Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

South Africa’s slow recovery strikes home


SOCCER-WORLD/Three hours before South Africa’s central bank delivered a surprise interest rate cut, me and my wife stood on the grass outside our house while an auctioneer held a forced sale that could have driven us and our children from our home.

We are tenants – it was the landlord whose house had been repossessed – and a buyer was found who was ready to keep the lease.

But it was a shock to have been given 48 hours notice that the house was to be sold and even more to hear the auctioneer announce that if there were no bids for the house with the lease, the trustee had every intention of trying to evict us by June.

We would undoubtedly have had a lot more options than many of the South Africans suffering as a result of the crisis, but for a foreigner it brought very close the reality of the slow pace of recovery from the first recession since the end of apartheid.