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Vol 61 No 17

Published 27th August 2020

Noisy neighbours

The public health emergency and the economic meltdown are deepening the dependence of South Africa's neighbours on the region's dominant power

Trying to manage the biggest Covid-19 outbreak in Africa as well as rebuilding the economy and institutions after the disastrous presidency of Jacob Zuma add up to South Africa's biggest challenge since the end of white rule in 1994. And when South Africa sneezes, it is its immediate neighbours, whose economies are far smaller, who get a cold; that metaphor works for economics as well as pandemics. As the effects of South Africa's recession spread through the region, there is little sign of President Cyril Ramaphosa's pan-African agenda, although he is the current chair of the African Union.

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