Africa: South Africa Must Find the Courage to Make Hard Decisions

Diepsloot in South Africa.

South Africa has approached the IMF with a request for a loan. This time around, it's for a loan without the usual conditionalities that raise the spectre of long-term indebtedness and structural adjustments. But if the government does not show courage in its economic decisions, we may get to a point where we have to ask for help that ties us to terms that will burden future generations.

With the announcement that the government had concluded negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $4.2-billion loan (around R70.54-billion), alarm bells must have rung in certain quarters. Alarm bells, because of course with loans come conditionalities and repayment terms.

But in other quarters there would have been celebratory bells.

RW Johnson must be one of those cheering, since his more than 15-year prediction has finally come to pass: that the black government of South Africa would be going cap in hand to beg a loan from the IMF. Year after year since his prediction, as every Budget speech was made in Parliament, he must have waited to hear that we as a country have finally decided to go to the IMF, hence admitting that we fucked up the governance of...

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