FASA AGM 2008′ Presentations
Proceedings extended over two days, with the first day devoted to presentations by a wide variety of speakers with topics ranging from the economic outlook to techno-gadgetry. On the second day, a new Council was elected and this was followed by an afternoon of golf and networking. This article deals with the presentations made on the first day.
Danelee van Dyk, economist
Danelee is an excellent economist but what makes here truly stand out from the rank of her peers is her ability to present economic issues that are relevant to the audience in a way that everyone can understand.
Danelee explained that South Africa’s current economic woes are not of our own doing, but are largely the result of developments in other parts of the world. She is convinced that – appearances to the contrary notwithstanding – South Africa is nowhere near the brink of a recession. After a brief slowdown, we can look forward to a period of sustained growth. Infrastructure development spearheaded by government will see to that.
Moving on, Danelee asserted that the G-6 nations, USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France and Italy, are losing ground. It won’t happen over night but there is consensus that in about 40 years from now, Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC-countries, will be the world’s dominant powers. Although this is speculation at present, the possibility exists that South Africa will join them. But even if South Africa does not reach such heights, it will certainly benefit from the tourism boom this shift in economic power will unleash.
What is frequently overlooked is the fact that South Africans never had it that good. In the past few years, 5 million people have improved their standing in the LSM rankings significantly; an additional 2 million people have moved up from the lowest rung.
The only worrying factor is that household debt is at the highest level ever, putting the majority of our people into a position where they are cash strapped but asset flush. Reductions in interest rates (prime is expected to come down to 12% by 2010) will ease the situation somewhat.
Justice Malala is a leading entrepreneur, writer and speaker. He is widely recognised for his talent to analyse political issues, strip away the hype and help his audiences understand what is really going on. Let us state upfront that he did not disappoint!
His presentation, headed ‘Crown of Thorns’, dealt with the Mbeki era and what we can expect to happen should Jacob Zuma become the next president. After pointing out that President Mbeki was at the helm when South Africa experienced the longest economic boom period in recorded history, he acknowledged that the current situation ‘the 16-months interregnum as he calls it’ places South Africa in an unenviable situation.
Justice believes that a Zuma presidency could be fraught with problems, not least because of the pending court case which, among other things, places a heavy financial burden on the State. Other issues that may come back to haunt Zuma are expectations by his current supporters, which he may find difficult to meet.
On a more positive note, given the composition of Zuma’s group of close advisers, who are well aware of economic realities and have a lot at stake, Justice considers a major economic/social meltdown to be highly unlikely.
Gary Baily had an illustrious career as a soccer player with local and international credits and is now a respected businessman. He is closely involved with Game plan 2010. Gary is also an accomplished speaker and you don’t need to be a soccer fan to enjoy his presentation. As he rightly points out: The Soccer World Cup 2010 will affect everyone who lives in South Africa, including those who don’t follow the games!
For openers, Gary pointed out that this event is Africa’s event and it is up to all of us to work together and make it the most successful world cup ever presented. It will be world class in an African way and comparisons with past events held in other countries are futile.
Some of the figures quoted by Gary are absolutely mind-boggling. For example:
- Government is expected to spend R500 billion before the event, a further R1 000 billion between 2011-2020.
- In all, the event is expected to add 51,1 billion rand to South Africa’s GDP. Infrastructural projects aside, money will be spent on deploying an additional 90 000 security personnel.
- Eskom is planning to spend R343 billion; on the strength of this, it has guaranteed uninterrupted power supplies to all match venues.
- 3 billion people will watch the 64 matches on TV. This provides South Africa with exposure of a magnitude it has never enjoyed before.
- Inflow of tourists will increase by 50%, not just during the games but for years to come. And even during the games, visitors won’t just watch soccer, they will move around, take in the sights and spend.
Gary stressed that this event offers untold opportunities but lamented the fact that South Africans are slow in grasping them. He gave the example of a Nigerian company that had signed up the bulk of hostel accommodation available in and around Pretoria. They stand to make a fortune out of this deal and good luck to them. But it could have been a South African company.
While speaking about opportunities, Gary cautioned that FIFA holds the rights to the intellectual property surrounding the world cup and is ruthless in defending it. Ambush marketing is not recommended because offenders will feel the wrath of FIFA ‘ no exceptions. Given the amounts of money that are at stake, this is understandable. For example, the six main sponsors paid between US-$90 and US$250 for their rights.
To find out more about World Cup 2010 and the business opportunities it offers, visit www.gameplan2010.com.
FASA’s resident legal advisor Eugene Honey spoke on developments surrounding the proposed Consumer Protection Bill (CPB), currently in its fourth draft. Eugene had spoken on this topic at FASA’s AGM 2007 but, for the benefit of those who had missed his previous presentation, he explained the entire Act. He also explained the latest developments.
As matters stand, this Act will impact significantly on franchising in South Africa. For this reason, we have updated a document that we prepared last year, taking Eugene’s current thinking into account. It is located in the Franchise Knowledge Base section of this website ‘ to access it.
Toby introduced Stuff magazine and provided a fascinating glimpse into a gadget-laden future. We were relieved to find that his presentation was not aimed at techno-geeks but at ordinary people. It was presented in a user-friendly and entertaining way and dealt with issues that will affect us all. Unfortunately, space constraints preclude us from going into much detail, all we can do is try and whet your appetite. Should we succeeded, you can find out more by visiting www.stuffmag.co.za.
- The number of South African Internet users has just passed the 4 mio mark. Of these:
- 1 million use broadband
- About 350 000 have a 3G card or similar wireless device
The trend towards high-speed connections is set to accelerate, and prices will be coming down.
- CDs and DVDs are obsolete. Sony’s blue-ray, a technology that is significantly more powerful than its predecessors, is the next big thing. It offers the best of both worlds by accommodating bigger files in HD and at 1 280 resolution. Coupled with the right player, this will ensure clearer pictures than ever before.
- Digital still cameras will evolve into high speed machines, allowing their users to shoot up to 60 high resolution pictures per second.
- Cell phones will have ever more capabilities, including high resolution video.
- A remote control designed to fulfil the functions of a pile of remotes, and then some. Already, it can control up to 15 different gadgets from one console.
- Satellite navigation for your car will go three-dimensional, and prices can be expected to drop even further.
Andrew Honey built his talk around The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout, a book that is difficult to obtain but we advise you to persevere, it’s worth it. He also introduced Entrepreneur magazine. For reasons already explained, we have to limit ourselves to the restating of two profound statements Andrew made:
- A small increase in knowledge translates into a big competitive advantage!
- When it comes to the launch of a new product, it is better to be first than to be better. (Footnote: First = first, second = nothing!)
Certainly worth thinking about!
To find out more about the South African Entrepreneur magazine, visit entrepreneur mag