Perhaps it’s the change of season, perhaps real signs of change in the economy, but a subtle yet important shift in the narrative from business leaders has become noticeable. A year ago, the talk was dominated by whether or not Cyril Ramaphosa would be elected as the new ANC president. Few would’ve bet money on him, but most quietly hoped that no Zuma would make it near the presidency again. Ramaphosa’s against-the-odds victory at Nasrec, therefore, had SA on a confidence sugar high for a good three months before reality kicked in — a decade’s mismanagement could never be undone in a matter of months. The economic data soon started quelling all hope of his promised new dawn, with the economy going into recession for the first time since 2009.

And so talk turned to the big black hole that is the balance sheets of some of our major state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the possibility of further credit rating downgrades, and despair at whatever explosive testimony witnesses shared at ...

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