SA finds itself at a political and economic T-junction. Amid talk of a "new dawn", investors are largely divided into two camps – the sanguine and the sceptical. The sceptics wonder whether SA can capitalise on its political transition as India did, or whether the leadership change will be a false dawn, like the situation in Brazil. The contrasting fortunes of these two emerging market peers offers some important lessons for SA as it attempts to emerge from its multiyear funk. For context: Brazil, SA and India all went to the polls in crucial national elections in 2014. Their economies had been rocked by the 2013 US taper tantrum and were classified as members of the "fragile five". Plagued by widening fiscal deficits, corruption scandals and the threat of downgrades to junk territory, reform was badly needed. The countries have since followed very different political and economic paths. Brazil impeached former president Dilma Rousseff and India has emerged as an emerging market dar...

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