South African President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation speech will be followed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget speech next week on February 22. They represent the country’s two main warring political blocs: patronage versus prudence. But after the “radical economic transformation” rhetoric was ratcheted up by the president, both men may soon stumble on a terrain potholed by what a Donald Trump aide approvingly terms “alternative facts”. Zuma at least did include a belated definition of what he means by radical economic transformation: fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female. Given Zuma’s distortions of reality, though, might this simply degenerate into another episode of talk left, walk right? Labour-capital harmonyZuma’s hope is for a “Team South Africa” harmony model to emerge. He said: O...

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