There is a deep-seated but terribly mistaken belief among many ANC leaders, members and trade unionists that after a wasted decade under former president Jacob Zuma, in which public services, state-owned entities (SOEs) and public finances were plundered, these entities can now be repaired overnight.

Such has been the astonishing scale of state capture that, even if all the ingredients for turnaround success were in place — competent new boards and executives, willing staff and no political interference from ANC leaders — it would still be very difficult to resuscitate beleaguered SOEs, public services and public finances within five years.

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