The ongoing series of downgrades in South Africa's sovereign credit rating should be a clear call for national collaboration to achieve inclusive economic growth. Such collaboration should involve government, business, labour and civil society. It should seek to address our country's most pressing social inequalities as well as the policy confusion that plagues many of our state institutions. These two challenges - social inequality and policy uncertainty - are similar. If left unaddressed, both will undermine confidence in our country and our ability to sustain a growth trajectory. Consumer confidence is low, as shown by flat consumer and household spending. Retail sales rose by 1.9% in 2016, while private consumption rose by only 0.8%, both around half their previous levels. Spending on durables was down 7.3% in real terms and spending on vehicles dropped by a massive 12% year on year. The Absa house price index showed residential investment declined by 2%. Business confidence is ...

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