The dawn of the new year brings with it the realisation that SA is a beggar on the world stage. For all the reasons we know, we do not have the money to repay our debts. In fact, our debt servicing costs are killing any hope of an economic recovery as all the revenue generated by entities such as Eskom and SAA is swallowed up by interest payments. The ANC manifesto has already made reference to the reintroduction of a prescribed assets requirement, a piece of legislation that has its roots in the apartheid era, when all retirement funds had to invest 53% of their assets in government- and parastatal-issued bonds, thereby providing a constant source of funding to the National Party. It is sad that we have to revert to mechanisms previously employed by master manipulators of state organs to fund our way out of the current mess. It is also not obvious that this is really a solution. For one thing it would be open to court challenge, as retirement funds are no longer mostly defined bene...

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