Kobus Kleyn: “I have a dream for SA in 2017… (and beyond)”

Biznews community member Kobus Kleyn has a keen eye on ethics in the financial services sector. He’s a certified financial planner and director at Kainos Financial Services, a Liberty Group Affiliate, and serves on the Liberty Ethics committee. Kleyn shares his dream for South Africa in 2017 and beyond to 2029. Please keep sending your contributions to [email protected], we’re staggering publication but all submissions will find some space on the Biznews website. – Stuart Lowman

By Kobus Kleyn*

Imagine a long term dream scenario where South Africa in 2029  (after two national elections 2019 & 2024) have reclaimed its strong financial fiscal reputation within the international financial community with a credit rating at least 3 notches above junk status, a GDP of 6%+, inflation level at 3-4%, prime interest rates around 4%, the ZAR to the $ around R7.50, unemployment around 15%, a business confidence index below 50 index points and the JSE equity index returning on average annually with consistency CPI +7% to name but a couple of economic indicators of importance.

Kobus Kleyn

The dream would be if this scenario would even be possible going forward under the current turmoil South Africa is going through with the near “perfect storm” on the currency, economic and political front hitting and with SA so close to the eye of the storm if some drastic recovery events do not take place sooner rather than later and sooner would hopefully be in 2017 .

Now let me take you to 2017 where we have moved successfully past the 2016 Municipal Local Elections with our current President (Mr Zuma) being recalled by latest December 2017 (ANC 2017 elective conference will take place) and a new Acting President (hopefully Mr Ramaphosa) a man so wealthy who would not require corruption to self-enrich himself, has been put in place until at least 2019. 

We now have 4 of the 9 major metro’s outright being run by opposition parties and another 2 or 3 where the opposition have a significant higher representation than currently to influence local policy.

It really should not be dependant on who is the strongest political party but much more about a dilution of too much power or where coalition could be at the order of the  day to enhance more equal power distribution.

We have hopefully survived at least one junk status downgrade by a rating agency in June 2017 but fortunately we were not downgraded by all 3 major rating agencies which did still allow some capital inflows onto our markets and in February 2018 we were put back on a positive outlook by all rating agencies and off junk status.

South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

During the second last week of February 2017 our Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who has re-established himself by now with authority internationally have been able to present a budget speech of note to curtail “bad” government expenses and to ensure “good” government spending on an accelerated infrastructure program to open up the economic bottlenecks within our ports, pipelines, rail etc. which will allow the private sector to unlock there R1 trillion cash pots they have been building up due to lack of business confidence.

Acting President Ramaphosa (now CEO of SA)  and Minister Gordhan (now CFO of SA) have also found some innovative means with the support of the private sector to fund education programs and to enhance efficiency of state assets like Eskom, Telkom, Home Affairs, SAA and others of importance. And we now have some additional power resources humming away and tourism are growing rapidly due to more efficient visa controls.

Now let me take you to 2019 (after the national election) where President Ramaphosa (or any other credible President) after the 2019 general election with a much more representative Party Parliament and Cabinet who cannot bulldoze legislation through parliament which is not in the best interest of the economy, people or our democracy have come into play.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

We now again have a government in place who works for the best interests of the country and its people only and not for self-gain.

Lastly let me take you to 2027 (after the national election) where we’ve just had the first democratic national election where the bulk of voters ‘hopefully’ are voting simply on the basis of the best party able to lead this incredibly country to a sustainable democracy with a vibrant economy and don’t vote according to race, religion, gender, history, emotions or any reasons which don’t bring the most effective government in place. (Very much similar to the USA elections between democrats and republicans where voters vote for the best leadership and are happy to change parties if it offers better leadership.)

Martin Luther King’s brilliant speech, “I have a Dream”, comes to mind and I can only hope in 2029 I awake from my good night’s sleep to find the absolute opposite than the scenarios outlined above have become a nightmare and not a dream come true.

It is in our own destiny through the power of reconciliation and our vote to build a non-racist future for all of us and it should not be confined to a dream but become a vision as Madiba wanted it for all of us.

“Let’s not give up our dreams and let’s start taking charge of our own destiny as we have already started doing in 2016 during a watershed year in South Africa with our local elections.”

  • Kobus Kleyn is a certified financial planner and director at Kainos Financial Services, a Liberty Group Affiliate. He is currently chairperson of the FPI Risk Competency Committee, FIA RDR Intermediary Workgroup, Liberty Ethics Committee and serves on the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Protection Committee and FPI Convention Marketing Committee. Kobus has a Passion for the financial services profession and works purposefully with other like-minded stakeholders to evolve the industry into a fully fledged profession.
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