There is an emerging consensus that SA’s short-term performance is likely to be disappointing, and change will probably be slow — both because president Cyril Ramaphosa is hamstrung by ANC infighting and because it will take time to repair the damage done by state capture and corruption. This was the message from several speakers at the annual Nedgroup Investments Treasurers’ Conference in Sandton last week. It chimed with the sombre tone of the annual Article IV assessment of the SA economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Fitch Ratings’ midyear review, both of which were released the same week. Fitch retained SA’s long-term local and international credit ratings on the top notch of subinvestment (junk) grade, and affirmed its "stable" outlook.

Last month S&P also moved SA’s rating sideways. Only Moody’s has changed the outlook on SA’s ratings to "positive" this year. In essence S&P, Fitch and the IMF agree that though things are improving in SA, huge challenges r...

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