from the editor
ido read The New York Times, US president-elect Donald Trump said in an interview with the newspaper shortly after his election win. But he’s not a happy reader: “I’d live about 20 years longer if I didn’t,” he quipped. That, in a nutshell, is what I suspect 2016 did to my longevity.
What a year it’s been – the economy is still down in the dumps, unemployment has reached a 13-year high of 27.1%, Jacob Zuma is still our president. Even our weekends have been ruined by one recordbreaking Springbok defeat after the other.
On the upside, we’ve only had one finance minister this year (touch wood), the country’s managed to cling to its investment grade rating against all odds, we’ve averted a recession and indications are that consumers may have a somewhat easier time in 2017, with interest rates at a peak and food price inflation expected to ease.
The political sands have also shifted, and though Zuma remains in power, his influence has certainly declined since his bold move to fire finance minister Nhlanhla Nene a year ago. If the DA and its opposition partners can do a decent job in the next two years running their newly acquired metros (and this at a time when the ANC will be too focused on its own internal squabbles and power plays to fix the economy), the 2019 elections will be the opposition’s to lose.
It is also heartening that Corporate SA has been woken from its deep slumber, and is increasingly vocal – and heading to court – to address the regulatory burdens that are deterring investment, growth and job creation in this country.
Most exciting for me this year has been the SA tech start-up scene, where a number of entrepreneurs are finding keen investors and international recognition. Some of the stand-out businesses include KaChing, an app that allows for automatic payment of parking tickets at a number of malls; SweepSouth, which links domestic workers with employers; Zebra Cabs, local competition for Uber; recruitment platform Giraffe; and Lumkani, an early-warning system that seeks to reduce the damage and destruction caused by the spreading of fires in informal settlements. Long may they flourish. The next issue of finweek will be on shelves from Friday, 23 December, with the dateline 29 December. Our offices will be closed from 15 December until 9 January 2017. If you experience any problems with deliveries over the holidays, please contact me on email@example.com.