South Africa 2022

 

Many people overseas would already be informed but still this may be interesting. We have real trouble you might know of it unfortunately the first part of this blog entry is bad news. Our main challenges are of an internal social nature.

Going into winter available electricity is the immediate and pressing problem the network already cannot cope there are regular interruptions then there is a 5th Corona wave, in effect just after lifting the last restrictions and state of emergency, and also a regional state of disaster with recent floods.

There is widespread protest action and bordering on unrest about municipal services with arson and looting apparently sporadic as commonplace. There is serious dissatisfaction with schools and public transport. Illegal immigrants are blamed for job losses with food prices' inflation unbearable. In frustration people are becoming more and more desperate and unfortunately sometimes resort to violence opportunist crime and even sabotage.

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Government is losing popularity and fast. The governing party the ANC is losing support and losing contact too with the plight of grass roots the workers as well as the unemployed, the burden of the very poor, the helpless and voiceless.

Voters and the public are disillusioned. The employment rate is terrible around half the workforce is without work people are suffering poverty and hunger. Crime rates are of the worst statistics in the world crime is out of control forms of murder are commonplace and often of cruel and brutal nature.

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As consequence of attempted state capture technically treason, fraud and corruption were rife “last one in is a rotten egg!” Opposition parties make a terrific noise rant and rave in anger it is really of no help at all. The opposition agrees with nothing it is very irresponsible how they carry on running to the nearest police station lying civil charges dragging authorities to court all the time on trifles with baseless accusations.

Lily white liberals with red faces pointing fingers shouting in righteous anger and militant red berets and overalls stomping gumboots in fury warning and threatening singing and chanting struggle style appealing to young men with old school tactics. Every single act of government and person is judged, contributing nothing themselves and only achieving alarm and wolf-wolf.

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Government the Law and media are fearlessly addressing corruption and are finding people guilty but so far there has been no criminal persecution or jail sentences.

Also grey market ware is freely available, smuggling and illegal selling of cigarettes and of all kinds pirate goods fake brands and all kinds of merchandise. People simply cannot afford the proper legal items especially with cigarettes and the taxes. This includes basically everyone we are sitting with a very serious problem.

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In turn the president has a cautious approach and with wisdom and good judgement. One gets the feeling our president really cares for all his people he also sometimes has a talk a “family meeting” on the radio and a weekly letter to the public to keep us informed.

He has demonstrated courage and conviction throughout the Corona pandemic and I think he still has most people's confidence support and respect. He has mine. There is still time we expect that by the next general elections we will know the success of actions that were taken.

Our country has an independent judiciary and abuse of power measures are in place. To change the constitution there has to be a majority of 66% in parliament and 50% in a national referendum that won't happen easily.

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There is more good news too, the value of precious metals is steadily increasing our mineral riches will play a significant role again in future. Agriculture has also been doing very well. There are sectors of business and industry that are performing and where the outlook is good. The fact is foreign investors underestimate our potential and the bigger picture.

With removing of Covid measures tourism should pick up once more with a substantial contribution to the economy. South Africa is a favoured international tourist destination and it is a large source of income.

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The picture as a third world country is radically changed with the internet it is a whole new ball game from education and leisure to business. Global communication today is very fast with great ease and knowledge is now freely available and to everyone not just elite or universities. Knowledge is power but especially to educate and enabling African countries and cooperation in such as potential of food production and industry.

The hope of an African Renaissance is still alive. All this and the fall of communism will be placing us on more equal footing of the West.  And personally I don't think we've got business in Eastern Europe there is no reason to get involved any case what the hell can we do? Rather just stay neutral stay out of trouble.

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Apart from all this clearly we are going the route of privatisation this is very sensible and very encouraging.

I'm sure many people already knew these things but it might be interesting for many readers. In general there is an atmosphere of optimism, goodwill tolerance and cooperation.

May the Lord bless Africa! Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika!

Tom Brown

Comments

Fascinating read, Tom. I don't think many people will be aware of the situation in South Africa in anything like the detail you have written in here. I hope the more optimistic aspects towards the end of your piece are the ones that come to the fore in the near future. Paul 

 

The photo is from Wikimedia Commons.

 

Much to think about there, Tom.

I think in all countries there is benefit if opposition parties can raise serious alternatives that can be discusssed sensibly rather than just rant and accuse the sitting government of causing all problems when some are definitely out of their control. They have to put forward possible measures, so sensible opposition can make alternative suggestions, so all can be properly considered. Rhiannon

 

Always have been... & that's a measured statement from a former Econ guy, ex- private banker on the fund side (Alpine jurisdiction)... It ain't easy there in SA, don't get me wrong Tom. SA has some real and present internal and regional challenges, very. I'm not blowing smoke up your tush nor sprinkling fairy dust on the situation .  I'm a big believer in Africa in general. But if I put my Economics hat back on, forget the geo location, strip it all down and look at the legal framework, in the civil sense which your addressed herein i.e. in the biz world we measure that as a balanced Anglo-Saxon & Romansch legal system. + Assets in Natural resources banked in the ground, productivity historically, rate of change in innovation and technology saturation/integration, both ways, vertical & linear... I would say its the external Macro economic and political situation(s), globally we all face at present, that will force the correction on the up side. The rate of upside change wont come in a timely manner internally, but the external issues will force it at a quickened pace so to speak...... Of course there's some pain with that too....

In my opinion; There are some foundational areas of the economy that I feel are constantly over looked that are actually de-risked. (very solid).

As an outsider, looking in, my questions would be; what is the durability and resiliency  of;

The centra bank

Adaption to climate change

Stability of SA's neighbors to the North East......

If that makes sense (?).... I dont want to get into lengthy debate over it.... Just my POV...

I understand what you're saying-clearly....

BUT.... If I was back in the game, I would short the ZAR 90 days out, buy the commodities securities straight off the JSE on the long side, hold. In my opinion there's allot of upside there.  (I'm not buy'n SA mineral/commodity shares in GBP off the LSE) Them London traders can Fçx¢-off, they got it wrong, again.....golly-gee-whiz! They're to busy off loading over valued USD securities, swapping debt, again, and trying to catch the yield curve on interest rates.... talk about herd mentality while swimming upstream on a declining currency valuation.... ufff...

In summery, why would I say that and write this response to you Tom?

Because I'm a believer in SA.......

Peace Tom

... Kris-Out.....

 

   

 

Thanks all! Appreciate the comments!

Tom Brown

 

That was great Tom! I listen to the World Service, so did know what you were writing about, however your emotion made the situation so much more real and immediate, you write with great power, whether on society or storms. I think there are hard times ahead for every country, and all leaders are going to struggle and fail to deliver many promises they had to make to get elected. If African countries can get the West to pay a fair rate for minerals, that will be an excellent re balancing. Your President struck me as a good person, too. It is great you have a  good person in charge in a difficult time, and I hope he can keep the trust of the people

 

Thanks Di I hoped to inform people. Things are not that bad!.

Tom