International Monetary Fund. Picture: ISTOCK
International Monetary Fund. Picture: ISTOCK

There is speculation and denial about an IMF bailout for SA. 

Peter Attard Montalto says: “Thinking through an IMF bailout programme, and especially the negotiations that would occur, is useful. It would expose the hard, unavoidable choices very starkly, laid out to the government in scenarios with numbers.” (Pityana’s Busa Letter Shows Despair Can be Useful in Shaking up Status Quo, August 12). 

The time has come for Business Day to bring this discussion out of closed rooms and run a series of articles on this very question. What are these hard, unavoidable choices? Privatisation? Large-scale public sector retrenchments? Energy sector deregulation? And what do we all have to sacrifice to turn the economy around? 

Then, what measures would the IMF implement? What would the likely consequences be for inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, public sector employment, the markets, our pensions and so on? Can we have a hard conversation, please? 

Jeremy Clark
Via e-mail