You’d think Jacob Zuma, not Cyril Ramaphosa, had won the ANC’s December 2017 election, judging from the amount of angst I encountered at the Knysna Literary Festival this past weekend. The mostly wealthy, white property owners and sprinkling of foreign swallows gathered on Thesen Island on Saturday morning were eager for reassurance that SA still offers a secure investment and viable future for their offspring. At the panel on the economy, chaired by author and commentator JJ Tabane, relief greeted my conclusion that SA is finally headed in the right direction after years of backsliding, though progress will likely be grindingly slow. “The good news is that the bad news is in the price,” added fellow panelist Investec strategist Chris Holdsworth. He explained that since fixed income markets are expecting Moody’s to change SA’s rating outlook to “negative” and ultimately to junk status, should Ramaphosa’s reforms cause it to delay or not downgrade SA at all, the markets will need to ...

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