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SA's business confidence slumps to 16-year low

The Business Confidence Index slipped to its lowest level since 1999 to stand at 86,9 in May from 89,9.

FILE: South Africa is battling its most serious power supply shortages since 2008. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's business confidence slumped to a sixteen-year low in May as power supply shortages weighed on output in sectors such as manufacturing, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Business Confidence Index slipped to its lowest level since 1999 to stand at 86,9 in May from 89,9 the previous month, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said.

"The disruption by electricity supply shortages is having a telling impact on the output of sectors such as manufacturing and electricity," SACCI said in a statement.

"Although (the economy) is in dire need of foreign capital for financing struggling public sector institutions, infrastructure and compliment overall local fixed investment, the business and investor climate are not convincing."

South Africa is battling its most serious power supply shortages since 2008 and state-owned power utility Eskom implements frequent power cuts to avoid overwhelming the grid.