CAROL PATON: Ramaphosa can no longer wimp out of cost-cutting
If he continues to sidestep the issue, the president could become the first incumbent to subject SA to the IMF’s austerity measures
Will Cyril Ramaphosa be the president of austerity or will he be the president who lands SA on the doorstep of the IMF? Those are the alternatives he now faces.
The news 10 days ago that Fitch Ratings expects the budget deficit to reach 6.3% and the debt-to-GDP ratio to hit 68% has pulled Ramaphosa’s choices into sharp focus. Only five months ago the National Treasury projected a budget deficit of 4.5% and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 60.2%. As the credit ratings agencies get privileged access to Treasury information and officials, the Fitch statement was time to sit up and take notice.