Business confidence has not been this low since former president Jacob Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister in 2017. The surprise midnight cabinet reshuffle triggered a host of credit rating downgrades with S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings cutting SA’s debt to junk. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s rise to power boosted business confidence in early 2018 but despite political changes and efforts to weed out corruption and turn around key state-owned entities, uncertainty has prevailed and economic growth has remained tepid.

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