SA’s economic and fiscal outlook darkened last week when the resignations of two state-owned enterprise (SOE) CEOs and shocking GDP data were met with muddled assertions from the ANC that it had resolved to pursue quixotic monetary policies.

The first shock was the GDP number: the economy contracted by 3.2% quarter on quarter in the first quarter against a consensus expectation of -0.9%. With nearly every sector in retreat, economic weakness was far more extreme and broad-based than most economists had realised.

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