Theoretical analysis of state capture and its manifestation as a governance problem in South Africa
State capture became topical in South Africa in March 2016 following the dismissal of the then Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, on 09 December 2015. ‘Nenegate’ revealed poor understanding of state capture among politicians and the general public. The literature indicates that state capture lacks analytical clarity as there is no clear demarcation between legitimate political lobbying and state capture created by corruption. The research question addressed in this article is: What is state capture and how is it manifested in South Africa? Firstly, it systematically unpacks the phenomenon as a type of business–state relationship distinct from influence, corruption and lobbying and outlines its types, features and essence. Secondly, the article explores state capture in contemporary South Africa. Methodology-wise, a combination of literature study and current research reports is used to illuminate the phenomenon and its manifestation. The article contributes to existing knowledge by not only clarifying a concept conflated with corruption but also analysing the manifestations of state capture in South Africa.