The country as a whole breathed a huge sigh of relief at credit rating agency S&P Global’s decision to hold back from downgrading SA to sub-investment grade, which would have left us all poorer, facing a bleak Christmas. Not that we’re out of the woods yet. SA has a year’s reprieve — under a negative outlook — until the next round of ratings. It is up to government to maintain fiscal responsibility — and up to the ruling ANC to end the political instability and state corruption that has us teetering on the brink of junk status.

It is one thing to seek to control immigration, quite another to brand all illegal immigrants as "criminals who should be treated as such", as Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba threatens to do. Emboldened perhaps by Brexit and the Orange One’s plan for a wall along the US-Mexico border, Mashaba seems to have acquired the populist touch: "You see, for me, when I call these criminals ‘criminals’, I want them to understand that they are criminals," he said, oblivious of mob incitement. A bit off for a DA, free-market man.

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