The data so far for South Africa's fourth quarter, which reflects pre-stage 6 load shedding, suggests that even without Eskom, the economy is probably in a recession.
The data that has been trickling in for the fourth quarter is already beginning to confirm what many fear: that Africa's most industrialised economy is mired in a recession, making the prospect of further rating downgrades more likely.
The economy contracted 0.6% in Q3, so a follow-up shrinkage will mean a recession -- the second in two years after almost a decade of growth that was generally sluggish, but never tagged by the dreaded "R" word.
The data released on Thursday -- not via the usual medium as Statistics South Africa's website was down because of technical issues -- suggests that even without the added burden of load shedding, the economy is hardly shooting the lights out.
Output in the key mining industry in October decreased 2.9% year-on-year, a sharper decline than economists had anticipated while maintaining its downhill trajectory. Fast forward to this week and several mining companies, including Impala Platinum and Sibanye-Stillwater, had to temporarily close shafts because of Monday's unprecedented round of stage 6 load shedding. So unless November's numbers...