The weekend ratings downgrades have brought into focus the reality that SA is at a crossroad. It did not have to come to this.

In his memoir, Choice Not Fate, former finance minister Trevor Manuel recounts how in the early 1990s he, Tito Mboweni and a handful of others met then finance minister Derek Keys to discuss the country’s finances. According to Manuel, Mboweni pointedly asked Keys how much the government owed. After a suspenseful pause Keys responded, firmly and honestly: “I don’t know.”..

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