Looking ahead to the elections, South Africa is in a particularly tight spot: its ailing economy being compressed by increased foreign competition, a shrinking tax base, rent-seeking and currency distortion exacerbated by a status quo that is characterised by under-regulated, financialised capitalism.

Now, with days to go before the elections, it appears neither a centrist ANC nor the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA) have the political will to transform our economy using a developmental state model. Instead, our country has faced a perpetual energy crisis, witnessed the atrocities of the Marikana massacre, endless student protests, capital and skills flight and bungled local government issues — from Cape Town to Pretoria.

Meanwhile, millions of poor and mostly black South Africans live in precarious informal settlements, a spectre of apartheid’s legacy of oppression, their continued existence representing a national disgrace. …more