Pete's Pen“Another nail in the coffin of the South African economy”. These were the words of the American Chamber of Commerce earlier this month when the ANC rammed the Protection of Investment Bill through the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry‚ despite the objections of the DA‚ other opposition parties and the overwhelming majority of foreign investors in South Africa.

And all Zuma can do is giggle. What hope do we have? Maybe Malema was right when he said that Zuma is not laughing at all South Africans, just those who voted for him, when he addressed the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Johannesburg last week.

We can laugh of course, indeed we have to. I wonder how many of you read (probably most of you) the article in News 24 that Zuma topped the ‘Big Mac Index’. Alec Hogg, in his article headed “It’s official – Zuma the highest paid, worst value-for-money President in the world” he said “On a like-for-like basis, Zuma costs South African taxpayers 27 times what Americans pay for Obama, 9 times Merkel; and a staggering 319 times more than Xi’s cost to Chinese taxpayers”. He went on to say that it wouldn’t look so bad if the economy he is responsible for wasn’t also one of the worst performing.
To arrive at this conclusion he compared each leader’s salary with the size of the economy they run – how many dollars each President is paid for every $1bn of their nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

His article is quite brief, but well worth the read and can be obtained by clicking on

And immediately after having had a good chuckle at this, I read that he is about to get a further salary increase of over R100,000 a year to R2.75 million. Can you believe it?

And the R4 billion private jet?

Because of this ludicrous approach to self-enrichment that Zuma and his ‘chosen few’ have adopted, coupled with increasing levels of crime caused no doubt by the swelling numbers of unemployed, it’s no wonder that more than 83% of people in business feel more unsafe that they did five years ago. This was the result of a survey of members carried out by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They did admit that it was a voluntary response survey which does tend to skew results, but they also said that the views were consistent and identified some of the major concerns of business.
As entrepreneurs and small business people, what can we do? The answer is simple – we have to access new markets, particularly those with money. But this is not easy to do, or cheap. Costs in the UK, Western Europe and the USA are much higher than here in South Africa. Salaries are more than double, as are rents and distribution costs.

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Why not test the waters in the UK? There are no leases or on-going commitments so there is no better time to expand. All you have to do is call us. Take a look at

Peter Veal