SA has long been criticised for having missed the commodities boom of the 2000s. This is because of the country’s failure to shift the wealth earned from higher commodity revenue into the setting up of new industries, expanding manufacturing, diversifying and structurally changing the economy. Similarly, with monetary policy normalisation in the US set to get fully under way, all indications point to SA also having missed the low point in the global interest rate cycle. Although Europe and Japan still offer reasonable prospects for cheap capital, improving global economic prospects will undoubtedly limit the time frame in which this window of opportunity exists. This period of low interest rates offered a perfect opportunity for SA to borrow money cheaply on global capital markets and inject it into large-scale infrastructure projects, that would in turn contribute to unblocking the bottlenecks constraining growth. Moreover, the gradual nature in which rates rise in any normalisatio...

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