Is South Africa that bad after all?
Can you believe that we are in the year of 2015 already and how fast the years seem to be flying by?! I am sure that over the holiday season, you had at least one conversation with someone regarding the state that South Africa is in, and I am sure that that conversation didn’t have a very positive tone to it, after all that South Africans have had to endure in 2014.
Let’s have a quick recap of the kind of year South Africa faced in 2014.
For starters Eskom taught us how to be way more romantic, with candle light dinners every other night. We have learnt (or at least it seems so) to accept our president for all of his flaws and corruption charges. We learnt that the best way to combat a fire on your property is to build a big swimming pool. We found out that our president has spent over R200 000 000 (yes that is a lot of zero’s) on Nkandla and we all know that it is wrong, excepting for him! President Zuma, getting away with being accountable to the country and once again giving us a lesson of how untouchable he is. Parliament didn’t make life much easier with the way that they managed all of their affairs. EFF rocking up to Parliament in Red overall’s and stirring the pot, one minute Julius will fight for Zuma and the next minute Zuma is public enemy number one (or is this something positive). The bottom line is that our politics are simply broken at this point. Oscar broke our hearts and his life will never be the same. There is R30 billion worth of irregular, unauthorized or wasteful expenditure in the 12 months through March 2013. The post office strikes teaching us how efficient carrier companies are and the list can go on.
However the point of this article is not about looking at just the negative aspects of our country. I strongly believe that with all comparisons in life, it’s only fair to way up the negatives and the positives, before you make a fair assessment or decision.
So let’s look at some of the positive aspects of our beautiful country, South Africa:
Let’s start with politics of South Africa compared on an international scale
According to the Open Budget Index 2012, South Africa has the 2nd most transparent budget in the world.
South Africa is the only African country that is a member of the G20.
South Africa ranks 4th overall on the 2012 Ibrahim Index which measures the quality of African governance, out of 52 countries.
South Africa ranked 31st out of 167 countries surveyed in the 2011 Democracy Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ahead of all of the BRICS countries.
org ranks South Africa as the 44th most democratic country in 2012.
org ranks South Africa as the 72nd least corrupt nation out of 175 nations surveyed in 2012, ahead of all the BRICS nations.
Let’s move on and touch on the economy of South Africa compared on an International Scale
South Africa’s overall ranking is 56th out of 144 countries in the 2014/2015 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R1 trillion in 2014.
South Africa’s debt to GDP ratio is 45% (USA 100%, Japan 200%, UK 90%).
The South African stock market is ranked 1st in the 2014/2015 Global Competitive Report.
South Africa ranked 1st in Platinum output, 2nd in Palladium output, 6th in Gold output, 6th in Coal output and 9th in wool output.
South Africa is ranked 2nd out of 183 countries for good practice in protecting both borrowers and lenders when obtaining credit for business.
South Africa is ranked 16th out of 135 economies in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2012, ahead of many developed nations, including, the UK (18th), United States (22), Canada (21), Australia (25) and France (57).
South Africa is ranked 23rd out of 81 countries in the Jones Lang LaSalle’s “World’s most Transparent Real Estate Markets” placing it well ahead of China, Brazil, India and Russia.
South Africa ranks 24th out of 192 countries in the Economist’s “Largest Gold Reserves” Index.
South Africa ranks 32nd out of 165 countries in terms of the size of its US $ reserves, ahead of Australia, Sweden and Chile. The USA ranks 17th, the UK 23rd, China is ranked 1.
In a survey of 192 countries, South Africa’s unemployment as a percentage of economically active population ranked 27th.
South Africa ranks 54th in a comparison of the overall tax burden of 150 countries worldwide.
South Africa ranks in the top 20 countries for agricultural output.
(If you enjoyed the above stats have a look at many more on SAGOODNEWS)
We, as a rainbow nation, are going to go through the ups and downs that all countries face, but I believe that with our diverse cultures and great pride in our country, if we all stand together and work together we can have a hugely successful country. Our country and its people have come a very long way since 1994. I am aware of the fact that we are not where we’re supposed to be, however I would like to point out at the same time, that we’re not where we used to be either. This for me is a huge milestone for our country and we have Nelson Mandela (RIP) to thank for this. Madiba was not only a son of South Africa, he was one of the greatest examples/icons to the world, we can be very proud of the legacy that he has left for us all and the least we can do is fight together to continue to carry out the same legacy that he fought so hard for.
Thanks to Madiba we now have one of the most liberal and free constitutions in the world, there are horrific structures of power that rule nations such as Iraq, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Congo, Darfur and Rwanda. South Africa’s constitution is now held in high regard by world leaders, and we should be very grateful to live in a country like that.
Let’s all stand together to make a positive difference, by developing a positive mind set. Let’s harness the power of community, engage in constructive participation and start having one another’s backs. I am praying that with this equation, exponential benefits will flow to all of us who share this beautiful country, South Africa our HOME.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
January 19, 2015
Grant van Zyl