Business leaders fear that South Africa risks becoming a failed state

 Those talks led to an unwritten deal. The anc would drop its pledge to nationalise big companies. Business would embrace affirmative action and enrich a black elite including, most notably, Mr Ramaphosa. In other respects the basic structure of the South African economy changed little. 

Already in 2023, blackouts by Eskom, the electricity utility, have surpassed those of 2022, hitherto the worst year on record (see chart). Businesses are planning for the total collapse of the grid.

ceos have all but given up on Mr Ramaphosa fixing the problem himself. So firms are sending staff to government departments, including his office: a very South African solution.


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