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The social and economic successes of Asia have drawn global attention to the developmental state as a possible model for developing countries. In South Africa, many, including government, see this as a possible panacea to the country's social, economic and institutional crises. However, a government committing itself to constructing a developmental state is one thing; actually implementing the necessary institutional and policy reforms to bring that into reality is another.
The political freedoms ushered in by the post 1994 transition were seen at that time as the basis for redressing long-standing economic deprivations suffered by the majority of the population. The reduction of poverty, in all its dimensions, was the goal.