10 April 2019

South Africa: Ramaphoria Has Taken Hold of the Otherwise Serially Depressive S&P Global Ratings

analysis

In more than a year South Africa has gone from Ramaphoria, the burst of optimism about South Africa that was unleashed after the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa, to a sobering reality of political and economic crises. However, credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings is on a Ramaphoria high, expecting South Africa's economy to grow by 1.6% in 2019. Meanwhile, economists expect growth of less than 1%.

When Cyril Ramaphosa became State President in February 2018, his arrival to Pretoria's Union Buildings unleashed a surge of positive sentiment and investor confidence across the country.

People called the initial burst of goodwill "Ramaphoria" or the "Cyril dividend" - anticipating that it would spur consumer spending and private sector investments, which would, in turn, reboot South Africa's broken economy. However, the euphoria abated as the nation has come to terms with the deep economic and political morass that the country faces.

South Africa's challenges are well-known by now: Ramaphosa's efforts to stabilise government finances to pursue economic and social reforms are yet to positively reflect on key indicators. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) continue to drain the fiscus, the nation is shocked by rampant corruption allegations emerging from several commissions of inquiries that are...

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