South Africa is fast approaching a crossroads at which it will have to choose between structural reform and a lurch to populist nationalism. So, too, is its governing African National Congress (ANC), which later this year must elect a successor to its president, Jacob Zuma. With a range of conflicting ideas of how to address the countries socio-economic challenges, some people are floating the idea of convening an economic Codesa. This borrows from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa - the all-party forum which negotiated the country’s transition to democracy in the early 1990’s. In his 2017 budget speech South Africa’s Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, pulled up short of calling for an ‘economic Codesa’. He invited discussion on whether the constitution’s bill of rights should be extended to include “economic rights”. Such rights may include a right to work, a legally guaranteed national minimum wage or even a right to a basic income. Taken together with Gordhan’s chilling...

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