South Africa remains a free society. It has a large economy with a resilient business community, a hardy agricultural sector and a sophisticated infrastructure. It has an uncowed civil society, a diverse and pretty much unhindered political landscape, a free media and independent courts. It has avoided, and credit to the government here, the temptations to reckless fiscal and monetary action. South Africa remains – for the moment – Africa’s premier modern state. None of these should be taken for granted – indeed, threats to each of them loom large and clear – but they are assets of immeasurable value and the machinery of the country’s reconstruction.