[Letter] Coalition could be helpful

The proof of SA’s economic struggles is in the pudding: persistently low growth, high unemployment, service delivery shortcomings and low levels of investment in new infrastructure.

The National Development Plan sets gross fixed capital formation at a target of 30% of GDP; the closest was 21.3% in 2007-08. Reforms — if they are to take place — need substantive momentum. A coalition government could be the perfect tonic counter to the slow-moving, stubborn, patronage-focused malaise.

Coalition politics is a necessary feature of SA’s democratic system. This is not to discount substantive tensions and difficulties that have, and will, arise. But with this format of politics come more opportunities for new energy and ideas, solutions and openings to shift the status quo.

SA, while in a strong position economically compared with others in Africa, has lost substantial momentum, and has missed opportunities, since the 2007-08 mark. Coalition politics and government could be part of what is needed to shake things up.

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