They say you should never yell "fire" in a crowded theatre, but there is a time and place for a well-considered panic. That time is right now, when it comes to the parlous state of SA’s economy. On Tuesday, we learned that the country was officially in recession following two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Stats SA reported that the economy contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter after a disastrous contraction of 2.6% in the first. What is particularly alarming is that there is no sign that the third quarter, which is already in its final month, has been any better. News of the recession led to the rand taking a big hit, plunging to about R15.20 to the dollar by noon — levels last seen in June 2016 when former president Jacob Zuma was mired in crisis after crisis. Even as the rand weakened, the oil price strengthened to about $79, a rise of about $8 in a few weeks. This suggests the market is not convinced that Opec’s promise to increase production to bring the price unde...

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