There’s a toxic brew bubbling under on the fringes of our country. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a sharp rise in protests around SA — be it increasingly volatile demonstrations near Hermanus, or in Mitchells Plain and the Bo-Kaap near Cape Town or in Centurion in Gauteng or in Kimberley. The country has seldom been so close to the edge.Part of it has to do with soaring living costs — something about which all political parties including, ironically, the ANC, have expressed concerns.Certainly, the combined knock of the 10.7% spike in the fuel price this year, the hike in VAT and further retrenchments are reverberating as the country enters election season.At the same time, nothing has shifted unemployment from its stubbornly high level of 36.7% (using the expanded definition). Few other democracies could tolerate the human impact of having more than a third of their labour force out of work. Here, we’ve done it for years.The perfect storm – the consequence of years of neglect u...

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