I really don’t know what they teach at the National School of Government in Pretoria, given the quality of our politicians and civil service, but I humbly submit they should turn their focus to lessons on money. Lesson one: it doesn’t grow on trees. If there is anything we can learn from last week’s ratings downgrades from both Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, it is that our politicians are rubbish at money.

Friday’s double whammy of downgrades actually shouldn’t have been the learning moment. Maybe last March, when our last remaining investment-grade rating disappeared when Moody’s dropped us to junk status just as we entered lockdown, should have been the shock moment. It wasn’t...

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