Johannesburg - Business confidence in South Africa has plummeted to its lowest level in more than 30 years as political uncertainty, unemployment and dwindling trade weighed heavily, a survey showed Wednesday.
South Africa's economy, which is the most developed in Africa, is plagued by sluggish growth and only returned to growth in April after a six-month recession.
Unemployment, which has stymied South Africa's growth, is at a record high of 27.7% and official statistics revealed last month that more than half of the 56.5 million population live in poverty.
"(Despite) the positive sentiment and outlook prevailing in the global context, South Africa's economic performance could be doing better," said the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry's business confidence index report.
"The business climate remained sensitive to political posturing and an uncertain direction for the economy."
The country lost its investment grade credit rating when the world's two major ratings agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor's, downgraded its sovereign debt to junk status earlier this year following the sacking of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.