In times like these it is easy to be distracted by cheap political tricks and shocking headline figures. Over the past weeks the public has been bombarded by news stories that border on the insane: Eskom was allocated another bailout on top of their existing bailouts; ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is still calling for the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank; and the public protector is losing public support faster than court cases, after appearing to have thrown out the very rule book she is mandated to protect.

Stats SA released the worst unemployment figures in more than a decade, and international ratings agencies Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings issued stern warnings about the effect of a rising deficit on the country’s growth potential. With this, and the release of dismal tax revenue figures by the Treasury, it is not unreasonable to brace ourselves for a sovereign debt downgrade in the near future.

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