There are two broad opposing schools of thought in SA about the country’s future: one patient and sanguine, the other mistrustful and deeply concerned. Moody’s is in the first camp, along with Old Mutual Group economist Johann Els and other optimists. They believe the worst is behind us and confidence and growth will rebound convincingly after the 2019 election when President Cyril Ramaphosa is finally able to be his own man. I am in the second camp with the sceptics and worriers. We fear that growth is more likely to remain at low levels even after the 2019 election, despite a temporary rebound if Ramaphosa achieves a solid victory for the ANC. The first group believes SA is heading in the right direction. Since growth is bound to recover, Moody’s believes SA remains broadly on track to meeting its medium-term fiscal consolidation targets, despite the fiscal slippage it will incur in 2018-19. Els says SA has reached "peak pessimism" with regard to growth and bad policy and though i...

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