President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that four special ambassadors — including former finance minister Trevor Manuel — are to roam the globe in an aggressive pursuit of foreign investment "like a pack of lions" appears premature. It would have helped these ambassadors if they could have had a better story to tell than one of a business environment with stagnating profitability and growing losses where: Only 25% of firms have earned sufficient income to be liable for company tax; Firms with a taxable income below R10m decline at a rate of 31 per week; A mere 635 companies are responsible for 77% of company tax; and From 2009 to 2015 company losses as submitted to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) increased 85% and for the past two years were higher than the taxable income assessed. SARS data for tax years 2009 to 2015 as indicators of the health of the South African enterprise landscape show the business devastation of the Zuma administration. This administration, responsi...

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