Skip to main content

2019 in Review

November 21, 2019

Can we hope for a better 2020?

To say that it has been a tough year would be an understatement.

The year commenced in anticipation, with national and provincial elections to be held during the year. Media and business, however, expressed anxiety at the inclusion of prescribed assets in the ANC’s pre-election Manifesto.

As the year progressed, though, it became evident that this was not the only challenge we would face.

South African economy

Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, delivered his 2019 budget speech, painting a bleak picture of the country, which included rising expenditure, failing SOEs and declining revenues.

It did not help matters when ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, claimed that the mandate of the Reserve Bank was to be expanded; this required a quick riposte from FinMin Mboweni, under pressure from international investors, that the matter was not on the table for discussion.

Consequently, a decision by Moody’s global ratings agency to change its outlook on South Africa’s credit rating from stable to negative, was not unexpected. The agency has kept the country above ‘junk’ status for now, which is good news for South Africa.

To continue with the good news, the Finance Minister announced that National Treasury is not “actively” considering introducing prescribed assets.

Retirement funds default regulations take effect 1 March 2019

The regulations, issued in terms of the Pension Funds Act, were implemented on 1 September 2017, and all funds that fall within their ambit had to comply with them by 1 March this year.

The regulations require retirement funds to adopt a set of default options when it comes to how members’ savings are invested before retirement, what happens to their savings if they leave their employer’s service before retirement, and to offer members a pension at retirement.

Without question, this is a positive development for the industry!

Losses and triumphs

South Africa lost a number of its fêted citizens this year, including the iconic Johnny Clegg, popular 702 host, Xolani Gwala, multi-award winning artist, David Koloane, actress Nomhle Nkoyeni and actors, Andile Gumbi and Danny Keogh.

Yes, it was a tough year, but we finished off in style…

On the sporting front, although we had a disastrous year (FIFA Women’s World Cup, Cricket World Cup, IAAF World Championships), we managed to finish with a flourish at the Rugby World Cup, securing the William Webb Ellis Trophy for the third time!

As South Africans, we have a fighting spirit to conquer insurmountable challenges, as we’ve demonstrated time and again against all odds. Today, more than ever, we need to call on these skills, experience and political will to address the challenges we face.

To quote our Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, following the ‘Boks’ magnificent performance at the Rugby World Cup tournament in Tokyo, earlier this month:

We have many problems in our country, but to have a team like this … we come from different backgrounds, different races and we came together with one goal and wanted to achieve it. I really hope we’ve done that for South Africa to show that we can pull together and achieve something.

From the Chartered Family, we wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Article written by