Surging debt payments are squeezing public spending. President Cyril Ramaphosa will try to shrink bloated state firms like power utility Eskom, triggering ugly showdowns with unions that may hit the economy. Failure to face them down would douse reform hopes and hurt even more.
The state has been stealthily reducing its role in industry by allowing private players to gain market share. There's appetite for a more aggressive approach. If national carrier Air India can be sold, look for banks, energy and other assets to follow if Modi wins a second term. This is a Breakingviews prediction for 2018. To see more of our predictions, click here.