After a shaky 2016, South Africa's economy was set for a recovery this year. The first quarter was always going to be weak, but better commodity prices were supposed to boost investment. Add in higher consumer confidence, and in early March I thought 2017 growth could get to 1.8%. What a difference four months make. On March 30, President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet. While the reaction of the rand was more muted than anyone expected, the destruction he wrought is becoming increasingly visible. Next month StatsSA is likely to report that the economy grew by around 1.5% to 2% in the second quarter. At first glance this suggests my diatribe against the cabinet reshuffle is unfounded, but let us not be fooled. The statistical bounce was driven by bumper farm harvests and will not be sustained. Construction and retail activity remain weak. The latest unemployment data showed that 113000 people lost their jobs in the second quarter. Job losses occurred in the construction, household...

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