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Bridging the gap in Jozi

December 13, 2018

The World Happiness Report was released earlier this year by the United Nations.  South Africa ranked 105th place out of 156 countries.

The country has dropped four spots since last year’s report.

GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity, and the absence of corruption were the criteria used by the UN to explain the variation of happiness across countries.

For interest’s sake, Finland has been named as the happiest country, while Burundi ranked last on the report.

Winston Churchill stated that the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity whilst the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

So, please bear with me as I don my rose-tinted glasses and explore how we can improve that “happiness ranking”.

First, face reality
A CNBC Africa talk show host and prominent Asset Manager facilitates an annual informal road running event aptly named “The Growler”. I made my debut at this event in early December.

In short, in excess of 100 Jo’burgers congregate opposite King Edward VII school and proceed to run through some of the perceived “poor or rough no-go zones” in Hillbrow, Betrams, Yeoville and Lorentzville and finish back at KES after climbing Monroe Drive.

The state of the streets – which abound with pot holes, litter and derelict homes – left me in a state of shock.

Second, see the upside

So, what is the upside?

The whole experience heightened each participant’s awareness of how tough conditions are for a large section of our fellow Jozi citizens. This fresh insight resulted in the provision of generous donations at the conclusion of the run to a home for abused women and children in Bertrams (

The sense of caring and community among the participants was obvious.

The mantra of Chartered Employee Benefits is “Bridging the Gap”.

As we enter the festive season (and having had a brief glimpse of the other “gaps” in our society), we hope that our advice to our clients helps meet their needs: firstly, how best to bridge a funding gap by making provision towards a successful retirement; and, secondly, how to meet the immediate need for an adequate healthcare plan for them and their families.

Perhaps this can contribute in some small way towards improving that happiness rating.

We wish you and your families well over this festive period and look forward to working with you in 2019.

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