It was 6 weeks ago that a shoulder injury was operated on and set me back for what will be a few months. However, the benefit of being able to do nothing on the face of it is that you get to watch the RWC2019 without feeling guilty. As I watched England getting dumped in the scrums and out-jumped in the lineouts and injured in the process, I could not think of a better team to be beaten in a resounding victory. Having mauled the All Blacks, they were favourites to win 2019, but a cocky, potent and invincible Green and Gold force majeure proved unassailable as the onslaught became the through-slaught and finally the out-slaught. What a lovely way to finish the tournament!
Of course, not everyone enjoyed the victory. The EFF congratulated Siya and left it to Prince Harry to congratulate the rest. Frankly, for those of us who scream when a try is scored by a ball held by any colour hands, the insult fell on deaf ears and colour-blind eyes. I’m so glad that such childishness did not dampen the people-lined streets of every major city [sorry Bloem!] in the country. Shouting, hugging, crying, videoing crowds of old supporters and young want-to-be’s [not Wallabies – yah!!] pitched up to give praise where praise is due. From ORT to CT adoring fans kept up a crescendo of incredible recognition. Francois Pienaar, who deserves every bean he’s worth, humbly stood back from his own limelight and asserted that this win was bigger than 1995. Isn’t that an awesome spirit? Shame on any detractors!
Allied to this, aren’t you glad that SafAir is sponsoring the Bokke? I would hate to see the emblem on the side of a plane parked on the other side of Durban airport grounded by a union strike. Over-bloated like SAA, I watched one of our illustrious politicians state openly outside the MTBP speech that Eskom’s mandate is to employ workers. What a joke! Wouldn’t it be lovely if everybody had guaranteed employment? A kindof, birth them, grow them, educate them and let the government take over with jobs for all whilst guaranteeing inflation-plus increases for the rest of their lives. What pressure would this take off their parents!
The only thing you’d need to worry about is tax soaring through 65% to 80% so as to maintain the Fare of the Fiscus. Cloud bloody cuckoo land I would say. But back to SafAir, what a year to back the Bokke and bask in the marketing of transporting a Web Ellis-winning team. Wow, that’s serendipitous for our newest airline!
I bet by now some of you are saying: “I wonder when he’s going to have the other shoulder operated on?” I don’t mind, it’s a free country and all views are welcomed ☺ For the rest who are prepared to read on, here’s the serious stuff…
The SARB excelled again. 3-2 against a rate drop and the vote in the public domain so we can see how tight it was for another 0.25% down. Especially on the back of 3.8% inflation; how’s that for the lowest since whenever?! But, I agree with the MPC. We are faced with 0.5% GDP and a downgrade by leading Rating Agencies. It’s so important for the SARB to be seen to be independent in the face of the ANC’s politicking around its ownership. We need to doubt about that like a hole in our economic head. Firm and fair but consistent in policy – everything we need from government. Investors, especially those both local and foreign, in Bonds have to know with certainty what the SARB will do in the face of downgrades and beyond.
They now have complete clarity. The other vital point here is Governor Kganjago, who has made it plain to the government [read: the ANC] that growth lies with them, not with monetary policy. In a nation where the institutions are attacked from every angle, here is a solid institution agreeing with Mboweni de facto, and saying to the government: “We are going to protect the Rand and you need to stimulate the economy so get on with it!”
So what? For the property market, we find ourselves the victim of the economy and its weakness. We cannot move beyond the obvious nor influence the required. But, as you know, it has not all been doom and gloom. Last month Origination had a record month since the doldrums of sub-Prime. A record, you must be joking? Good news, I’m not and we’re so blessed to have had the injection of industry confidence. In our next blog, we’ll probably unpack that more. But for now, a beautiful thought that comes from a poem uttered in 1939. Those of you watch The Crown [which has just launched its 3rd season], will have heard King George utter such sentiments to the desperate peoples of Britain. The good news is that he was proved right in the end.
[Per Dr James Gray, our minister, this poem was made famous by King George V1 who used it back in 1939 when the world was teetering on the brink of war.]
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied: “Step out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light;
And safer than a known way.”
It may be a little early, but we’re only 1 month and 2 days from Christmas. For what’s left of 2019, HLJ hopes you sell well and enjoy the time left to excel in all that you do.