Apocalypse just now: Can SA’s economy still be saved?
SA is in a terrible bind. After a decade of economic mismanagement and rising debt, its public finances are hopelessly overextended just as the country faces its worst recession since the 1930s. The national mood has seldom been gloomier. A recovery plan, led by government and backed by business, is the last throw of the dice. But with confidence in tatters, and Covid-19 having hollowed out the economy, many fear it’s too late to save SA
For years commentators have warned that SA is at a tipping point, nearing the fiscal cliff, approaching a debt trap or standing at a crossroads where it must choose the high road to faster growth or take the low road to economic Armageddon.
The question now, as the country suffers through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic — and with the national mood soured by the government’s bungling of the lockdown rules — is whether it’s all over for SA. Can the country pull out of its death spiral or have we left it too late to fix the economy?