When I watched the closing ceremony of the soccer world cup, glued to the TV as the full sized elephant mannequins drank water from a watering hole in what looked like a sandy Kalahari desert to the sounds of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo , I was overcome with pride and the realisation that IN South Africa, when WE come together and put our mind to it, ANYTHING is possible.
It was not only the bureaucrats who performed admirably, policing crime like few believed possible, home affairs getting hundreds of thousands of visitors through immigration at the airports courteously and efficiently, municipalities implementing transport plans, cleaning organising, and many more dysfunctional government and quasi government departments that seemed to wake up and get into gear, but our formal economy who put together the world leading stadiums, roads, airports and modern railways in very tight timelines, showing what we can achieve and that we still have the skills to pull off hairy audacious projects.
But the most exciting thing for me was the way ordinary South Africans got stuck in as a huge family, supporting our team, sure, but also becoming ambassadors in small ways, cumulatively adding up to the biggest PR and marketing expose ever in Africa.
So let’s now move into a period of working to win (and not for the elite few). Lets no longer be blackmailed by political rhetoric that belongs in the past. Lets shut down the “tendopreneurs”, the leeches who suck, steal and poison the poor and the vulnerable, while at the same time pretending to represent them.
And housing can be a creator, a huge driver in this new era. The old Western economies are not going to be growing fast enough to pull us up by our bootstraps, and our exports are expensive in international terms, so growth will have to be domestic. We will have to do it ourselves....but we can.
I say drop interest rates again, get the bank’s lending, get some skills into the municipalities so developers can build houses. Not only will the building sector create the right type of employment, but the secondary industries including furnishings and fittings which will give the local economy a big boost. Increased receipts from company taxes and transfer duties will prop up the huge social spend that we have to have. Lets encourage international investment, in fact I would take it a step further and market South Africa as a retirement destination for wealthy foreigners. Government will have to act, showing the world clearly what our policy is to foregion investment in local real estate and how important the constitution is to the people.
According to ‘Economist’ magazine, The publication’s Global House Price Index shows that SA house prices rose by a cumulative 418% over the past 12 years (1997-2009). That far outstrips any of the other 20 housing markets tracked by the index. The next best performers were Australia, Britain and Spain with growth of 181 %, 175% and 167% respectively. While some of those countries may have relapsed recently, South Africa escaped the global crises very well, and most of our losses have been recovered in terms of house prices.
So would that not mean that South Africa should be a safe haven property investment destination for foreigners?
And that gets me back to my point of the successful world cup. Lets follow up with proudly presenting property, and lifestyle investments to those foreigners who got to see the true South Africa. And lets not forget about the million or two skilled South Africans that are living abroad – come back, bring your skills and capital and we can show Brazil, China, Russia and India how to eradicate poverty in 10 years.
Its really that easy, just like hosting the biggest world event, SUCESSFULLY. It depends if you really want to do it?