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SA’s economy needs urgent restructuring, yet the political preconditions are probably years away. Near-term IMF engagements must set the stage for the fundamental reforms required; SA’s national dialogue must more objectively assess local and global realities.

The country’s economic journey is proceeding along a path well-known to the IMF. Populist pressures are indulged to the point where growth slows as debt mounts. Scope to negotiate often only arrives once access to international debt markets becomes doubtful. Even then, governing elites sometimes choose, tragically, a deepening economic crisis over an economic rebirth pregnant with political risks...

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