South Africa at the centre of the sell-off

Dominic O’Neill
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Pravin Gordhan says that he has given a counter-cyclical boost to South Africa and built up its underlying growth potential. But with capital flowing out, what more can the finance minister do to cut the country’s twin deficits?

Tributes to Nelson Mandela still abound in South Africa’s financial capital, not far from where the country’s first black president died in December last year. One such is a huge banner hanging down the outside wall of Citi’s Africa head office. There are many others.

Speaking nearby at a conference on the economy at GIBS business school in Johannesburg, Goolam Ballim, chief economist at Standard Bank, says Mandela’s funeral was the occasion for "a moment of reflection" on South Africa’s post-apartheid trajectory.

Mandela’s death came at a time when there is more optimism than ever about the economies of sub-Saharan Africa. But in South Africa, his funeral – while celebrating many advances – was also tinged with the recognition of how much of the legacy of apartheid persists.

In 2014 memories are still fresh of the police shootings...