Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says the threat of an economic downgrade should be enough to push South Africa into rising to the occasion.
Madonsela was responding to the downgrade by Moody’s just over a week ago.
She was speaking on Friday on the sidelines of a democracy dialogue at Constitution Hill hosted by her foundation.
The advocate used Mozambique as an example.
Moody’s has downgraded South Africa one notch to BAA3 – one notch above sub-investment grade.
Moody’s placed the country on review for a downgrade in April after Pravin Gordhan and his deputy were sacked.
The latest GDP figures show that South Africa has entered a technical recession, with economists saying this has put more pressure on agencies to review the way they see the country’s economy.
Madonsela says when confidence was pulled away by international ratings agencies, Mozambique turned to a process of self-reliance.
“They went into a process of self-reliance. Their processes are very open and transparent. Everyone participates in defining and walking the way forward.”
Madonsela says South Africa needs a clear policy to hold those who are responsible accountable.
She says she will continue to have conversations through her foundation with young people as part of plans to officially launch a bigger project in August.