President Cyril Ramaphosa is getting the hang of this. People like to be spoken to by their leaders. Ramaphosa didn’t really have much new to say in his short address last night but to all but the most cynical it was a welcome break in the already dull routine of lockdown.

He tried to remind people to stay at home, to remind the police and army that their job is to help people, not hurt them. Slowly, the behaviour on both sides will settle. That is what we do here. He promised a vastly accelerated testing programme and new money from the private sector, including R1.5bn from Naspers. He got to thank the faceless people doing lousy jobs, to sympathise with informal traders, promised to fix mistakes as he goes along (as an ex-smoker, I’d let smokers smoke, Mr President; now is no time for petty dictates) and to remind us we had just 17 days to go...

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