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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Business Day by Gareth van Onselen.]

President Cyril Ramaphosa cuts a series of curious contradictions: a unionist and a businessman, a capitalist who believes in state centralism, a president no less, and yet a man who describes the ANC secretary-general as his “boss” — many other political paradoxes besides.

Of them all, however, perhaps the most frustrating is the idea that he is a reformer and yet, on everything that matters — of which the economy is pre-eminent — he seems to have pledged himself to ANC fundamentals, the very source of the destruction wrought.

There is much muttering now that his presidency is not going to lead the reformation so many had hoped for. He seems more committed to good governance and fighting corruption than not, but, as ever, such things are what you would call “normality” in a healthy, constitutional democracy. They are hardly a litmus test for meaningful reform. Then again, they are all we have got, and so they are pretty much all everyone uses to gauge progress.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
4.3% y/y in August 2019 (CPI) & +4.5 y/y in August 2019 (PPI)
3.1% q/q (2nd quarter of 2019)
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