Magnus Heystek: Rand at R18.40 to $ may still prove bargain for offshore investors – think Blackouts; De Ruyter; ANC; Despondency; Capital Flight; etc

In this wide-ranging interview with Brenthurst Wealth founder Magnus Heystek, he shares some history that shaped his forthright approach – and explains why the near record Rand weakness of R18:50 to the US Dollar may be far from the end. Heystek takes a closer look at some of shocking news items for SA investors that have emerged recently and concludes that this supports his long-term bearish view of South Africa. Heystek will be elaborating on his perspectives at BNC#5 next week. He spoke to Alec Hogg of BizNews.


Find timestamps from the interview below:

  • Magnus Heystek on where his journalistic forthrightness emanates from – 02:00
  • On some rough bumps from the pressures in the investment world – 03:50
  • On the ‘mask of the ANC’ having just come off – 08:20
  • On how a responsible government would react to the de Ruyter disclosures – 10:30
  • On client pessimism and negativity at an all time high – 12:30
  • On the Rand showing weakness – 16:10
  • On the Western Cape being a glimmer of hope – 18:40
  • On the 2024 election – 20:05

Some extracts from the interview:

Magnus Heystek on the ‘mask of the ANC’ having just come off 

I think the mask of the ANC has just come off. You’ve seen the ANC at its worst in the sense that de Ruyter who, knows better than everybody else because he’s the top guy and who knows where the money flows, has reported it to the police and to the politicians. He knows where the bodies are buried and the ANC immediately turns vicious, fires him and starts calling him all kinds of names. Mantashe did a while ago, saying that de Ruyter is trying to overthrow the country. This is the ANC at its worst – greedy, growling, arrogant and totally out of touch. They actually don’t care because they’re stealing so much money. One wonders what the overseas investors are going to think about this. This is now being exposed in Bloomberg, and the Financial Times. That’s one of the reasons why in the last seven or six years a trillion rand has been withdrawn from the JSE via the stock market and the bond market. It is a humongous amount of money that is flying out of the country. That’s how the foreign investors are looking at South Africa and they are running for the hills. We saw it in the bond market this week. An incredible amount of foreigners are selling – they’re just getting out of town. They don’t like what they’re seeing. They see the corruption. It’s being exposed. And you have our president standing on global platforms and making big promises that they will combat corruption, that they will fight against corruption – which is a blatant lie because this is how the ANC “rolls”, as they would say.

Read more: How world sees SA: Power monopoly Eskom removes CEO implicating politicians in corruption amidst worst ever rolling blackouts

On how a responsible government would react to the de Ruyter disclosures

Immediately appoint two or three judges with senior prosecutors, form some kind of a committee, and immediately start investigating. If de Ruyter does know who the cabinet minister is, let him reveal it. Let them start doing lifestyle audits on the people that are named. But start doing something, not fire the guy and boot him to such an extent that he has to flee the country. That’s the news that went out to the world – that de Ruyter had to flee the country because he spoke the truth, in his view. So that’s what a government would do and they won’t do it. They have done nothing about the Zondo Commission. You have the untouchables in the ANC and we know that there’s significant amounts of money – the corruption is so entrenched and it started 15 or 20 years ago.

Read more: ANC launches withering attack on Eskom chief who criticised the party

On the Western Cape being a glimmer of hope 

I’ve been spending some time in the Western Cape, like yourself. It’s like being in another country. It shows you what a country can look like if it’s well governed with a high degree of honesty with elected officials. I was in Cape Town yesterday. There were 20 cranes, like the old Joburg. The skyline was filled with building cranes. It’s a different country. I was sitting in our offices on the Waterfront, looking at the sea. Perfect day. I just thought – why can’t the whole of South Africa be like this? The answer is, quite simply, the rest of the country, the ANC deployed all their cadres and they are really just consuming. They’re just eating. They are, as you said earlier, they are eating in a way that is destroying the infrastructure, destroying the towns, which is so sad.

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