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South Africa
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 08:09
Hope for positive change

“…It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us….”
Author Charles Dickens’ timeless words ring true as we reflect on what has been a fraught year for South Africa. From the rolling hills of Nkandla to our troubled parliamentary buildings, South Africa has undeniably felt the decline of the nation’s political and moral discourse. This has manifested itself on our streets in the ever-increasing number of protest and the xenophobia that returned this year.
Comments Andries du Toit, CEO, The Wealth Corporation, “Rolling black outs again affected our homes, businesses and morale. Consumer and business confidence dropped to their lowest levels in 15- and 16-years respectively, while unemployment is at a 12-year high. In addition, consumer price inflation is expected to break the upper limit of 6% by year-end, just in time for festive season spend.”
That being said, we still have “everything before us”, he says. South Africa has a far more sophisticated economy than any of our neighbours in a region that ranks as the second-fastest growing in the world. We saw our young democracy flex its muscle as our judiciary stood united before our government in an unprecedented show of force and said “enough”.
“Looking ahead to 2016 and the local government elections it holds, there is hope for positive change as more and more voters demand accountability. We see this particularly in Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg where research indicates a change in governance is a possibility. In addition, while we need urgent intervention to right the state entities, government departments and municipalities that are failing to fulfill their mandates, South Africa is not a failed state. We have the resources and resilience to bring about the future we hope for.”
Markets dislike uncertainty. Given the troubled times facing South Africa, Europe and the mid-East at present - and for the foreseeable future - there is certainly enough uncertainty to go around. Comparatively, South Africa even seems relatively stable.
No one can say for certain what 2016 holds for our country or the rest of the world. Indeed, tomorrow remains a mystery even to the political commentators and market pundits who are paid top dollar for their predictions. What we do know for sure is that luck favours the prepared. Only when you know what you want tomorrow to hold, and you follow an appropriate plan to realise your goals, will you truly be able to welcome it.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:28.12 1st December, 2015
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