The South African Reserve Bank has decided to keep interest rates unchanged. Interest rates stability coupled with a recovery in the economy during the second quarter provides consumers and SMEs a window of opportunity to review finances. More importantly, Moody’s wait-and-see approach with respect to our country’s rating is another incentive for South Africa to stimulate economic recovery.
The probability of a credit rating downgrade from Moody’s does not necessarily equal ‘good’ news for SA’s economic prospects. It is merely the calm before the storm. It would be good news if SA had embarked on one or two of the required reforms – however, this has yet to happen. This temporary reprieve from Moody’s gives SA time to implement some of the changes required to right a seriously listing ship.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s new economic strategy paper is a refreshing, much needed breath of fresh air for an economy struggling for oxygen. The paper is replete with common sense proposals all aimed at achieving the economic growth South Africa desperately needs. We have been stumbling along a low-growth path of high taxes, kilometres of red-tape, wealth redistribution, and anti-individualism for far too long. If Mboweni’s paper can be taken as a true step in a new direction, a direction of more individual freedom, South Africa will see green shoots of recovery almost immediately.
“The world would be a better place if men thought like women.” This is the conclusion of John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, the authors of The Athena Doctrine, published in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial meltdown – the direct result of testosterone on steroids!
An essential component of the rule of law is the existence of impartial courts where disputes are resolved fairly without favouritism to one of the parties. This is important for the economic welfare of individuals in a country because no modern economy can survive without individual property rights or contracts.
The top risk in South Africa is structurally high unemployment; followed by growing income disparity and inequality, according to the 2019 IRMSA Risk Report.
Following the discussions about the NHI (National Health Insurance), I am struck by how little regard is given to self-ownership. To preclude the possibility of ownership by someone else, self-ownership is a necessity. Black Africans were enslaved in the Americas because their self-ownership was not recognised.
When seeking care from a hospital or doctor, patients will now be required to present their proof of registration with the National Health Insurance (NHI) Fund to access healthcare services. Registration can be refused. Never before have South Africans’ constitutional right to access to healthcare been so brazenly threatened by a power-hungry government. Civil society must resist the proposed NHI scheme with all its might.
This century belongs to the African philanthropists, whose capital, influence, local knowledge, and moral authority have the power to address pressing challenges that face the continent.
The latest iteration of the NHI Bill has confirmed what South Africans have known for more than a decade: that taxes will need to rise to fund the government’s unworkable and unfeasible NHI scheme. During these dire economic times, the NHI tax will be the final nail in the coffin for cash-strapped consumers struggling to make ends meet.