Independent policy analysis and advocacy organisation Centre for Development and Enterprise executive director Ann Bernstein speaks with Polity ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's much-anticipated State of the Nation Address.
As the country battles multiple crises in energy, water, logistics, crime, security, education and unemployment, Bernstein talks of a corrupt and collapsing State and questions why there are monopolies on critical services.
She believes that the African National Congress (ANC) and its members in government don't understand the power of markets to uplift the poor.
"The president has been convinced that he has to maintain unity in the ANC, that means he holds back on making policy decisions. He allows people in his Cabinet to defy him. He keeps people in his Cabinet who don’t deliver. So I think that failed strategy is a very important component. The needs of the country, the national interest must supersede the fear there might be that if you took some appropriate and bold policy decisions some people in the ANC might be offended or might leave," she said.
South Africa is in such a terrible state as a result of bad policies and bad ideas, she adds.
"Unless you accept that we are in a ‘polycrisis’, a Cabinet reshuffle won't matter much if you look only at the ANC," she noted.
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