Peter Bruce Columnist

So we start the week knowing a few things. First, finance minister Tito Mboweni has until budget day next February to come up with the first of three plausible R50bn spending-cut tranches over the next three years to fend off a near certain downgrade of our sovereign debt to junk by Moody’s, the only large ratings agency still to rate us (just) investable. Moody’s said as much when it cut its “outlook” on our debt from stable to negative on Friday. Notably, it didn’t put us on what is called in the ratings game a “negative watch” but it was scathing about the government’s ability to get its spending under control.

Second, we know that Eskom should have a new CEO by the end of this week, once the chosen name has meandered its way through the treacle of government and cabinet, where lots of people will wonder whether their cousin might not be a better candidate.

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