SA will learn on Tuesday whether it entered a technical recession in the second quarter. The economy likely avoided an outright contraction but growth remains weak and is unlikely to lift above 1.5% for the year as a whole. The view that the economy is on the cusp of a recovery and will bounce back before the end of 2018 is being sorely tested. In February, after Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment as president, economists were hopeful that SA would grow at 2% in 2018 and mount a robust recovery back up to 3% over the medium term. Only one or two still think that’s likely. Instead, that euphoria has been replaced by disillusionment, largely because of Ramaphosa’s failure to deliver clarity over licensing regimes and property rights, and make solid progress on structural reforms. As a result, business confidence has dipped and investors remain unconvinced about the strength of SA’s business case. It is worth comparing the progress made in the past six months against the benchmark set out i...

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