Reserve Bank and to institute prescribed asset requirements. It is right for these issues to raise concern, as both policies would be patently ruinous for confidence, investment and growth. President Cyril Ramaphosa immediately countered this by saying the independence of the Bank is "sacrosanct" and nobody should be alarmed — that the manifesto is simply an expression of wishes and aspirations, not a change in policy. But isn’t that the whole point: that what most ANC members really wish for, and would vote for, would be ruinous for the economy? Over the past decade, SA has woefully underperf...