State capability comes under scrutiny as South Africa stares a first-of-its-kind economic reconstruction challenge in the eye.
Covid-19 has broken the global economy and shattered South Africa’s as well.
You know the numbers, but these made me sit up: it is likely that the number of people without jobs – 10 million – has grown substantially; while the national purse now pays out 22 million social grants a month, with the extension of beneficiaries.
The interest on the national debt alone is staggering – economist Mike Schussler has shown SA is spending R50-billion more a month than it collects in taxes.
Business, government and labour are negotiating a post-Covid-19 Economic, Reconstruction, Growth and Inclusivity Plan built on the social compacting principles of the 2018 Jobs Summit.
But is the Cabinet up to the task?
A little positivity to start. The outlier in the Cabinet team is Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, whose steady hand at the tiller has been a balm for South Africa as it cracked open under the strain of the coronavirus.
As a doctor, Mkhize’s grasp of epidemiology and health along with…