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Trump says SA is ‘rich’. He has a point

Surely there are more than just ‘developed’ or ‘developing’ economy categories?
Trump pointed out that China, one of the world's richest countries, is viewed as a developing nation. Image: Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg

US President Donald Trump unleashed a flurry of criticism when he remarked that a lot of countries categorise themselves as developing countries “to avoid World Trade Organisation [WTO] rules to get special treatment”.

He clearly explained his trade policy to the world within the maximum number of characters that Twitter allows: “The WTO is BROKEN when the world’s RICHEST COUNTRIES claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment. NO more!!! Today I directed the US Trade Representative to take action so that countries stop CHEATING the system at the expense of the USA!”

That was some six months ago and last week America announced the outcome of a review of its list of countries that enjoy preferential trade terms. It said the previous list, dating from 1998, was obsolete.

The US trade department removed 25 countries from the list of least-developed countries, mentioning that investigations, whether nations are harming US industries with unfairly subsidised imports, are unnecessary.

Not surprisingly, China tops the list of countries Trump accuses of benefiting unfairly from trade terms designed to help poor countries.

He took to Twitter again last week to ensure that the world takes notice of the changes. “China is viewed as a developing nation. India is viewed as a developing nation. We’re not viewed as a developing nation. As far as I am concerned we are a developing nation too,” said Trump.

Trump is probably right. China established itself as the manufacturing and trade behemoth of the globe decades ago – all the while receiving criticism of its manufacturing processes ranging from environmental damage, unfair labour practices and low regard for human rights to shoddy safety concerns for workers and customers alike. Overall, its system of manufacturing and trade is skewed in its own favour by the blatant manipulation of its exchange rate.

What the figures say

Figures from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bear out Trump’s arguments that China, at least, should not be allowed to demand preferential trade terms. In economic terms, China is second only to the US measured by its total gross domestic product (GDP) if one accepts that GDP figures and their variants are suitable measurements for wealth.

Read: Is GDP still a good measure of economies?

The IMF calculated China’s nominal GDP for 2019 at $14.1 trillion ($14 100 billion) compared to America’s $21.4 trillion. It estimates total world GDP at just above $82 trillion, meaning that China produced around 17% of the world’s good and services last year.

Basic economics teaches us that nobody will produce something that they can’t sell, and that production thus equals income. China, with an income of $14.2 trillion is indeed one of the world’s richest countries.

Trump also specifically mentioned India. The IMF ranking puts India in fifth place with a GDP of $2.9 trillion, just behind Germany and ahead of the UK, France and Italy.

Countries ranked by nominal GDP

Rank Country Nominal GDP ($bn)
   World GDP 87 265
1  United States 21 439
2  China 14 140*
3  Japan 5 154
4  Germany 3 863
5  India 2 936
6  United Kingdom 2 744
7  France 2 707
8  Italy 1 989
9  Brazil 1 847
10  Canada 1 731
11  Russia 1 638
12  South Korea 1 630
13  Spain 1 398
14  Australia 1 376
15  Mexico 1 274
16  Indonesia 1 112
17  Netherlands  902
18  Saudi Arabia  779
19  Turkey  744
20 Switzerland  715
–   Taiwan  586
21  Poland  566
22  Thailand  529
23  Sweden  529
24  Belgium  518
25  Iran  459
26  Austria  448
27  Nigeria  447
28  Argentina  445
29  Norway  418
30  United Arab Emirates  406
31  Israel  388
32  Ireland  385
 –   Hong Kong  373
33  Malaysia  365
34  Singapore  363
35  South Africa  359
36  Philippines  357
37  Denmark  347
38  Colombia  328
39  Bangladesh  317
40  Egypt  302
41  Chile  294
42  Pakistan  284
43  Finland  270
44  Vietnam  262
45  Czech Republic  247
46  Romania  244
47  Portugal  236
48  Peru  229
49  Iraq  224
50  Greece  214
51  New Zealand  205
52  Qatar  192
53  Algeria  173
54  Hungary  170
55  Kazakhstan  170
56  Ukraine  150
57  Kuwait  138
58  Morocco  119
59  Ecuador  108
60  Slovakia  107
 –   Puerto Rico  100
61  Kenya 98.6
62  Angola 91.5
63  Ethiopia 91.2
64  Dominican Republic 89.5
65  Sri Lanka 86.6
66  Guatemala 81.3
67  Oman 76.6
68  Venezuela 70.1
69  Luxembourg 69.5
70  Panama 68.5
71  Ghana 67.1
72  Bulgaria 66.3
73  Myanmar 66.0
74  Tanzania 62.2
75  Belarus 62.6
76  Costa Rica 61.0
77  Croatia 60.7
78  Uzbekistan 60.5
80  Uruguay 59.9
81  Lebanon 58.6
 –   Macau 55.1
82  Slovenia 54.2
83  Lithuania 53.6
84  Serbia 51.5
85 DRC 49.0
86  Azerbaijan 47.2
87  Turkmenistan 46.7
88  Côte d’Ivoire 44.4
89  Jordan 44.2
90  Bolivia 42.4
91  Paraguay 40.7
92  Tunisia 38.7
93  Cameroon 38.6
94  Bahrain 38.2
95  Latvia 35.0
96  Libya 33.0
97  Estonia 31.0
98  Sudan 30.9
99  Uganda 30.7
100  Yemen 29.9
101  Nepal 29.8
102  El Salvador 26.9
103  Cambodia 26.7
104  Honduras 24.4
105  Cyprus 24.3
106  Zambia 23.9
107  Senegal 23.9
108  Iceland 23.9
109  Papua New Guinea 23.6
110  Trinidad and Tobago 22.6
111  Bosnia and Herzegovina 20.1
112  Laos 19.1
113  Afghanistan 18.7
114  Botswana 18.7
115  Mali 17.6
117  Gabon 16.9
116  Georgia 15.9
118  Jamaica 15.7
119  Albania 15.4
120  Mozambique 15.1
121  Malta 14.9
122  Burkina Faso 14.6
123  Mauritius 14.4
124  Benin 14.4
125  Namibia 14.4
126  Mongolia 13.6
127  Armenia 13.4
128  Guinea 13.4
129  Zimbabwe 12.8
130  North Macedonia 12.7
131  Bahamas. The 12.7
132  Madagascar 12.6
133  Nicaragua 12.5
134  Brunei 12.5
135  Equatorial Guinea 12.1
136  Moldova 11.7
137  Congo. Republic of the 11.6
138  Chad 11.0
139  Rwanda 10.2
140  Niger 9.44
141  Haiti 8.82
142  Kyrgyzstan 8.26
143  Tajikistan 8.15
 –   Kosovo 8.00
144  Malawi 7.52
145  Maldives 5.79
146  Togo 5.50
147  Mauritania 5.65
148  Montenegro 5.42
149  Fiji 5.71
150  Barbados 5.19
151  Somalia 4.96
152  Eswatini 4.66
153  Sierra Leone 4.23
154  Guyana 4.12
155  Suriname 3.77
156  South Sudan 3.68
157  Burundi 3.57
158  Liberia 3.22
159  Djibouti 3.17
160  Timor-Leste 2.94
 –   Aruba 2.90
161  Bhutan 2.84
162  Lesotho 2.74
163  Central African Republic 2.32
164  Eritrea 2.11
165  Belize 2.00
166  St Lucia 1.99
167  Gambia 1.77
168  Antigua and Barbuda 1.69
169  Seychelles 1.64
170  San Marino 1.59
171  Solomon Islands 1.44
172  Grenada 1.24
173  Comoros 1.18
174  St Kitts and Nevis 1.03
175  Vanuatu 0.95
176  Samoa 0.91
177  St Vincent and the Grenadines 0.86
178  Dominica 0.59
179  Tonga 0.49
180  São Tomé and Príncipe 0.43
181  Micronesia 0.38
182  Palau 0.29
183  Marshall Islands 0.22
184  Kiribati 0.18
185  Tuvalu 0.04

Source: IMF data as published by Wikipedia

* Figures exclude Taiwan and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

It made local headlines last week that the US – if not Trump personally – suddenly decided that SA is a rich country.

According to GDP figures, SA is not a “poor” country. It is ranked number 35 on the list of 185 countries. We are in the top 25% in the world in terms of nominal GDP.

‘One or the other’ inadequate

The effective reclassification of the 25 countries from developing countries to developed countries for purposes of trade concessions shows that classifying countries as either one or the other is totally inadequate.

Where would one draw the line between rich and poor on the above list of GDP figures? Drawing the line in the middle of the list would assume that all the countries listed to number 92 are rich and those from 93 to 185 are poor.

Tunisia is at 92 with a nominal GDP of $38.7 billion and Cameroon is at 93 with a GDP of $38.6 billion. That the figure of around $39 billion is equal to less than 0.2% of the GDP of the US clearly shows that it is simplistic to put the distinction between developing and developed countries in the middle of the list.

Putting it at the average number instead of the mean also yields a nonsensical answer.

That would result in only 24 countries in the world being classified as rich, with Belgium being regarded as the poorest of the rich with a GDP of $517 billion. Austria, Norway and the United Arab Emirates would then be considered poor.

However, the IMF mentions that comparing nominal GDP doesn’t take into account differences in the standard of living from country to country. One of the big shortcomings when using nominal GDP as a yardstick is that figures can change significantly from year to year due to changes in exchange rates.

Adapting raw GDP figures to reflect the purchasing power of a country’s currency and comparing purchasing power parity GDP figures (PPP GDP) tries to solve the problem of different currencies and variations in the cost of living between countries.

This ranking puts China way ahead of the US and moves India up to the third spot. but it still does not change the problem of where to draw the line between poor and rich.

Countries ranked highest by purchasing power parity GDP

Rank Country

PPP GDP ($bn)

1  China 27 309
2  United States 21 439
3  India 11 326
4  Japan 5 747
5  Germany 4 444
6  Russia 4 349
7  Indonesia 3 737
8  Brazil 3 456
9  United Kingdom 3 131
10  France 3 061
11  Mexico 2 628
12  Italy 2 443
13  Turkey 2 347
14  South Korea 2 320
15  Spain 1 941
16  Canada 1 900
17  Saudi Arabia 1 899
18  Iran 1 471
19  Egypt 1 391
20  Thailand 1 383
21  Australia 1 365
 Taiwan 1 300
22  Poland 1 287
23  Nigeria 1 217
24  Pakistan 1 202
25  Malaysia 1 079
26  Philippines 1 026
27  Netherlands 1 005
28  Argentina  904
29  Bangladesh  838
30  South Africa  809

Source: IMF data as published by Wikipedia

The list of the 30 richest countries based on PPP GDP still includes SA (number 30), as well as Brazil, Thailand and South Korea – which were all taken off the US list for special trade deals, along with China and India.

Read: Why Korea has first-world economy and developing-market currency

It is interesting (and clever) for Trump to refer to different countries and nations in his arguments and not to people. The richest countries are not necessarily home to the richest people, as analysis of GDP per capita shows.

Well-to-do countries with relatively small populations head the list when ranked by GDP per capita. Tiny Luxembourg is number one with a per capita GDP of $113 196, followed by Switzerland ($83 716) and Norway ($77 975). The US drops to number 7 with an average of $65 111, far behind Luxembourg. Their huge populations push China to number 65, Brazil to 72 and India to 139.

Once again, where should one draw the line between rich and poor? The mid-point is between SA with $6 100 and North Macedonia with $6 096. This line would rate SA citizens as rich, despite our average annual GDP per capita being less than 10% of that of our US counterparts

The world average of $11 355 indicates that there are only 60 countries on the list of 186 where per capita income is above average. India’s citizens are suddenly poor, with a per capita GDP of only $2 171.

Selection of countries ranked by GDP per capita

Rank Country GDP per capita
1  Luxembourg 113 196
2  Switzerland 83 716
3  Norway 77 975
4  Ireland 77 771
5  Qatar 69 687
6  Iceland 67 037
7  United States 65 111
8  Singapore 63 987
9  Denmark 59 795
10  Australia 53 825
11  Netherlands 52 367
12  Sweden 51 241
13  Austria 50 022
 Hong Kong 49 334
14  Finland 48 868
15  San Marino 47 279
16  Germany 46 563
17  Canada 46 212
18  Belgium 45 175
19  Israel 42 823
20  France 41 760
21  United Kingdom 41 030
22  Japan 40 846
23  New Zealand 40 634
24  United Arab Emirates 37 749
25  The Bahamas 33 261
26  Italy 32 946
27 South Korea 31 430
28  Malta 30 650
29  Spain 29 961
30  Kuwait 29 266
31  Brunei 27 871
32  Cyprus 27 719
33  Slovenia 26 170
34  Bahrain 25 273
35  Taiwan 24 827
36  Estonia 23 523
37  Czech Republic 23 213
38  Portugal 23 030
39  Saudi Arabia 22 865
40  Greece 19 974
41  Slovakia 19 547
42  Lithuania 19 266
48  Hungary 17 463
49  Seychelles 17 052
55  Croatia 14 949
56  Poland 14 901
57  Romania 12 482
 World GDP per capita 11 355
61  Russia 11 162
62  Malaysia 11 136
64  Mexico 10 118
65  China 10 098
66  Argentina 9 887
78  Botswana 7 859
89  South Africa 6 100
90  North Macedonia 6 096
91  Namibia 5 842
109  Indonesia 4 163
127  Angola 3 037
137  Ghana 2 223
138  Nigeria 2 222
139  India 2 171
140  Kenya 1 997
153  Lesotho 1 338
154  Zambia 1 307
166  Zimbabwe  859
167  Rwanda  824
178 Democratic Republic of Congo  500
179  Mozambique  484
183  Malawi  370
186  South Sudan  275

Source: IMF data as published by Wikipedia

The Swedish doctor and academic Hans Rosling wrote in his book Factfulness that one of the major misconceptions in the world is that people divide the world in two. “I’m talking about that irresistible temptation we have to divide all kinds of things into two distinct and often conflicting groups, with an imagined gap – a huge chasm of injustice – in between.

“It is about how the gap instinct creates a picture in people’s heads of a world split into two kinds of countries or two kinds of people: rich versus poor,” says Rosling in one of the first paragraphs in the first chapter.

Factfulness introduced a different way of looking at figures and a novel way to draw graphs to break down the temptation to see only two categories.

Its final analysis finds that the bulk of the world’s population falls right in the middle between rich and poor – in that gap that most people fail to recognise.

The book makes the point that this is the case when using any figures that measure development and living standards, including level of education, nutrition, infant and child mortality, access to clean water, household income, size of families, economic growth and life expectancy.

The graphs in the book show that the bulk of the world’s population is neither rich nor poor. Based on 2017 figures, the conclusion is that most of the world’s citizens fall within a per capita GDP range of around $2 500 to $25 000.

The minority fall outside this admittedly wide range. The poor minority reside mostly in Africa and the rich minority in Europe, America and Japan.

Rosling forecasts that life will get much better for the middle block by 2040 and that the poor minority will nearly halve in number to 600 million, while the population in the middle will remain the majority with some 6.8 billion people. The rich will number around 1.7 billion in 2040.


Listen to Nompu Siziba’s interview with Isaah Mhlanga of Alexander Forbes:



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The very interesting concept of inequality in South Africa is the fact that we have millions of foreigners for poorer countries coming to South Africa. This inflow of people influence our local jobs and small businesses negatively.
For too long the pendulum of human rights over swang too far to allow illegal immigrants over the world to migrate to “richer” and politically/economically (capitalist) countries. This allowed socialist countries to misuse their powers to enrich their corrupt leaders, furthermore the rich countries became the scapegoat for corrupted poor countries. This is exactly what happened to South Africa after 1994. Instead of growing a wealthy economy for South Africans, we sit today with millions from poor countries which burden our citizens even more.
State capture furthermore is evidence of our leaders doing exactly what happens in corrupt socialist countries.
Socialism is the root evil for corruption, and corruption on grand scale is the first sign of socialism’s failure as a economic system.

@ Hachment, I agree with your point regarding socialism and its inevitable path to economic ruin and totalitarianism. However, I disagree regarding foreigners who come to SA. The person who has the means, planning ability, self-discipline and sheer guts to migrate from (say) Somalia to SA, to come and establish a little shop in Diepsloot, is exactly the kind of person you want in your country. The next generation of his/her family will be educated and contribute useful skills and probably substantial income tax to society. Much more than the stereotypical languid, entitled, chip-on-the-shoulder, Saffa is ever likely to do.

Cash in transit heists are linked to ex-military people from Zimbabwe.
Foreigners run a thriving business “exporting” hijacked vehicles to neighbouring states. We have enough shops in SA, I have several on the pavements in my suburb.

The problem is not the foreigners as such I agree, rather our open border policies, but with our high unemployment and strict labour laws the situation becomes worse. We too quickly forgot that our attitude should be our own people must come first.
The wealth we can create is hampered by closing down on the free market (too strict policies), enhancing poverty further.

It is always fascinating to watch conservative South Africans, who if they lived in the United States, Europe, UK or Australia, would almost certainly vote for immigration restrictionist parties, promote unrestricted immigration into South Africa.

It’s a clear double-standard. When confronted they claim that immigrants to SA are more “industrious” and “hard-working”, when the reality is that employing undocumented people allows for labour laws to be ignored, further exacerbating (what should be) working class unemployment of South Africans.

Correct. And the real extent of the ANCs illegal immigrants problem is not known. It could be as much as 9m.

But still the real elephant in the room keeping SA poor is corruption. ANC corruption.

Yebo AP. Most South Africans are poor and the country is bANCrupt. We are not a developed or developing country but rather in a class of our own for which I cannot even find a term! Un-developing/reverse-developing/de-developing/unraveling/collapsing/contra-developing… see my predicament?!

Foreigners are not the problem. The locals are the problem – lazy, entitled, uneducated, unemployable and violent. It isn’t foreigners setting universities and municipalities alight. Foreigners weren’t disrupting SONA. Foreigners are a convenient excuse used by a population unwilling to acknowledge its own failings and inadequacies.

Unemployable – 100% agree

ps I fully agree with you. we have 3 ex Zimbabweans working for my company. they work harder and more willingly than the locals. Last time there was a strike/go slow they increased their productivity. The foreign nationals have fled poverty and they don’t want to be unemployed here. They have experienced harsh hardships. Locals feel that government owes them a living….

Ignorant locals are a problem made worse with a disproportionate number of illegal immigrants that put a burden on the SA economy and services – housing, health etc.

with reference to your first sentence, i always wondered how long will it take the anc / government to realize that fact – nowhere have they spelled it out to the electorate / their supporters that due to almost non-existing sa border control of who enters sa from foreign countries, their jobs / chances to get a job as a sa citizen / taxpayer becomes lesser and lesser – on top of it the foreigners also require housing,education, electricity, water, medical care etc, etc – all costs that rely on a limited / reducing number of taxpayers. the government failed to provide these services to its own citizens never mind the foreigners. eff’s malema even called for the collapsing of borders in africa – how short sighted can one be??????????

It is a mixed bag; some foreigners are very honest and diligent, others are crooks and maybe do not pay tax. Ditto with some of SA’s citizens who are lazy, militant and entitled but not all. Sadly the ANC sets the negative standard as it refuses to take a stand to get Zim back on track, hence limiting migration here, and refuses to encourage the SA labour force to get out there and do a solid day’s work. As you sow, so shall ye reap.

Correct, the people most severely affected by illegals are the poor. They compete for jobs, housing, water,Government hospitals and schools.The rich simply use them as cheap labour. Yet the ANC voters (most are poor) don’t see this. Stupidity is a disease, a horrible curse.

Correct. It’s a long slow numbers game. The more you let in the more there is desperation and competition for scarce resources.

Ironically many have climbed onto the bandwagon of bee and many SA corporates have blindly appointed foreigners on race (like Old Mutual even).

The bee rules are also inadvertently throttling the economy.

Is it possible that the people have not ‘developed’ to western standards? If one compare literacy it seems as if ‘we’ are miles behind the rest of the world. Development between the ears have not kept up with the western world perhaps?

TRUMP 2020 The problem with South Africa is very similar to the U.S. There’s a huge SWAMP of people that have exploited this country for personal gain and THE GOVERNMENT TALKS ABOUT IT!! Not a SINGLE conviction and the swampness continues. Look at some of the people that have been reissued with swamp cards and some sit in Parliament and others works for swamp creatures.

Exactly, very difficult to hold anyone accountable when the rotten fish heads are still sprouting in the media.

Only soft targets are fair game.

We are not a developing country – we are a Regressive country !!!!

We are not a country, never will be anytime soon. We are a confused geographic location, Surrounded by countries and the sea on three sides; western sea, eastern sea and the southern sea convergence.Easy to enter very difficult to exit… Try going to Botswana or Namibia illegally… not even to Zimbabwe.

That’s what we are… Free for all.

Thanks! Regressive is the word I was looking for!

That list of GDP per capita is weird.

Luxembourg and Switzerland I understand : hundreds of years of housing stolen and corrupt money. Norway, Qatar made enormous amounts in energy and have small populations.

But how does Ireland come in so high? Is it to do with measurements impacted by Microsoft and Apple located there? Tax haven issues?

And you would not like to live in such a country, where most things work?

You entirely missed Johan’s point.

@Johan Ireland can be used to dramatically lower your tax rate, there is actually a fun accounting trick called: Double Irish With A Dutch Sandwich

You need a Irish and Dutch subsidiary, but the result is very little tax payable.

Have you been to Ireland Johan? A very busy and effective country, populated by very industrious people. Zero clinics being burnt btw

Also Ireland’s population is rather small, about 4.7 million.

Ireland received massive transfers from the EU, paid for by countries like Germany and the UK. Then, a bunch of industries located there – like Hewlett Packard,Apple etc as you note and low, attractive tax regime (corporate tax 12,5%), encouraging companies like Google to domicile their European operations there.

Allow me to share my own theory. Indeed South Africa and the rest of Africa is not poor. the reason for our continent-wide suffering is that we are in the midst of a new form of colonialism. History taught the world’s greedy people that there is not sufficient profit in taking over a country and hoisting your flag. The more profitable way is to appoint your own government (read local people with limited intelligence), and get them to steal as much and as fast as possible. Said wealth then gets hoarded in the banking system of the colonials and hey presto, they can live in luxury, visit the museum during the week and go on ski-holidays while only engage with their African partners every month or so. Now here’s the brilliant part: The USA has a law that states that any theft occurring in USD terms is prosecutable under US legislation. Therefore, they still decide who gets fingered, when and to what extent. True, South Africa primarily, is blessed with richness beyond even the imagination of her own citizens. The question that can support the above assertion is: If all the stolen money originated from Africa can be moved back in one week, what will the effect be on the Western banking system?

It would appear that there is a general misconception with the ANC about wealth and where it comes from. For one it is not something that comes out of a reservoir like a mine for eg. India for many decades was one of the richest countries in terms of mineral resources yet had a per capita income well below that of Hongkong with no resources to speak of.

The idea that wealth is something you create seems to be lost to our leaders, especially our friend Julius whom I am convinced would have made a far better carpenter than a politician. Take the example of an artist who creates an oil painting on canvas that is worth infinitely more than price of the oil and the canvass. Entrepreneurship is the highest form of creativity needed for wealth creation. It cannot be nationalized, captured or exhausted.

Wealth creation is the key to job creation and that appears to be lost on the powers that be. Without wealth, there are no taxes, without taxes, there are no jobs not even in the civil service.

We need a policy revision that would make it conducive for us to add value to our resources locally before exporting it. How dumb are we to import cars from Japan made from iron ore we sold to them!

Great article, thank you Adriaan.

You made a few comments to the effect that Donald Trump may actually be correct and ‘have a point’ here.

You must must have missed your Political Correctness Indoctrination and Re-Education Sessions Adriaan!

How very refreshing.

Oh boo-woo to everybody who hates Trump and calls him names like a racist, sexist, Islamophobe etc. Go and sit in a corner and cry. People are sick and tired of being politically correct all the time and they are also fed up with career politicians who spend their lives riding on the gravy train like Obama and the Clintons. Trump is giving new direction to the USA and he takes decisive action, unlike our Prez who just wants to placate everyone. Trump mopped the floor with Nancy Pelosi and he loves every minute of it. He will definitely serve a 2nd term.

Donald Trump is probably the most intelligent and patriotic leader in the world today. He puts his country and people first, and not his party. Ramaphosa should take note.

The US should put an additional requirement for these special trade conditions. Companies making use of them should either pay higher taxes in their home countries, pay higher salaries to their employees or have employees as shareholders in the company. It cannot be that the trade favours just benefit the rich company owners and management.

Africa needs a Trump!

It’s got a couple: Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. Check out their leadership qualities and nation-building capabilities.

True! I probably should have said South Africa needs a trump…

Face it South Africa is a wealthy country (bled dry by Zuma). In many aspects we have been on a par with first world countries. Look back to the banking crisis we were hardly affected because our rules were more stringent. Look back to our mining it was competitive with the first world production world. Look at how our electricity used to be one of the cheapest in the world. SA has always been able to cope in competition with the first world and we still can. Just Zuma messed it up and took us into the typical African country bracket.

For anyone making a case for foreigners in South Africa, especially those from Zimbabwe, please take a moment next time to ask them what they think of EWC. They actually support it and feel South Africans are behind.

The Gold and Platinum ( with Palladium and Rhodiem as by products) values are in short supply with SA controlling 80% of the Platinum output. THIS is what Trump is alluding to when he says SA is a rich country.
Platinum and it’s by products are necessary for hybrid/electric vehicles – this sector currently being the fastest growing new Mannufacturing darling of the Decade.
Of course he wants to punish us….after all we’re a BRICS country too – so together with Russia and China pose a threat to the American Dream that is Trumps short term solution to a DisUnited States of America. Unfortunately Trump is a stranger to long term planning – all his plans are based around his business experience – short term realization…long term – who knows!
In my opinion.

South Africa is a very wealthy country. Everybody looks to the negative. Nobody talks about how great and lucky the wealthy have it!

….well, by realising that The Treasury will likely again make no inflation adjustment to Individual SARS tables (like last year), given sufficient number of years, and most citizens will start falling into the top 45% marginal bracket (’cause R1,5mil p.a. may not be worth that much given sufficient time).

So YES, with these high tax brackets we ALL must surely be part of the rich & wealthy!

I beg to differ, President Trump does not have a point, there is equality and there is equity. Equality ensures that the rich gets richer and the poor remain poor because with equal distribution the have-nots will continue trying to catch up with the haves, even when they are given equal opportunities. Giving R100 to a person who does not have money will not provide the same results as giving a person who already has R50. I still believe it is not wrong or unfair to give a person who has no money a little more to reduce the level of the poor.

End of comments.





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