Picture: 123RF/BUMBLEDEE
Picture: 123RF/BUMBLEDEE

Rob Rose is correct that SA is on the way to an IMF bailout (Opinion, August 24). This has been years in the making.

While Rose may be correct that the Left of the ANC and its alliance are aggrieved at the prospect of losing economic sovereignty — and, with it, the latitude to meddle with the Reserve Bank and undermine property rights — it is as well to recall that these are positions that have been advocated by the supposedly reformist president. And the economic trauma stemming from the health crisis seems to have given the government no pause to reconsider this perilous course.

Expropriation without compensation remains on the agenda, BEE remains central to government thinking, cadre deployment will be done "better", and a new incarnation of SAA launched. Watch out, too, for prescription of savings and pensions.

Indeed, our recovery will be "state-led" — though there is nothing to suggest the state has that capacity.

If anything, the pandemic period has confirmed the inevitability of a recourse to the IMF. And if that can be used to prompt overdue reform, it may ultimately prove beneficial.

The real question is just how much damage will have been inflicted by the time that happens — and whether ideological thinking will compound it.

The most frightening prospect is, of course, large-scale property seizures, and printing money to try to inflate the country out of trouble.

Business and SA’s people would do well to think about this, and how they will respond.

Terence Corrigan
Project manager, Institute of Race Relations

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