In a search for elusive higher growth rates, conversations in SA  have been about what further spending we could squeeze out of an already stretched Treasury or to question the Reserve Bank’s capacity to use monetary policy to stimulate an economy that has failed to breach the 2% growth mark since 2013.

With SA’s debt-to-GDP levels rising to more than 80% from about 20% at the start of the last global recession in 2008 and set to increase further, even the harshest critics of the National Treasury and finance minister Tito Mboweni understand the limitations. Downgrades of our credit ratings to junk status by the leading ratings agencies have been sobering...

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