Recent history has provided ample proof that President Jacob Zuma and numbers are not as closely attuned as the leader of the ANC or members of the public would probably like.
But Zuma’s latest foray into the realm of figures so essential to the science of economic predictions has left informed commentators somewhat flummoxed.
The president’s confident prediction that the economy will grow by 2.9%, made at the ANC’s 105th anniversary celebrations over the weekend, seem to fly directly in the face of what the experts have tentatively earmarked as a partial uptick.
It is also at odds with the reality of this country barely scraping past the ignominy of junk status by ratings agency Moody’s and hovering suspended above the abyss of having international investors running for cover, as well as an already stretched local economy having to shell out unwanted additional amounts to assure international credit.
Political stability is, along with the chance of turning a profit, the linchpin on which overseas investment turns. Predictions from a president clearly at odds with the harsh realities of a massive unemployment problem and a growth pattern which has stubbornly clung to a fluttering of exhausted butterfly wings over what amounts to immobility, cannot point at the required stability.