So, ratings agency S&P Global has followed the example set by Moody’s: it has given South Africa a reprieve. We have not been downgraded to junk status. This is incredibly good news.It is good news because, as Standard Bank economist Goolam Ballim pointed out two weeks ago, a downgrading to junk would have cost South Africa  at least 200 000 jobs.With 8.9 million people already out on the streets, this is not a joke. The consequences of such massive losses would be ghastly for a country already under so much stress from poverty, unemployment and inequality.It is also good news because it rewards the work of some incredible people in our public service. At the  Treasury, a department that has been under immense strain for the past two years, there are extremely dedicated men and women who every day meet people like S&P and others and try to convince them that we are not a basket case like Venezuela.Under the able leadership of Nhlanhla Nene and now Pravin Gordhan, their job is to kee...

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