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South Africa's GDP declines

As we now know South Africa’s gross domestic product, otherwise known as GDP, declined by 3,2% in the first three months of 2019.  That is the largest percentage the economy has slowed down in the last 10 years.  It is apparently largely to do with Eskom’s load shedding.

GDP is very important, because if your economy is not growing, your jobs market cannot grow and we know all of the problems that go with a high unemployment rate – largely crime, but also more desperation and greed in the form of corruption.  At the beginning of the year we were told that South Africa would grow its economy by about 1,5% this year and while they still think it will turn around later this year they are now projecting 0,7%.  To grow at 0,7% is obviously not enough to create jobs in the country, but that would at least be better than the reduction in the first three months, so it does seem to indicate some likelihood of more positive growth later this year.  There are so many things that need to be tackled, including the labour laws in South Africa, if we are to get more jobs and an improving economy.    

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 27-Jun-19   |  Permalink   |  13 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Disappointed with Deputy President appointment

I was very disappointed to see that President Cyril Ramaphosa, and how good it is to write that instead of writing about our former President, Jacob Zuma.  In fact, I used to struggle to even call him President Jacob Zuma, because I simply did not have that respect, but I have all the respect in the world for Cyril Ramaphosa. 

There was a lot of international coverage as to whether or not he would appoint David Mabuza as the Deputy President of South Africa, given that there seems to be a number of allegations involving improprieties in the Mpumalanga Education Department, and what that money was used for and whether or not he was involved, etc and there was a devastating expose in the New York Times about him a few months ago.  It was commonly expected that he would not be appointed if Cyril Ramaphosa had enough power within the ANC and one can only assume that the fact he has been appointed as Deputy President must mean that President Cyril Ramaphosa does not have too much of a majority within the ANC itself.  That is unfortunate, because he is the man for this time, he is what South Africa needs when there are so many business issues that need to be resolved and it is seen as somewhat of a negative, from an international perspective, that David Mabuza has been appointed as the Deputy President.  Of course, he may well argue that he has never been found guilty of anything, etc, but there is certainly a perception that is quite negative and you never want to appoint somebody who has those clouds floating above them to such an important position, unless you have no choice.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 21-Jun-19   |  Permalink   |  23 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Do you still watch TV?

I have noticed in recent years that the TV advertising that my firm does has become less effective.  People don’t watch as much live TV now as they used to – something that the television companies in South Africa seem to pretend to ignore when hiking their advertising rates each year – when there is not justification to do so, because they are all losing audiences.  The events that are still watched in a big way are generally live sports events, but a lot of people don’t watch much live TV anymore.

I would be interested to know, with reference to you and your family as to whether or not you watch any live TV and if so, what the programmes or events are and generally how you watch?  Is it something you have recorded to watch later without adverts or are you using Netflix or another similar service?  

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 11-Jun-19   |  Permalink   |  39 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It
Tesla introduces long-range vehicles

Tesla has just brought out new versions of both their Model S and Model X.  The new Model S can go approximately 592km on one charge before you will need to charge it again and the Model X can go 520km on one charge.  In other words, you are getting to the point where you will be able to drive an electric car from Johannesburg to Durban without charging.  No doubt the improvements will continue every year and although Tesla has not come to South Africa yet, one must not forget that they provide Superchargers around the countries where they are based, like in America and Canada.  That allows you to stop on your journey at a charger, while you pop into a restaurant to have some coffee and a snack, that will recharge your car faster than your chargers at home can charge it, adding in let’s say 400km of charging in about an hour.  In other words, if you felt that you needed another 50 or 100km to get to Durban on your way from Johannesburg, you could stop at the Supercharger for 15 minutes and that would be more than enough to top up your vehicle while you take a break.  I am sure there are those who would say that they would like to drive the whole way to Durban without taking a break, but it is suggested for good driving that you should generally stop every 2 or 3 hours on a journey and I certainly stop at the halfway point on the way to Durban.

In any event, all of this is theoretical, because Tesla has not launched in South Africa and perhaps the cost of putting Superchargers and things like that all over South Africa only to sell a small number of the vehicles does not make sense, given that there are not that many people in South Africa, as a percentage of the population, who could afford a Tesla.  It will be interesting to see if any manufacturer, at the moment, is prepared to invest in South Africa to that extent in terms of the infrastructure.  Without it, electric cars cant really take off if you have to charge at your home only.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 04-Jun-19   |  Permalink   |  28 Comments Comments Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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