Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. PHOTO: Supplied/GCIS
When under pressure, isolated or somehow vulnerable, it’s best to kick the hot potato in your hands rather than keep it. While this means losing the ball, it also gives you and your teammates time to regroup.

As a humble student of the beautiful game of football of the globular kind, and the oval one that is the talk of the town, country and globe this weekend, I have been educated recently about the art and utility of kicking. I now know you can banana kick, box kick chip. If done judiciously, seemingly aimless kicking can get one out of trouble and win games.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. PHOTO: Supplied/GCIS

Away from the green turf fields, there’s a patriot who executed a great kick out to touch this week. Tito Mboweni didn’t deliver that debt rescue plan for Eskom and the economy that economists and ratings agencies were looking for, but his excellent kick allowed Team SA to breathe. That is, until February when he and President Cyril Ramaphosa will have to cross the Rubicon.

A ratings downgrade by the last remaining lenient ref in this economic game, Moody’s, will be inevitable in February-March. The button might have been pressed already since this column was written before Moody’s report on SA Inc came out last night.

We are living in what football legend Sir Alex Ferguson would call squeaky bum time as far as our economy is concerned.

Xaba is the editor of the Independent on Saturday

Xaba is the editor of the Independent on Saturday