President Cyril Ramaphosa’s silky smooth assurances to mining companies at this week’s Mining Indaba provided a window into why it may be that business has been wrong-footed by the lack of progress in government.

Speaking in a packed hall to 10,000 delegates, Ramaphosa said all the things you’d want him to say. He acknowledged the “persistent challenges” the country faces, specifically the energy crisis (wrought by Eskom’s load-shedding) and the “port and rail bottlenecks” (for which Transnet is responsible) — but pledged that the government was fixing it. And he promised to “accelerate economic reforms to improve the operating environment”...

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