New Hope For The Future

South Africa is on the road to recovery


As we scurry through the second month of 2018, South Africans wonder where we are going politically, and economically.

The winds of change have blown through the ANC and the economic atmosphere has started to move, after years of stasis, to a more upbeat sentiment in the country.

There is a distinct vibe that things are going to start changing for the better.

This is reflected in the results of the SACCI Business Confidence index, which has started turning into an encouragingly positive outlook.

The Rand too has shown encouraging signs of improvement taking us nearly R2 better than we have been against the US dollar just a few weeks ago.

This in turn takes the heat off inflation as our cost of fuel and transport comes down.

Retail sales are also improving. Car sales are more upbeat. Interest rates are stable.

There is a general air of optimism in the first quarter of 2018 not seen since 2007.

Consequently, 2018 is showing signs that it will be a turnaround year for South Africa.

Developments at Davos, the prospects that the ratings agencies will start to view South Africa in a more favourable light, investors gaining confidence over time that we are getting our act together, we are addressing state capture, corruption and the like: all this augurs well for the future.

Steady improvements remains the direction we are taking.

To the North of us, Zimbabwe is slowly starting its hard drive to rebuild its shattered economy and society: they are going through a process of nation building under evidently a component of new leadership.

All these factors coalesce towards a picture that, even with the challenges faced, the country can look forward to improvements in economic performance.

That said, it’s not all sweet-scented roses. One of our major sectors continues to hold on future investments in South Africa in an environment of policy uncertainty.

Nearly 80% of jobs in the mining sector have been shed at a time when global demand should have taken this sector to stratospheric sales levels.

We seem to have a destructive habit of killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

The political road ahead also looks bumpy as infighting for power continues to weigh on our economic performance. We are doing well in a tight market, but this is way below the performance we are capable of.

Nevertheless, common sense will ultimately prevail as South Africans demand a better future, where sustainable economic performance is not just words, but is felt in the day to day things we see and do.

Its about an inclusive economic process that gives life to the aspirations of all fellow South Africans where we all feel a part of something greater than ourselves.

We see it in the spirit of our sportsmen and women as they lift their game against formidable opponents. It's symbolic of the spirit of the country.

And so, we look to 2018 as the year which is out with the old, in with the new.

The country is a buzz with the spirit of new hope.

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Issue 93


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