Basil Read’s demise has been a long time coming. It has coincided with the onset of the global financial crisis, when it traded at nearly R30/share, and with Jacob Zuma’s coming to power, trading at about R13/share. More recently, the stock has plunged from 23c as of the end of May 2018 to 1c in mid-June, before being suspended at 4c on June 20. But the company’s ills go back to just before mid-2012, when the midtier JSE-listed construction group was trading at around R15/share. Thereafter, net profit plummeted 78% in the six months to June that year to R16.5m, "as a result of SA’s floundering construction sector and multiple cases of nonpayment".

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