There were high expectations that momentum for government reform would pick up speed after the fall of Jacob Zuma and the inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as President. In a few places this hope was well found. In the State-Owned Enterprises there are moves afoot to replace compromised individuals with honest and professional ones. The Zondo commission into State Capture is shedding light on the influence of key families (the Guptas, the Watsons) in the business of government and the degree to which senior officials in the State corrupted, inter alia, supply chain management processes. So too has the Nugent Commission revealed the malaise at the South African Revenue Services (SARS) under Tom Moyane.
Yet the broad momentum for government reform remains slow. Voices in business and civil-society for the introduction of meritocratic recruitment of civil servants, for example, are few and far between. There is little public debate about the role of State-Owned Enterprises and how they should be structured and governed. There was much hope that such proposals would become talking points for the 2019 election and that party manifestos would reflect this urgency. These issues have been knocked off the agenda by others: land expropriation, economic freedom.