ROB ROSE: Covid-19 awakens the ANC’s statist soul
The pandemic should have been the moment for the ANC to reassert sane policies. Instead, it has dredged up the ideas that bankrupted SA in the first place
There are some deeply disturbing elements to the ANC’s post-Covid "economic reconstruction" document. And it goes beyond the creeping movement to harness private pensions to plug the chasm in state finances. In that 38-page document, the ANC’s economic policy chief Enoch Godongwana says: "Covid-19 has shown the critical role of the state. How does the state then leverage its capacity, inherent authority and capability in leading society for the recovery?"
What seems clear is that while the ANC has been thinking about the "opportunity" that Covid-19 presents to restructure the economy, its thinking has lapsed back towards a statist centralism. What’s needed, the ANC thinks, is more state intervention in the economy, not less.