South Africa’s favourite market commentator and Monday’s regular co-host David Shapiro talks about the chaos unravelling throughout parts of the country. No matter which way you slice it, the scenes are horrific and reminds veteran Shapiro of the 70s. David unpacks the factors at play, including the high unemployment rate which has been aggravated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. One can understand the anger and frustrating felt by many across the country, however, acts of violence and looting seen today cannot be tolerated. Surprisingly, the JSE All Share Index ended the day up more than 1%, mainly as a result of the rand-hedge heavyweights. – Justin Rowe-Roberts
David Shapiro on investing in South Africa given the chaos that has unravelled today:
It applies to a lot of people that are thinking about investing in South Africa or considering it. Just take a step back, last week we had the news of Imperial Logistics (being bought out by a foreign owned company) – and that was a good sign because other people are interested. We’ve been discussing how many other businesses would be taken over. One would step back and say ‘Is this the kind of country we would want to send our people into?’
On the factors at play in today’s riots such as rising unemployment:
That’s exactly it. I don’t think this necessarily has to do with Zuma at all. The cause is Zuma but what it has done is give them a chance to express their frustrations and anger. You can understand people that are not employed, if you have matriculated and you cannot find a job, of course you are going to become angry. If you read the start of the communist parties in the 30s, it all started because of starvation and anger at the system that wasn’t allowing them to get jobs.
On keeping your sanity during these periods of mayhem:
It is very difficult. You’re in lockdown, in fact, I was talking to a former partner of mine Pano Nicolatos and Pano phoned me and we were chatting. He’s gone out to Luipaardsvlei (Krugersdorp area). The reason he called me was that it was my 50th wedding anniversary, so he listens to podcasts (laughs). But he phoned me from Luipaardsvlei where he has a shopping centre and he said they’re all in lockdown there. They heard the masses were coming so they put up the railings, they put up the bars, closed the shops and went home. My message to Pano was ‘I don’t care about that, just make sure you’re safe’. In other words, don’t look for trouble cause when those masses come, you don’t know which side they going to come from. It’s like an army marching on you.
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