SA's saving grace is also its achilles heel. Our exposure to jittery foreign investment inflows and outflows has disciplined our politics and, at the same time, left the country vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of global markets.

When the tide went out against emerging-market economies in mid-2013, one of the world's leading banks, Morgan Stanley, tagged a new grouping of nations the "Fragile Five", and we were certainly part of it. These were the countries that would come under the most pressure from the shift in sentiment away from the developing world and back to the US, Europe and other developed climes because of their dependence on unreliable foreign investment to finance growth ambitions...

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