Finally, we are in lockdown level 1. It has taken six months and caused the SA economy immense harm but if the political will is there, we can perhaps pull ourselves out of this death spiral. The world’s stock markets have rebounded from their lows as we have discussed in previous blogs but economic activity has not.
Two of the biggest events we can look forward to in the last quarter of 2020 are the US elections and the approval of a Covid-19 vaccine. We know the race between Biden and Trump will be close. If Biden wins, he will raise taxes and shares will be impacted negatively. If Trump wins, shares will stay strong but tensions between the US and China will worsen. That is, of course, the general consensus but we all know how wrong that can be.
Back in South Africa we have seen some strength in our stock market and the rand. Unfortunately this is off a low base and we have to see much more before we can get excited about SA again.
Personally, after a road trip to the old Transkei, where I was the only white person on the potholed and generally chaotic roads, I realized once again that the animosity between black and white in South Africa is largely created by politicians and a small minority of their followers with a view to gaining votes. Instead of focusing on the positives they can deliver, politicians focus on the negatives that may gain them votes. My experience was one where everybody just wanted to get along, have work, be engaged in society, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Things are looking up as we go into the final stretch of 2020. The dams are full in the Western Cape and we are hoping for good rain in the rest of the country. The wheat and canola fields in the Overberg are lush and the Garden Route looks spectacular. Even with second waves of Covid-19 hitting some countries, we believe we are on top of the situation and life will get better as our days become warmer.