DONALD Trump is the new president of the United States of America – the 45th one. Who would have thought? Well, apparently the Americans did and voted accordingly for the Republican candidate, resulting in a surprise defeat for the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton.
It is difficult to imagine America evolving from the figure of Barack Obama, seen as a man of great dignity to the rather more controversial Trump but anyway, what impact does it have on us as South Africans? Should we even care?
Well, yes, we should, as the Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets indicated in a statement on Wednesday, as the new president of the USA’s ascendancy to the position may hold a few nasty surprises for indebted South Africans.
Roets indicated that uncertainty over the direction Trump’s government would take would bring about uncertainty in financial markets, including that of South Africa. The rand’s volatility on Wednesday already spoke to this claim.
Roets warned that both the impact of such uncertainty and the announcement by ratings agency Moody’s that South Africa’s big four banks will see a rise in problem loans in the next 12 to 18 months as the economy struggles to grow, did not bode well for the economic future.
So, while our country is embroiled in a continued and increasingly fierce battle over its own leader, President Jacob Zuma, it is evident that outside forces will also impact on South Africans’ daily struggle to survive.
If you are feeling a bit battle-weary and worn out as the year steams to an end, take consolation in the fact that there are upheavals and massive changes under way worldwide. As a country, we will not be exempt, but that does not mean that we should not continue to strive to ensure that South Africa becomes the best it can be – and we still have a long way to go.