On the specifics of speeding up land reform ( which both the ANC and EFF speakers in last month’s parliamentary debate advised requires expropriation without compensation) a more recent opinion poll is even more telling.

On March 21, the Institute of Race Relations published its latest field survey of more than 1,000 demographically representative South Africans, conducted by Victory Research.

It asked respondents to identify “which two issues should be top priorities for the government?” Overwhelmingly, “creating more jobs” (cited by 35%) and “improving education” (27%) led the field of concerns and calls for action.

But with the focus and summits and political oxygen being sucked by the land reform debate, it might surprise that just 1% of respondents cited this as a top priority.

How might the Steve Smith-led Aussie ball-tampering scandal at Newlands inform some of the key issues affecting the body politic and our economy? The obvious answer is that even the prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, on Sunday described the incident as “completely beyond belief” and called for “decisive action” from Cricket Australia. Incidentally, this is not the first time that a cricket scandal has escalated all the way from the field to the Australian prime minister’s office. Back in the day, or decades ago in fact, the Aussies were victims in the iconic 1932-3 Ashes series Down Under of so-called “bodyline” tactics of the uber-aggressive English bowlers’ short pitched deliveries. So inflamed did the matter become that Australian prime minister Joseph Lyons took to the phone to protest to his UK counterpart and the event and series had a chilling effect on the two countries’ diplomatic relations.But the less obvious answer on lessons from the pitch which can apply, h...

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