October’s +ve Stories – were there any?

By Steuart Pennington

Justin Foxton writes “I tend to steer clear of regurgitating reams of negativity as I feel the mainstream press does a great job of keeping us all up-to-speed with that. But my mind couldn’t help going there: the brazen looting at VBS, the constant revelations of state capture; Johan Booysen’s reminder to us of the rot at the National Prosecuting Authority; the various commissions of enquiry that literally spew forth the rotten, effluent of the Zuma years. The Rand tumbling. Petrol prices sky-rocketing. Good people fleeing for foreign shores and bad people remaining, unpunished. It made me feel quite ill to be honest.” justin@peaceagency.org.za Please read his blog on www.sagoodnews.co.za

Tough times indeed!

But, the ‘news’ is not all bad – below the mainstream media ‘gloom’ there are quite a few glimmers of hope


Kevin Anderson became the first singles player from South Africa in over two decades to qualify for the end-of-season ATP Finals on the strength of defeating Kei Nishikori in the Vienna final on Sunday.  Last was Wayne Ferreira. This year’s beaten Wimbledon finalist saw off the Japanese fifth seed 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to join Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev in London next month.

Kevin now 6th in world rankings

Emperor’ Cyril’s Investment jamboree signals a Presidency taking shape

Ferial Haffajee writes “Developments at the Investment Summit – including R290-billion in commitments to South Africa and a further R400b in pledges– were a sign that President Cyril Ramaphosa has got business back on side after the regime of former President Jacob Zuma alienated most of the private sector, other than a select group of tenderpreneurs whom he helped enrich.”

Alec Hogg reports “Ramaphosa has changed the narrative, “We should treat our entrepreneurs as heroes and move away from what we have been fed, where we treated our business people like enemies, called them white monopoly capital and all that. That must end today. Let us see our business people as heroes.”

The R290bn of investment could help to bring SA’s economic growth rate above 2% after next year’s election, according to STANLIB’s chief economist Kevin Lings.

My School, My Village, My Planet raised R6 672 372 during Sept to assist schools, charities, environmental and animal organisations.


Just over 80% of South African households lived in formal dwellings in 2017, followed by 14% in informal dwellings, and 6% in traditional dwellings. The highest percentage of households that lived in informal dwellings were observed in North West (20%) and Gauteng (20%). Traditional dwellings were most common in Eastern Cape (22%) and KwaZulu-Natal (14%). (http://bit.ly/2OUIEHl)

Economic Indicators

The Youth Employment Tax Incentive (YETI) has resulted in the creation of more than 1 million jobs between January 2014 and February 2017.

Consumer inflation was steady at 4,9% y/y in September and August from 5,1% y/y in July.

The number of tourists visiting South Africa rose by 2,8% y/y in August to 876 926 after falling by 0,7% y/y in July to 855 906. 12 x 855906 = 10.2million per annum

Fitch Ratings removed its negative watch outlook on Eskom, whilst affirming its credit rating as liquidity and corporate governance conditions improved

Real take-home pay as measured by BankServeAfrica rose by a record 4,7% y/y in August, but then eased to a 2,2% y/y gain in September.

South African commercial farmers are looking to expand their summer cropland by 4,7% to just over 4 million hectares.

Source: Helmo Preuss Weekly Economic Briefing


South Africa is the continent’s tenth most generous nation while many other African countries have climbed this year’s global rankings in the 2018 CAF World Giving Index.

This year more than 150,000 people in 146 countries were surveyed as part of the Gallup World Poll.

South Africa is ranked 40th in the world in this year’s index with 72% of the country’s respondents saying they helped a stranger while 34% donated their time. In addition, 17% of South Africa’s respondents said that they donated money.


So there it is, I’ve tried to concentrate on the four pillars of what makes a country tick;

  • the economy;
  • business energy;
  • civil society activity;
  • and sport – ooops, nearly forgot to mention the Stormers getting eaten by the Sharks, now that’s proper news J