It’s been one of the more challenging weeks for SA’s quintessential corporate optimist, Adrian Gore, to keep the legendary pep in his step. Gore, 55, who built Discovery into SA’s largest medical aid administrator in just 27 years, has long been the antidote to the waves of negativity that seem to assail SA every few months. At a conference last November, he spoke of how "in SA we are particularly gloomy, but we are incredibly inaccurate about our gloominess. We are confidently wrong, we are stubbornly stupid."

But with SA on the brink of a rating downgrade, unemployment having deepened to 29%, a wave of xenophobic-based looting and an inexplicably brutal spate of violence against women, has Gore changed his tune?..

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