Long-term structural reform of the SA economy, employment prospects, the high quality of the local banking industry and the debilitating Eskom rotational power cuts — these are just some of the very pertinent economic issues Mohammed Nalla of the Public Investment Corporation and Konrad Reuss, country head of Standard and Poor’s ratings agency, discussed in a lively conversation at the recent S&P DJI conference. Inevitably, the latest crippling Eskom crisis was a focal point, and Nalla says rotational power cuts (“load shedding” in Eskom-speak) are having a devastating effect, not only on sentiment but also on the ability of companies to deliver operationally. He is also concerned that the longer we languish in this low-growth environment, the more difficult it becomes to deal with the myriad of social problems that accompany it. On our interest-rate situation, he pointed out that 15% of SA’s budget will be spent on the servicing of debt, instead of going to many other areas that de...

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