The writing is on the wall. It proclaims that there’s an urgency for SA to feel out the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the best possible terms for a debt bailout. Quite conceivably, discussions in secret are already well progressed.

These would enable SA to decide whether to proceed on its own with the structural reforms that the government knows are necessary – but which have been obscured in promises and prevarications – or to accept the conditionalities for these same investor-friendly adaptations which the IMF is certain to insist on...

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