The Ministry of Trade and Industry has discovered South Africa "pretty much as far from every country on the planet as you can possibly get".
This after having punted SA as the gateway to Africa for a decade.
The shock discovery was made at the home of Deputy MEC for Hawking All Moveable Assets to China, Firesale Phosa, as he entertained investors in his study on the weekend.
"I have one of those ornamental globes that you keep liquor in," said a visibly shaken Phosa. "It's always been open for easy access to my government ration of Johnnie Blue, but the maid must have closed it. And that's when we saw it."
He said he and the investors had taken a moment to understand what they were seeing, but once it had sunk in - that South Africa was at the bottom of the continent, and not, as previously believed, a short bus ride from everywhere - there had been a stampede for the exits.
"We've been going to trade shows in China and the West, telling everyone that South Africa is the gateway to Africa, because it always seemed that we were so close to everywhere," conceded Phosa.
"I mean, you'd sit down in Business Class, take your Prozac with a double vodka, and wake up in London after what seemed like 15 minutes.
"But this ... this is hectic. We're just praying that everyone else's ornamental globes stay open, or we're stuffed."
He said that Ministry scientists had confirmed this morning that South Africa is further away from New York, London and Beijing than any other African country.
"We have to accept that we're not the gateway to anywhere except Antarctica," he sighed.
"But maybe we can start marketing ourselves as the back door to Africa. Encourage investors to come in from behind, up the bottom, as it were. Oh, wait, that came out wrong."