Vol. 3

This report analyses the risks and opportunities in the global and domestic economic, political and socio-economic environment. It notes that while Africa is not a White House priority, swift action can follow for AGOA members seen as out of step with US geo-strategic priorities.

South Africa’s new seat on the UN Security Council could be divisive if anti-Western sentiment is not reversed. Fallout for SA sectors and firms could be severe. On the domestic front, our call is that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s timidity of deep reform won’t change in the short to medium term, leaving structural problems intact. In the policy landscape, the minimum wage, healthcare and expropriation of property policy commitments reflect a penchant for ideologically based policy and political rhetoric without regard for economics. The economic pulse is dominated by negative first quarter GDP data, and the growth rate remains insufficient to address the current unemployment rate.

Young people remain SA’s political, economic, and social Achilles heel; the consequences of unemployment at over 50% and NEET rate at over 30% in an underperforming economy are compounded by poor education outcomes for most. We anticipate these dynamics will translate into populism and protest.