The festive season is nearly upon us and many South Africans are looking forward to a bit of relaxation after a tough year. Things are not great in our beloved country, as we were reminded by yet another ratings agency on Friday evening.

People such as Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who currently sits in the chair meant for our public protector, like to disparage the ratings agencies. They forget, or are generally ignorant, that we invited the ratings agencies here so that we can play in the international market. These agencies, with all their faults, play a role that our politicians cannot always play. That role is to see ourselves for what we really are, whether ugly or beautiful, good or bad...

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