Downgrade is wake-up call for SA to revisit key economic policies

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The National Treasury in Pretoria. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)
The National Treasury in Pretoria. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

An ideological debate is desperately needed to sort out options South Africa could pursue to find a way out of its economic morass, writes Patrick Bond.

South Africa is digesting the news of Standard & Poor’s (S&Ps) downgrade of its state debt held in foreign currency following President Jacob Zuma’s March cabinet reshuffle. As the country deals with that blow, two other credit rating agencies (Fitch and Moody’s) will soon hold forth.

Even if these agencies’ biases and competence should be questioned, it’s likely that further downgrades will lead to a meltdown of the currency.

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