Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s business confidence index reached a low of 89.6 in August. It is the lowest level since August 1985, when PW Botha made his infamous "Rubicon" speech.

The 32-year low should be sending alarm signals to the government, the Treasury and the Reserve Bank. The fact that business confidence has sunk to the level that marked the all-time low for the discredited apartheid government is extraordinary.

The widespread reaction to the "Rubicon" speech, reflected in this statistic, was to lead in relatively short order to the realisation that apartheid was doomed, and that there had to be a new political and economic dispensation. The unbanning of the ANC followed.

Is it too much to hope this statistic will lead to an equivalent watershed for this discredited government — an end to corruption and state capture, a new dispensation for the benefit of all rather than the enrichment of a few, and a reversion to Mandela’s inclusive politics?

Peter CurleForest Town

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