“As usual, though, successes claimed referred to what the government had done, namely diversion of resources from productive to less productive purposes, and ignored what South Africans have done for themselves, such as the spectacular rise of 5-million black South Africans into the ‘black middle class’.

The address had customary clichés about the need for market-friendly, pro-growth policies, without revealing an appreciation of what they are.  Instead, it had the mandatory mantra about our woes being caused largely by the ‘global financial crisis’.  Notwithstanding repetition by officialdom, the so-called crisis has zero relevance to the policies they propose in its name, such as ‘market conduct’ regulation.

By far the most serious omission was a long-awaited undertaking to implement the Presidency’s promise of socioeconomic impact assessments as a precondition for existing and proposed laws and policies.  If we are lucky Zuma and his government will convert veiled talk of economic liberalisation and privatisation into purposeful action before the water in our pot becomes any hotter”.

Leon Louw: Can SA escape the boiling pot in time? first published on BDlive and Business Day today.