Remgro chairperson Johann Rupert told shareholders at the group's AGM in Stellenbosch on Thursday that the downturn globally - triggered by the sub-prime crisis - could be a prolonged affair.
Rupert, who warned of the financial crisis early last year, said the downturn - or recession - could last between five to 10 years as banks and major financial services companies cleaned up their operations.
"It's been a bit like getting overweight from eating, drinking and smoking too much, and then been told you have to run a marathon. For some it would take three years just to walk a marathon. So now you have frantic attempts by investment banks to get assets off their balance sheet."
"The best we can hope for - and it won't be quick - is that the system won't collapse in the process."
22 August 2008
Johan Rupert: Downturn Will Last 5 - 10 Years
Rupert remains a bear