If you are a concerned citizen who doesn’t live with your head in the sand, it’s pretty obvious the current state of South Africa is pretty crushing.
But no one knows this as much as the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University who, since 1982, has been looking at South African’s consumer confidence.
In their latest report released on July 12, the Bureau found that in the last quarter South African consumer confidence has worsened, nearly equating numbers seen during apartheid, explains Quartz:
The only time South African consumers held a significantly worse view of the economy was in 1985, when South Africa was in a state of emergency when hundreds of people were killed in political violence and thousands were detained in the ensuing year.
Similar lows were seen in 1993, when South Africans lived in fear of civil war and popular leader Chris Hani was assassinated ahead of the historic 1994 election.
The post-apartheid lows have been less politically fraught: between 1998 and 2001, the South African rand was in crisis mode due to exhange rate overshooting, but this was also possibly influenced by the peak of the AIDS pandemic at the time, according to economists (pdf).
In 2009, the global financial crisis hit, but even then South Africans were more optimistic than they are now.
However, as Quartz suggests, while it is unfair to blame all of “South Africa’s economic woes on President Jacob Zuma”, it’s obvious that his petty political battles, especially with previous finance minister Pravin Gordhan, have not helped the situation.
Neither have the growing calls for him to step down.
So maybe he is to blame. (Definitely.)
But how does the Stellies Bureau get to this conclusion? Check it:
The Consumer Confidence Index is a survey conducted from a survey of 2,500 adults around the country. They’re asked three main questions, and asked to give their view as favorable or unfavorable, with a respective weighting of +10 to -10.
And while historical surveys were unlikely to be racially representative, the simple questions get to the crux of how often bewildering executive level decisions and the government’s inability to come up with a clear economic policy have hurt ordinary people’s pockets.
The core questions:
- How do you expect the general economic position in South Africa to develop during the next 12 months?
- How do you expect the financial position in your household to develop in the next 12 months?
- What is your opinion of the suitability of the present time for the purchase of domestic appliances?
Let’s just hope we can stick this out and get over it together, as one.
Rainbow nation for the win, right!?