We should, however, not dwell on our misfortunes as a nation, and instead look forward to the year ahead, which holds many positive and encouraging highlights. Features that are sure to set a positive outcome for the year ahead and will hopefully renew our spirit and love for our country, South Africa.
South Africa’s currency slumped 38 percent in 2008 with the benchmark stock index losing more than 30 percent after foreigners turned net sales of almost 41 billion rand ($3.8 billion) of the nation’s stocks and bonds. Our Rand remained stalled at six-year lows against the dollar toward the end of 2008. However experts predict it is likely to recover and stabilise at around 8.50 in the first quarter of this year.
Investec says that South Africa’s real inflation rate has been overstated, however the implementation of Statistics South Africa’s new CPI calculation system will help inflation fall into the target band by the middle of this year.
The overstating of the interest rate has had a serious impact on monetary policy as well as other pricing decisions such as wage negotiations, long-term contracts and retail prices. So its stabilisation this year will have long-term positive effects on monetary policy.
The planned R4.2-billion liquid-fuels pipeline linking Mozambique and South Africa should be completed by the end of 2009. Current market growth indicates a critical petrol and diesel shortage in Gauteng in the future, and Petroline’s pipeline and storage facility will be able to satisfy a large portion of the future demands in South Africa by means of importation via Mozambique. This should result in the decrease of the pressure on liquid fuels imports on Durban harbour and also support fuel imports to Mozambique and other southern African neighbours. The pipeline will have a diameter of 30 centimetres and have the capacity to transport five million tonnes of fuel per year. This project offers a great opportunity for regional co-operation and integration between South Africa and Mozambique and contribution to the upliftment of the [Southern African Development Community] region, at the same time strengthening the product supply security in South Africa.