from the ed­i­tor

Finweek English Edition - - CONTENTS - JANA MARAIS

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 janam@fin­

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