Author:sam-rolland

Driving ourselves into a new economy

With the victory of Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC, it is now time to get on with the business of economic recovery I write this as the dust has barely settled on the election results. Election posters remain on lamp poles for now, or lie sadly on the pavement, or hang waywardly on fences. As was predicted, the ANC was elected to create the government of the day, albeit with a reduced majority. Surprises also came from the performance of […]

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An eye on the elections 

How will the outcome of the May general elections affect the transport industry? It certainly feels as though the South African economy has stumbled from one crisis to another of late. After the dark Zuma years, the country has faced a currency crisis, rampant petrol price increases and, finally, an electricity crisis in the build up to the 2019 May general elections. Many economists had hoped the growth would already be on the up and the past forgotten as we […]

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Running out of power

As an economist trying to understand and forecast in South Africa, it has proven difficult to remain optimistic in recent times. In fact, many a time the question that must be asked is not if growth will return, but when… It is with this lens that we entered 2019, expecting a recovery in our growth, but unsure what shocks would be in store. As recent history had taught us, we were expecting something negative, yet the first outcome of the […]

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Travelling with efficiency

With inefficiently designed cities a reality in South Africa, creating an all-encompassing transport system is easier said than done. In last month’s issue of FOCUS, the design of South Africa’s major cities was discussed within the context of historical inefficiencies that continue to manifest in our major transport systems, the design of cities and congestion issues. As our cities developed, first according to social engineering, and then as a result of opening up movement of people in the 1990s, planning […]

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What will 2019 hold?

As 2018 came speeding to a close, there were a number of surprises to throw off the economic market expectations, and  the impact these will have in 2019. The major surprise came in early December with the release of the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figure, which was considerably higher than many anticipated and allowed South Africa to exit a technical recession. It showed unanticipated robustness across a number of sectors. The freight sector results were a mixed bag. The […]

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On spatial planning and integrated transport solutions

Our numbers man, SAM ROLLAND, discusses the potential to design an efficient, integrated transport system for South Africa in this two-part series. One of the biggest constraints to unlocking economic growth in South Africa from a transport perspective is the lack of integrated transport systems in our major cities. This limits city development, and hinders upward wealth mobility, among other things. I would consider my travel to work during the week to be highly integrated. I ride my bicycle to […]

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When forces collide

Is the government compromising its own objectives – and that of this industry? Like many economists in the country, I tuned in attentively on October 24 to listen to new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni deliver his maiden Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). Like many, I was hopeful that somehow Mboweni would be able to produce something special; that the economy had a surprise in store that would miraculously put us back on the growth path envisioned in the National […]

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Of GDP and the stimulus package. Oh, and the rand

The picture is looking pretty bleak Despite Christmas being around the corner, I am sure that October crept up suddenly for many a consumer. Economists and other industry analysts, or really anyone who owns a vehicle, would have noticed a hole burning through their wallets as October progressed. With the tumult of everything currently happening in the South African economy, my thoughts were to break down the events of the last few weeks and months and draw out the risks […]

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Here we go again

To the surprise of many economists, South Africa has once again entered a technical recession Data revisions down the line may yet save us (although this can work the other way too, as the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) outcome was down to -2,6 percent, from the -2,2 percent initially reported), but it is likely that we are entering the first technical recession since 2009. The 2009 recession came at a time when the world economy had just crashed […]

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A new future, brick by BRIC(s)

Last month at the BRICS summit I was fortunate enough to attend a Russia-South Africa breakfast on future investment opportunities for both countries The Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit comes at an interesting time. As I alluded to in my last column (The Madness of King Trump, Issue 8), the brewing trade war between the United States of America (USA) and China – and, more recently, the European Union has entered the fray – has already […]

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