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Hope for South Africa

There is hope – real and present hope – for South Africa as we emerge from a dark economic and political period into a new dawn of opportunities.

This was at the core of the presentation delivered by Investec Asset Management director Jeremy Gardiner at the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast at the Fairmont Zimbali last week.

Business leaders from across Ilembe gathered at Zimbali to network and enjoy a spot of breakfast hosted by The Robert Group, the Ilembe Chamber
of Commerce and Wordsmiths Marketing.

Gardiner’s presentation was both eye-opening and reassuring.
“Compared to where we would have been had president Cyril Ramaphosa not taken over, we can be very, very grateful.”

Gardiner painted a picture of South Africa on the verge of real financial collapse, now turning over a new leaf.
“Sure, we have issues – serious issues, we are after all a part of the emerging market. But these are issues we can handle. It’s been a long time since we were able to start a new year believing it would be better than the last.”

With the global economic boom, Gardiner explained, money was pouring into the emerging markets.
“The party is in full swing for emerging markets. SA was kicked
out of the party in 2016 after Zuma’s experiment with ring and hiring nance ministers, but under Ramaphosa we are back.”

He revealed that SA had R2.2 trillion in debt, but also explained that our debt to GDP ratio is a very positive 52% (compare this with the USA or UK where it is at more than 100%).

“The Rand is about 15% stronger since Ramaphosa’s win. Ratings agency Goldman Sachs even declared SA the hottest emerging market in 2018.”
One pill that will be bitter for some to swallow was Gardiner’s insistence that land expropriation without compensation must go ahead in order to assure the future stability of our country.

“It has to happen in order to prevent a Zimbabwe-style situation and collapse. There are two vital provisos though: it cannot be allowed to affect food security, nor can it be allowed to impact investment in our country.”

He said the current radical rhetoric was negatively affecting investment but that he expected a more comprehensive plan from government on the table by August.
Politically, Gardiner said he expected growth for the ANC at the expense of opposition parties.

“With the discussion started around land, and with Zuma out, the opposition have lost the most valuable political arrows in their quivers.”

This article originally appeared in the North Coast Courier on the 8th June 2018 by Allan Troskie. You can read it here.