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Blast…

25 October 2004 Angelo Coppola

South Africa has much to be proud of over the ten years of democracy, says Shaun Roux, at PSG Fund Managers, but...

In many areas of science, literature, finance, arts and sport we have accomplished much and often boxed above our weight.

However there are a few achievements of which we are probably not as proud, and here I'm not talking about having the world's largest (only?) statue of a koeksister.

A glance at the back page of The Economist reveals the latest emerging-market indicators.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but of the 25 countries represented, SA lies in last place on 2 scores: GDP percentage growth on a year ago and size of foreign reserves.

We all know that our meagre foreign reserves are a legacy from the Stals era and that the Reserve Bank is in the process of building up its position. The GDP figure is rather more disappointing.

Amidst the greatest commodity boom in twenty years you could think we could have nipped ahead of Israel on the global growth table.

But then it must be remembered that we've been patting ourselves on the back for having the strongest currency in the world over the past two years.

Hmmmm. Given that we are near the top of the table as far as the unemployment rate is concerned, I can't help but be concerned that we are getting our priorities muddled.

Source: The Economist 1/10/04

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