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.

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