No-one, surely, is surprised that S&P Global Ratings kept SA’s foreign debt rating as junk, though with a stable outlook, when it released its most recent assessment of our prospects late last Friday. S&P dropped us into junk last November, before the critical ANC elective conference in December, where current president Cyril Ramaphosa beat off the Jacob Zuma candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, by the narrowest of margins. As Hilary Joffe, who knows about these things, notes in this morning’s Business Day, S&P is the most sceptical of the big three international ratings agencies (the others are Moody’s, which never put our sovereign or foreign debt into junk, and Fitch, which junked both). That said, anyone who expected a few months of Ramaphosa’s common sense governing to turn a rating around was always living in a fool’s paradise. It’ll take years to get out of the Zuma hole. S&P is interesting. It has a permanent representative in SA so he knows what is going on. He knows about th...

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