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How many wake-up calls does one need until the penny finally drops? That might be the question asked of SA as it reaches for the unwanted depths of the credit ratings universe.

Painful was how finance minister Tito Mboweni described the developments at the weekend, when Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service pushed SA’s rating further into junk. The latter, long accused of showing the country undue patience even as the fiscal picture deteriorated in recent years, has now downgraded the country twice this year...

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