South Africa inherited from the apartheid era a state-owned establishment, in many respects comparable to a “soviet -system control of key sectors of the economic activity.
In the previous administration, the key wealth output and distribution infrastructures were centralized and regulated by the state, and even though was also public enterprises thievery, it had the form of disciplined corruption, that did not affect productivity and efficiency
The post-apartheid ANC governments embraced the same National Party “socialist political and economic models” of governance, considering them suitable to achieve the goal of promoting social justice.
State centralized economies that control all business investment decisions only proved to be effective in countries like China where kleptocracy is dealt with drastic punishment, including the death penalty.
Everywhere else around the world the state control of main economy drivers has proven ineffective to generate wealth and controlling corruption.
That is why South Africa is facing a critical juncture of having to choose between a vague socialist idealism and a radical reform roadmap of unbundling the state enterprises towards a market economy.
Eskom, SAA Transnet are prime examples of the paradigm that the state not being to handle the growing demand for electricity, or whatever form of power, to feed the very much needed job-creating industrialization.
What South Africa encompass at the moment is a buckled blend of command and mixed economy, an archetype of indecisiveness and hesitancy to implement decisions that can move the country towards growth
Unfortunately the government motivation to lead the country on a road for change and economic recovery does not find support in the communist and trade union political alliance partners
We can only hope, that in times of a terrible pandemic, the determination to free the economy from the chains of socialist control and implement a strategy of privatization and market orientated economy may prevail.