Why are more and more iconic South African companies hitting the wall or seeing the wall heading their way as they frantically look for a way around it? Group Five has collapsed, and other companies have suffered dramatic sell-offs in their shares as investors worry over disclosure or debt. Several companies' offshore expansions are floundering and others are cutting staff and operations. Business confidence has crashed to a two-year low. Why now, when weak economic growth, feeble consumer spending and high unemployment have been the shaky foundation of South African business for years? Why now? With the years of state capture behind us (naive, maybe?) businesses should be optimistic. Why does the first quarter feel like such a bloodbath? Isn't it December already? We need a break. There are some common denominators among companies in trouble. One is poor execution of projects or strategy. Group Five's demise comes as constraints on government spending meant contracts for big infras...

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