Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has been in full damage-control mode following his appointment of Prof Chris Malikane as his economic adviser ahead of an important international investor road show in the US. The minister had been desperately trying to restore confidence and calm following his own appointment and disastrous maiden media conference, during which he committed to implementing "radical economic transformation" without being able to explain what it meant, and where he launched an attack on the Treasury. But the minister’s efforts had exactly the opposite effect as the ratings agencies downgraded the country to "junk status", forcing him to do a somersault and come out in support of "inclusive economic growth" and "balanced fiscal consolidation". This must have given investors a bit of a breather and hope that the minister had finally come to his senses and was listening to the Treasury. The shambles was just bottoming out when the finance ministry dropped another bombshell...

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