There is a faint glimmer, but it is getting stronger – so perhaps it won’t be long before we can see some light at the end of the dark tunnel which life in South Africa was in danger of becoming.
The appointment of Tito Mboweni this week as new finance minister was, correctly, welcomed as a shot in the arm for the economy. The rand has recovered slightly and so has the stock exchange.
Another piece of good news, in the financial sense, came this week with the release of the monthly business confidence index numbers. In September, according to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the index rose from 90.5 to 93.3 on the back of higher export volumes, increased vehicle sales and marginally lower inflation.
But the most encouraging piece of news came from an outsider, reminding us that things are not really as bad as they may seem.
Emma Wade-Smith, the United Kingdom’s trade commissioner for Africa, expressed the opinion that South Africa is “moving in the right direction”.
She went on to say that “the fundamentals of South Africa’s economy are broadly strong and we have huge amounts of UK’s investment here”.
Wade-Smith said the UK is “the largest foreign investor here and has been for many years. That’s because we have belief in South Africa.
“It’s an extraordinary economy – diverse, mature – and it has so much going for it.”
Although it is true that Britain may be looking to strengthen its trade ties with other countries ahead of the impending withdrawal from the European Union, her remarks are nevertheless a strong vote of confidence in us.
The road ahead won’t be easy. Poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment will have to be tackled.
But, it is really good to know that there are others who believe in SA.
We should, too.