A lesson from Warren Buffett on valuing SA’s prospects 

It’s always darkest before the dawn. In financial terms, Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett tells us that’s the time when a company’s valuation is below expectations for its future growth. The same can be said for a country. South Africa included.

Yesterday South Africans were treated to video footage of policemen shooting rubber bullets at looters running riot in downtown Johannesburg. Last week the Mayor of eThekwini – arrested in May on corruption charges – rescinded her resignation. The only thing needed to complete a trifecta of bad news would be another Gupta-laden plane landing at Waterkloof.

But dig deeper and it’s clear the Guptas won’t be returning of their own accord. And cooler heads hold sway where it matters. The Rand was unmoved yesterday at 20c better than last week’s worst point. Smart money is not panicking, believing the ANC will rein in its errant mayoral member and that SAPS possesses muscle and leadership to deal with the ructions.

These are tough times for the country. But after nine lost years, no rational mind expected them to be any different. There is much progress under the radar. Enough to argue the case that the national valuation – which currently discounts a modern Armageddon – is well below SA’s likely future growth prospects.

*Thanks to our ever supportive partner BrightRock, Jeanette and I are at the WEF Africa meeting for the rest of this week. We need your help with questions to pose to the worthies in attendance, both from SA and elsewhere. Please email your thoughts to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to pose them to the right person.

Comment from Biznews community member Steuart Pennington:

Alec,

Excellent read with my cup of coffee surveying the peace of the Midlands before I go off with 8 compatriots to do our bit in 8 under-resourced schools as part of Partners for Possibility, an outstanding SA born NGO, now operating in 1000 schools partnering experienced business people with committed headmasters and delivering extraordinary results (NGO work in SA our biggest untold story)

Enjoy WEF, look forward to your feedback, I’d be interested to know how much of the agenda is taken up with education.

Best.

Comment from Biznews community member Louise van Rhyn:

Thank you so much Steuart!

We love having you as a Partner for Possibility in the Midlands. It is simply amazing what becomes possible when bridges are being built between business and education.

Maybe this is what Madiba was dreaming about? For citizens to work together across boundaries to heal the wounds of the past, getting connected as human beings and to co-create the South Africa we want for ALL our children.

It is a privilege to be part of this nation building process.

With appreciation

Louise.

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