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South Africa’s economy is facing crisis risks (Part 3)

Economists and public finance experts have not yet reached a consensus on the specific acceptable debt threshold.

However, it is clear that the higher the ratio of public debt to the size of the economy, the greater the risk. This is especially true when economic growth is lackluster, and this low level of growth has taken place in South Africa over the past several years. Recent developments have made the situation even more gloomy.

In the 2019 budget estimate, the South African State Treasury indicated that it may be forced to exceed the spending ceiling for the first time to provide the National Power Company of Eskom with a $1.5 billion bailout year for the next 10 years. The above measure should be implemented even when other plans have been implemented, including job cuts in public services and additional tax measures.

Since then, the National Energy Regulatory Authority (NERSA) has allowed Eskom to enjoy lower than expected tax increases. The South African government has also proposed additional support to Eskom more than 4 billion USD in the next 2 years.

The South African government does not seem to be able to cut such large sums in other regions to make up for this. Despite the money being poured into Eskom, there has not been any indication that the company’s overall plan to stabilize its finances has been given.

Meanwhile, South Africa is still facing many other financial risks. Economic growth and job creation are negligible and both are below the population growth. This means a higher unemployment rate and a decrease in per capita income. Faced with the Eskom crisis in both public finance and economic growth, the only way to rise is to ensure social consensus.

President Ramaphosa has his own weapons to achieve a “social agreement” of this type but the head of the South African Government acts too slowly. This may be partly due to the constant factional battle at the ANC and the unprecedented attack on President Ramaphosa and his close allies such as Public Business Minister Pravin Gordhan. This country inspection is underway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa’s economy is facing crisis risks (Part 2)

The economic downturn is often attributed to the causes before President Ramaphosa succeeded Jacob Zuma in February 2018. Admittedly, President Ramaphosa was unable to save himself by making commitments, such as creating jobs – which were beyond the ability of the Government.

Realizing why these commitments are not exactly the key factors to blame and assess the cause of the status quo, as well as the next direction for South Africa.

Unfortunately, aside from the blame, the majority of policy discussions consist only of vicious disagreements. This is related to the time the government was held by the African National Congress (ANC) through the “Growth, employment and redistribution” strategy (GEAR), which was held by coalition partner right to oppose and criticize. The GEAR strategy is primarily intended to reduce the levels of debt that the new democratic government must receive from racism.

Left-wing commentators have long advocated expansionary fiscal policy, which means a significant increase in government spending. The group also asked the State Treasury to implement a “austerity” policy after 2008. This is not logical. First, after 2008, South Africa actually adopted a “counter-cyclical” approach: Government spending grew faster than revenue – the cause of national debt began to escalate.

Second, increasing government spending in the direction of the proposal, albeit in the best scenario, is a highly risky strategy. In the context of South Africa’s public finances, the increase in spending, which has not brought about significant economic growth and tax revenue, will lead to a serious decline in public finance. That could harm future generations.

The risks seem bigger than this benefit will never be mentioned by populists, because this school simply “mimics” the arguments that have existed in previous periods.

The fact is, although the State Treasury tried to maintain government spending to support the economy after the global financial crisis and then tried to stabilize debt levels by using the ” financial consolidation, ”but that could not work either.

The economy has not recovered and it is attributed to systemic corruption and government failures under President Zuma. Public debt targets are often not met. At one point, the debt of the South African Government was expected to stabilize below 45% of GDP, but now it exceeds 60% and is likely to reach 70% of GDP within the next few years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa’s economy is facing crisis risks (Part 1)

The State Treasury maintained government spending to support the economy after the financial crisis and then stabilized debt levels with fiscal consolidation policies, but they did not work.

The website qz.com recently published an analysis by Professor Seán Mfundza Muller, senior lecturer in economics and senior researcher at the Center for Public Economic and Environmental Research (PEERC) at the University of Johannesburg ( South Africa) about the serious difficulties facing the South African economy. The article has the following content.

South Africa’s public finances are in jeopardy with four main reasons. Firstly, economic growth is low or almost zero. Second, tax revenue continues to be lower than expected. Third, public debt / GDP increased rapidly and is currently at its highest level in the post-apartheid period (1994). Fourth, the ineffective operation of state-owned enterprises has led to the government needing large-scale bailout.

Since the submission of the fiscal year 2019/2020 in February 2019, the economic and financial situation has become worse. If Moody’s international credit rating downgrades South Africa’s investment credit (the other two firms, Fitch and S&P, have rated South Africa’s investment as undeserved – the “junk”) will lead to disbursement of investment capital and exacerbating the problem. In fact, South Africa is lucky because this has not happened.

The current public financial situation in South Africa is the result of many different factors in the three overlapping periods. The first is the period after the 2008 global financial crisis. The second is the second term in office of President Jacob Zuma. Phase 3 is the period since President Cyril Ramaphosa came to power in February 2018. A thorough review of these stages will result in conflict with popular statements in the current political context.

Some argue that South Africa’s current troubles start with the former President Zuma’s reign, but this attribution is incorrect. In public finance, the first shock on the South African economy was the global financial crisis.

Others assess former President Zuma not responsible for poor public financial performance and economy, but this is also not true. In fact, during the time of President Zuma, South Africa’s economic performance was able to recover much higher than it actually was. In addition, government revenue seems to have been negatively affected by the institutional instability of the South African Tax Authority.

Finally, the decline of economic indicators (growth and employment), combined with the inefficiency of budget revenue and public finance, posed a great challenge for President Ramaphosa. That simple fact seems unbelievable.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back on South American tennis at Indian Wells

The US used to be the world men’s tennis power when chess players reaped a lot of success at the Grand Slam and Masters 1,000 tournaments, including Indian Wells.

On March 5, 1990, the first Masters in history took place at Indian Wells in the United States. This is also the period to witness the dominance of the flag of tennis when they have 7 male tennis players in the top 10 of the world.

From 1991 to 1997, the Indian Wells men’s singles championship never came out of the United States because of the excellence of names like Jim Courier, Michael Chang or Pete Sampras. Specifically, in 1991, Jim Courier defeated Guy Forget in the final considered to be the best in Indian Wells history.

Meanwhile, Michael Chang won the championship in 1992, 1996 and 1997 when he lost just one set in those three finals. And Pete Sampras ascended the throne at Indian Wells for two consecutive years 1994 and 1995, after successively surpassing Petr Korda and the outrageous rival Andre Agassi.

However, the dominance of South American tennis here also did not last. Between 1998 and 2000, no American player was allowed to play the men’s singles final at Indian Wells. It was not until 2001 that the trophy stayed with the United States after Andre Agassi defeated Pete Sampras 7-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the final (before 2007, matches in the Masters Series took place according to the Final 5 set wins 3).

Since 2001, although the generation of players born in the late 1970s and early 80s are all talented, none of them ascended the throne in the men’s singles. James Blake lost to Roger Federer in the 2006 final. Two years later, Novak Djokovic overtook Mardy Fish and in 2010 Andy Roddick put the racket behind after two checks against Ivan Ljubicic.

Since 2010, South American tennis has continued to go down and the host country players have not achieved good results in the men’s singles. The most prominent name is probably John Isner when in 2012, he passed Novak Djokovic to participate in the final. However, in the final match, Isner proved too immature in front of the express train Roger Federer.

At the 2016 Indian Wells Masters, the highest ranked American tennis player was the No. 11 seed John Isner. Certainly it will be difficult for the host country players to surprise when the tournament has the presence of many big names like Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray but it is still too early to say anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South African team stopped early in the Women’s World Cup 2019

Instead of being disappointed, the South African players smiled after losing to Germany 0-4 and became the first team to stop in the group stage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

On the evening of June 18, the South African team met Germany in the last match of Group B of the Women’s World Cup 2019. Representatives of African football were empty-handed in the two matches played, so it was imperative to win Germany to raise hopes of going forward .

After 90 minutes, the South Africa team played at 100% strength. But the caste and limited experience compared to Germany made South Africa receive a 0-4 defeat. With this result, South Africa became the first team to stop in the group stage of the Women’s World Cup 2019.

In football, failure always goes hand in hand with sadness. However, the South African girls are happy because they have prepared psychologically to leave. With a 49 position in the FIFA rankings, South Africa’s presence in the 2019 Women’s World Cup finals in France has been a success. Many teams have better physical strength than South Africa but have no opportunity to attend the World Cup because it is located on a more competitive continent.

The Women’s World Cup 2019 is receiving remarkable attention compared to previous tournaments. This is the result of the World Football Confederation’s determination to step up the communication process to make women’s football more attractive. FIFA also doubled the prize money for teams from 15 million euros to 30 million euros. The football fields that organize the match at the 2019 Women’s World Cup welcome more fans. Professional quality also increased.

Germany won South Africa 4-0 in the Women’s World Cup 2019 After a 4-0 victory over South Africa in the final round of the women’s World Cup group stage on June 17, the German girls won the tickets to go ahead with a theory. Apparel.

What you should know about South African Weather and Wildlife (Part 1)

Travelers witness wildlife and experience the great outdoors like never before when flock to South Africa. You can prepare forcertain things, like organizing transport from the airport and getting your vaccinations sorted. But the real threat to travelers is when the local wildlife creeps up on you without warning and the weather turns nasty unexpectedly.

In South Africa the climate can be unpredictable. It is generally warm, dry, and sometimes humid. The biggest weather-related threat typically is rain and involves all of the effects it can have.

For the majority of the country the rainy season occurs during the summer months (from November to March) and it can bring extremely heavy rain. The likelihood of flash flooding is greater when the rain become heavier.

Flooding

In recent years flooding has been a serious issue, with declaration of state of disaster in several provinces by the goverment. Floods can cause significant damage to property and even loss of life, they are nothing to take lightly. In April, 2019, mudslides and floods killed at least 60 people in the wider KwaZulu-Natal province and Durban.

South Africa is home to many lakes, rivers, and winding creeks. During periods of heavy rain, flood nearby roads because these smaller creeks may overflow. This can cause extremely treacherous driving .

You may not want to end up stranded in your vehicle somewhere . If you are out on an excursion pay attention to the weather. If possible, before you leave for a road trip consult with a local for advice on what areas should be avoided because they might be more risky.

Heavy rainfall can also affect surrounding coastal waters, causing tide patterns  and unpredictable waves that can be extremely dangerous for anyone surfing or swimming. Even areas near the coast  and beachescan be hazardous. Take heed if you’re visiting South Africa during the rainy season.

Things you should know before visiting South Africa (Part 2)

4. Open your mind
There are 11 official languages in South Africa, and most of them are indigenous to the country. Around 40% of the population speak either Xhosa or Zulu. Another major language is Afrikaans, a derivative of Dutch, which will find surprisingly easy to follow by northern Europeans. Although almost everywhere you go you can easilly get by with English – which is commonly spoken in all major cities and towns, at government departments, hotels, and banks.
You‘ve ever been nowhere like South Africa. Desmond Tutu, a famous South African, described South Africa by saying that they of many races, cultures, and languages become one nation. They are the Rainbow People of God. In such a diverse country it’s truely important to remain alert to respect the culture and stay safe.
African Impact Sarah Graham says that it’s natural that when offering broad-spectrum advice for travelers, guidebooks will resort to generalization. You will be able to get into all the nooks and crannies of South Africa and venture off the beaten track to feel the rhythm of the people. The people are friendly and warm, and excited to share their culture and stories with you.
5. Great Mobile Phone Coverage
Luckily, mobile phone coverage in South Africa is easy to access and extensive. Purchase a local SIM card from one of the South Africa’s four key telcos: MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom. When you arrive at the airport you can do this.
In major cities and towns reception and internet speeds are great, but when you head into the wilderness you will lose the ability to connect fast.
Remember that you can only use a local SIM on SIM-unlocked GSM phones. Before you leave check with your mobile network provider in your home country to make sure you can use it on your phone.
You should always buy a SIM card in store at a supermarket, kiosk, or one of the official outlets, never buy off a street seller.
Listen to our podcast if you want to know more about South Africa. We talk about when something goes wrong how World Nomads swings into action, the photographer who survived a deadly snake bite and plus a shark conservation.

Things you should know before visiting South Africa (Part 1)

South Africa is a great place to learn about the past from the harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo to the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Culturally, South Africa have seen some of the most inspiring and engaging political reformations in modern times. It has a unique blend of African and Colonial cultures.

South Africa is a place to heed the advice of those in the know. From knowing the high costs of mobile phone coverage to which car to rent, these are the top tips to make your trip to South Africa as smooth as can be.

  1. Notice Your Location

Always be aware of your surroundings. Africa Adventure Consultants Kent Redding says that no matter how curious you are turn the other way and keep away if you hear or see a mob, angry-sounding demonstration or loud.

Don’t wander around aimlessly, pay attention to where you’re going. Both good and bad neighborhoods are often only one block away from each other in many parts of cities such as Johannesburgand Cape Town.

  1. Don‘t Pack Flashy

Dan Austin says, that you don’t wear expensive clothes or flashy jewelry for South Africa. Don’t flash cash really at any time in the country or when dealing with street vendors. Trade your lensesand  big fancy camera for a smaller point and shoot camera.

Pay attention everywhere you go. You can expect thievesor unwanted attention to be interested in you – especially in these neighborhoods with a bad reputation if you show off expensive items.

  1. Avoid Volunteering Scams

Make sure you book with a reputable organization if you want to volunteer in South Africa. Pick a truly ethical volunteer program if you want to give back to local communities.

At an orphanage where travelers are approached to help a popular scam has popped up. The kids here are made to look extremely poor for getting big donations out of sappy travelers. This is why we believe orphanage visits are actually not helpful.

The state visit of Nigerian President Buhari to South Africa

On Wednesday Mr. Muhammadu Buhari Nigerian President pay a state visit to South Africa after tensions between Africa’s leading economic powerhouses is stirred due to an outburst of xenophobic violence in and around Johannesburg.

The South African authorities look set to reject the demands of Buhari who is expected to push Ramaphosa to pay reparations for the Nigerians impacted by the violence.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart struggle to kickstart their stuttering economies. They will on Thursday meet to discuss political cooperation and bolstering trade ties.

But the recent violence targeting foreigners  including Nigerians in South Africa threatens to dominate the talks. In the violence at least 12 people were killed and hundreds of migrant workers repatriated to the country. After some South African companies in Nigeria were targeted by revenge attacks, they were forced to close shop temporarily. The two governments offered “sincere apologies” in a bid to calm the anger and dispatched special envoys to each other’s capitals.

The Abuja’s presidency said Buhari would discuss the welfare of Nigerian, and build harmonious relations with their hosts via finding common grounds during the state visit.

The state visit takes three day was planned in early September before mobs descended on foreign-owned properties in and around Johannesburg.

Buhari was crowned as President a second term in February, is looking to boost Nigeria’s  agricultural and mining sectors and diversify Nigeria’s economy away from oil. South Africa could prove a key partner in doing so.

But, he has been blocking the flow of goods from neighbouring Nigeramaking and  Benin protectionist moves and ordering increased restrictions on food imports, athough in July he wil sign up to a milestone African free trade agreement.

Buhari’s state visit appears unlikely to radically strengthen relations between the two sides despite incentives to improve ties.

Nelson Mandela – Symbol of freedom and equality (Part 4)

Nelson Mandela is the pride of South Africans

Nelson Mandela continued the struggle against Apartheid, which forced Congress to ratify the law to abolish the brutal decree that existed for more than a century in this country (June 1991).

In July 1991, Nelson Mandela was elected Chairman of ANC and on May 10, 1994, after winning the first democratic election in South Africa, he became President of the Leather. The first color President of the Rainbow country.

Happy ending

Although the model of the era, known and respected by the world, Nelson Mandela was still a humble, polite and lovely person.

In his private life, Nelson was unlucky. He married for the first time in 1944 and had 4 children. The marriage ended in 1957 because he spent too little time with his family. In the midst of a fierce struggle for national liberation, Nelson met and married Winnie Madikizela in June 1958. Two daughters Zenani Mandela (1959) and Zindziswa Mandela (1960) were born.

When Nelson went to prison, his family life was completely ruined. He was very grateful to his wife who carried on her family and raised her children even though she herself was wanted and imprisoned. However, due to differences in awareness in some issues, in March 1996, Nelson and his wife divorced.

His last mate was Graca Simbine, the widow of President Mozambique. This is the beautiful love affair of two people in special places in modern African history.

Mr. Mandela always said that living with Graca Machel is a great happiness for both of them

When Graca’s first husband died in a plane crash in 1986, while struggling with misery to continue living in the terrible prison on Robben Island, Nelson wrote lines to comfort the widow of the President that he admires. Mrs. Graca replied. So began a correspondence between the two people who tied their lives to the fight against injustice. Happy smiled to Nelson on his 80th birthday: “I feel that living with her is a great happiness for both of us.”