We’ve been a distant franchise of a Dutch corporation, a productive asset for a British mining operation, a loyal client of American and British financiers and French arms dealers, and a piggy bank for three brothers from Utar Pradesh. But this thing we call “South Africa”, that politicians use to frighten and enrage and divide us, is simply a holding company.

I know it’s not a pleasant idea, but in a capitalist world built on a great creaking, rocking scaffold of debt, everyone is owned by someone else.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.