One short-term measure that might be assembled before the public is that the Reserve Bank could raise domestic interest rates to encourage some buying of the rand and, thus, its strengthening. But in the face of a VAT increase, debt ratings downgrades and Eskom seeking steep rises in electricity tariffs, a rise in interest rates would hurt the very people Mabe is supposed to speak for.

That leaves only one other route - sensible domestic policies that, even in the face of external events, can serve as a floor from which to build viable defences of our own.

Pule Mabe, the spokesman for the ANC, has had a difficult week. First he joined calls for the SABC to give more airtime to ANC officials because it's the biggest party. That quickly sank. He then went on the radio and found, when asked what the ANC's position was on the issue of expropriation of land without compensation, that he didn't know it. I don't troll Mabe, but I caught one interview where he was asked about the effects of Wednesday's petrol price increase on the general public. I wish I could find a soundbite of his answer — it was so incoherent it was genuinely funny. Basically, he blamed Donald Trump. Oh dear. The EWN website later quoted him saying that "what we should be doing is to allow our cadres time to be able to consolidate whatever they could be able to work on so that measures that are required to deal with the situation as it presents itself are also assembled before the public".Having learnt to speak a few languages myself, I never make fun of people who strug...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now