The British lawmaker said on Wednesday that South Africa has gone from "hero" under former president Nelson Mandela to "zero" following 10 years of immediate past leader Jacob Zuma’s “bad governance.”
Speaking at the annual conference of the South African Property Owners’ Association in Cape Town, the South African-born British peer and anti-apartheid activist said currently international investors were not interested in the country due to lack of confidence in it.
"Maybe South Africa can never get back to where it was, and maybe there was an artificial bubble under the amazing leadership of Nelson Mandela," Hain said.
"International investors were really keen after apartheid to try and support the new country but then the Zuma-era completely trashed that opportunity," he said, adding that with President Cyril Ramaphosa there is a “way back” from the current situation.
In 2018 Hain gained attention as an outspoken critic in Britain’s House of Lords (Upper House) of Zuma, the Gupta family and British companies he said were involved in corruption linked to the South African government.
His latest remarks coincide with rating agency Moody's new research report released on Wednesday, which said South Africa was facing "exceptionally low business confidence" due to rampant corruption and poor governance.
Moody's is the only agency that has not downgraded South Africa's sovereign credit rating to sub-investment grade, or junk.