For SA to meet its sovereign debt obligations fully elected leaders would have to take reckless chances and then get very lucky. To manage the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath prudently, the challenges must be framed objectively, the trade-offs clearly identified, and the underlying opportunities seized.

More information is always desirable, yet delayed response would be reckless. Enough is known to grasp the range of possibilities and assign reasonable probabilities. Least-awful scenarios are less likely than those accompanied by devastating human and economic consequences...

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