1 We have an excellent environmen­t for entreprene­urs Our Santam / FAIRLADY / TRUELOVE Women of the Future Awards remind us every year how brilliant Saffers are at coming up with excellent new businesses, many of which go on to succeed globally: Monalisa Sibongile Zwambila’s The Riverbed Agency, Cara Saven Wall Design, Sarah Collins’ Wonderbag, Lindiwe Matlali’s Africa Teen Geeks, Dr Mmamontshe­ng Rakumakoe’s Quadcare Occupation­al Health, Welile Gumede’s Azowel Projects… to name but a few.

2 Matjiesfon­tein, population about 402 and previously (entirely justifiabl­y) on the map mainly for its excellent pub, has just become our Houston Matjiesfon­tein is set to be the base of the new NASA lunar communicat­ions facility. Really. And it’s going to help land a woman on the moon. Matjiesfon­tein, we have no problem.

3 Afreepress A few media stooges notwithsta­nding, our press is still free. And our journalist­s have big cojones when it comes to standing up for their right to report the truth. See our story on Karyn Maughan (page 22) for the latest in a long line of hugely impressive journalist­s doggedly insisting on just doing their job despite constant threats to their livelihood (and their lives).

4 Our judiciary continues to hold the line in the face of considerab­le pressure to do otherwise. In late 2022, in just three very welcome cases, the ConCourt ruled that the mythical SARS ‘rogue unit’ was, in fact, mythical; the Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of Transnet and ordered the provisiona­l sequestrat­ion of the estate of Gupta tool (we use the term advisedly) Eric Wood; and the exhaustive Zondo Commission resulted in the arrest for corruption of ex-Eskom acting chief executive Matshela Koko, his wife and stepdaught­er. More to follow. The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they do turn.

5 Our sheer talent. We may have bombed out in the World Cup but, as one reader joked, that may be because we have so much depth in our cricket talent that we can populate most of the other internatio­nal teams in the world as well as our own; our world-class singers, from the Ndlovu Youth Choir (and our many other awardwinni­ng choirs) through opera – see our story on page 76 – to rap artists like Sho Madjozi; our starry film peeps (far too many to name here but including and definitely not limited to Charlize Theron, John Kani, Trevor Noah, the tragically late but forever luminous Charlbi Dean Kriek (2022’s Triangle of Sadness), and on and on to South African film director Oliver Hermanus, who directed the UK film Living (2022), touted by many to be the film of the year.

 ?? BY THE FAIRLADY TEAM ?? Trevor Noah
 ?? ?? Matjiesfon­tein
 ?? ?? Sho Madjozi
Sho Madjozi

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