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On the Brink – South Africa's Political & Fiscal Cliff-Hanger

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On the Brink – South Africa's Political & Fiscal Cliff-Hanger

Claire Bisseker on her book ‘On the Brink – South Africa's Political & Fiscal Cliff-Hanger’. (Camera & editing: Darlene Creamer)

13th October 2017


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Few countries in transition have managed to get a grip on their public finances as well as South Africa did after 1994.

Now, just more than 20 years later, the nation’s credibility and the democratic project lie in tatters as we teeter on the brink of a political and fiscal cliff.


Business confidence and investment have evaporated along with clean, accountable government, causing South Africa to be downgraded to junk status, crushing the country’s growth potential and pushing it towards a debt trap.

How did we land up in this mess, and can we pull back from the brink?


Claire Bisseker, the award-winning economics editor of the Financial Mail, unpacks the crisis in this accessible and highly readable guide to what makes our economy tick.

  •     Foreword by Judge Dennis Davis
  •     Chapter on state capture by Financial Mail editor Rob Rose

‘On the Brink is SA’s tale of the great and speedy unravelling of economic hope. Bisseker provides a fine weave of the forces that brought us here and suggests how we might emerge stronger from this deep donga.’ Trevor Manuel

‘Claire Bisseker’s depth of experience and intimate knowledge of SA’s economy shines through on these pages. Those interested in a better South Africa should read it, and learn.’ Greg Mills

About the author

Claire Bisseker is the economics editor of the Financial Mail. She has won the prestigious Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award twice, and the award for the economics category five times. Her passion for economics was ignited at the then University of Natal, where she was taught by Harvard economist Robert Klitgaard. Bisseker lives with her husband and three daughters in Franschhoek. She is an avid hiker and kloofer.

On the Brink – South Africa's Political & Fiscal Cliff-Hanger is published by NB Publishers


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