As a new decade dawns, we look at a few major international, regional and local headlines that gripped the last decade. These were headlines that shocked us, made us laugh, dance, cry, emotional, enriched us and above all made us united as a true rainbow nation when our boys lifted the Webb Ellis Cup right at the end of it all.
The slow but sure passage of time has undoubtedly given us much to say about the past decade and more to look forward to in the future. Geoffrey Chaucer once said, “Time and tide wait for no man”.
Join me as we take a trip down memory lane reflecting on the decade gone by:
- The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund signed off on a €110 million bailout of Greece, to save the European Union (EU) country from default in 2010.
- Technology giant Apple launched the first iPad in April 2010.
- Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by revolutionaries in 2011, which ended his 42-year regime.
- In 2012 South Korean musician PSY released the song ‘Gangnam Style’ which was a huge hit on YouTube, attracting over a billion views.
- According to the Mayan calendar the world was supposed to come to an end on December 21, 2012.
- Do you remember the Malaysia Airline flight 370, carrying 239 passengers and crew which mysteriously disappeared in March 2014? A sad moment in aviation history. To date the remains of this flight have never been recovered, despite extensive search efforts.
- Multiple terror attacks in Paris led to the deaths of 17 people in January 2015.
- Donald Trump announced his candidacy for US president in June 2015.
- Brazil & South Korea impeached their presidents in 2016.
- The Panama Papers were leaked in 2016; they showed how wealthy people used offshore accounts to avoid taxation.
- June 2016 was a historic moment, as we saw the British voting to leave the EU, a process which was to be known as Brexit. This led to the resignation of Theresa May as prime minister in July 2019. She was succeeded by Boris Johnson who won a vote with a huge majority in December 2019 as he promised to get Brexit done. The UK is set to leave the EU on January 31, 2019.
- Trump defeated Hilary Clinton in the November 2016 US elections.
- Trump was sworn in as the 45th US president in 2017.
- Ten years after the great recession, in 2017, global growth started to pick up.
- The now-late Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe in November 2017, following a military-led coup, bringing an end to his 37 years’ iron-fist rule. He was succeeded by Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are yet to see any positive change in Zimbabwe.
- We saw two royal weddings: Prince William to Kate Middleton in April 2011 and Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in May 2018.
- In 2018 President Trump started setting tariffs and other trade barriers on China. This was the beginning of what was to be known as the US-China Trade War.
- The Democrats won back the house in the US midterm elections in November 2018.
- Late in 2019 Trump was impeached as president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – the third time such an event has occurred in US history.
- In a surprise move, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently announced their departure from the Royal Family, saying that they would work to become financially independent.
- In 2010 R7 would get you 1 US dollar; fast forward to 2020 and it’s almost double at around 14.47.
- South Africa hosted the Fifa Soccer World Cup in 2010; Bafana Bafana performed dismally in the tournament.
- Eight out of South Africa’s nine provinces were hit with floods in January 2011. This pushed food prices higher.
- Following a wildcat strike by Lonmin miners, August 2012 opened a dark chapter in modern history. In what is commonly referred to as the Marikana Massacre, 34 miners were killed in Marikana by the South African Police Service. This lethal use of force by SAPS was compared with the Sharpeville Massacre of 1976.
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died in 2013 at the age of 95.
- Load shedding second phase started in 2014 and continues to this day.
- Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa’s biggest economy, in April 2014.
- Nhlanhla Nene was fired as finance minister in December 2015, which caused the rand to weaken significantly. Within four days, South Africa had three finance ministers.
- Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as ANC president in December 2017, narrowly beating his rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
- Jacob Zuma resigned as head of state in February 2018 and Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed president of the republic in the same year.
- Following recommendations by former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Ramaphosa launched The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission of Inquiry, in August 2018. The commission is still on-going.
- Ramaphosa was elected as President of South Africa in May 2019 by the National Assembly, following the ANC’s victory in the general elections that same year.
- Steinhoff, once the darling of most fund managers and investors, saw its share price plunging by over 90% as a result of accounting irregularities, where the company overstated profits and assets by nearly $12 billion.
- The Springboks claimed their third rugby world cup title, matching New Zealand, after thrashing England in November 2019.
Global & Local Investment Advisors prides itself on a healthy 20-year history of financial innovation and excellence. With the advent of the year 2020, may your new year resolutions cascade into materiality.