What is prosperity? And is SA prosperous?

The Legatum Institute incorporates both material wealth and overall well being into its unique prosperity index. This is a worthy exercise considering the importance of social and other indicators in determining true development for people. Although there are a myriad of these kinds of indices, and one could argue over the accuracy and validity of their indicators, they are useful in that they provide a different overall examination of countries which is comparable. It is important then to ‘take home’ the distinct trends rather than becoming bogged down in specifics. Having said that, here is a brief summary of SA’s score:

In the 2012 report SA is ranked 74th out of 144 countries slipping from 60th in 2009. It is the 3rd ranked African country behind Botswana (70th) and Morocco (73rd). SA ranked relatively well (above 50) in entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance and personal freedom. This is a welcome indication of socioeconomic potential. However, SA ranked poorly (below 80) in education, health, safety and security, and social capital. This reinforces the results of other reports from the World Economic Forum and others regarding the critical need to drastically improve health and education and reduce crime. It is interesting to note that the SA economy ranked 87th which is a cause for concern, as is the way we have slipped over 10 places in the last 3 years.

For the full report please see: http://www.prosperity.com/

Investor returns, climate change and water scarcity?!

What are the effects of climate change and water scarcity on business and investment? The report ‘Navigating Muddy Waters: Securing Investment Returns under Carbon and Water Constraints’ released by WWF-SA and WWF-UK attempts to answer some of those questions. Investors will need to factor in rising energy and water costs as well as others associated with internalising environmental costs. For further details see:
Graduate professionals reveal confidence concerns in recent Index

A recently released survey gathered from the views of over 6000 South African graduate professionals reveals that there are concerns over labour unrest, politics, and social ills such as unemployment and crime. Overall confidence in the country dropped to 56% from 57% last quarter. There were some positive indications in local equity and emigration prospects where the professionals indicated that there is opportunity in South Africa and the majority of them are likely to stay. For an article on the Index see:

Informal employment: High and rising

According to Adcorp’s recently released Employment Index, informal work is on the rise in SA. This means, according to Loane Sharp, their Labour Market Analyst, that “the informal labour sector currently representing 32.8% of South Africa’s potential workforce, for some 6.2 million people, informal work has become the second-largest part of the labour market.” For more detail on the results and the full report go to:  http://www.adcorp.co.za/NEws/Pages/InformalemploymentinSArises,formalemploymentfalls.aspx