The unprecedented actions by President Jacob Zuma towards the end of March reflect a disturbing disregard for the interest of the country and its people. Sovereign downgrades, shattered investor confidence and the erosion of trust between society and the government have been the result. These developments have been met with broad and sustained civic protest and mobilisation. The president’s recklessness was first demonstrated by his removal, without any good reason, of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in December 2015. This prompted a business sector that was largely disengaged to realise that it could not stand by while the hard work done of building the economy since 1994 was being destroyed and the future of the country was being compromised. Business leaders immediately engaged the government in the aftermath of Nene’s removal and participated in the CEO Initiative, intended to be a platform between the government and the private sector to tackle challenges to the economy. Such...

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