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Some good news for a change, please.

The pervasive bad news in this country is crazy making and is getting so loud the whole world is starting to worry about it.

Yes, we have problems here with crime and AIDS and bus schedules and corruption etc, but that does not make it a bad country and we are not bad people. The 2010 world cup, is going ahead and is going to be great, happy happy happy ok!

Here is a refreshing list from SAgoodnews with some positive stuff for a change.

  • South Africa is ranked 18th out of a total of 115 economies in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2006, ahead of many developed nations, including Belgium (20th), the United States (23rd), Switzerland (26th), Austria (27th) and France (70th).

    South Africa ranks 52nd out of 157 countries in the world in terms of economic freedom, ahead of Italy (60th), Brazil (70th), the United Arab Emirates (74th), Greece (94th), India (104th) and China (119th), according to the Index of Economic Freedom 2007

    Two young South Africans have been named Rookie of the Year in their respective sports in 2006. Golfer Trevor Immelman was named best new player by his peers on the prestigious PGA Tour and after a sensational 2006 season, 18 year old Jordy Smith took the coveted Vans Triple Crown of Surfing ‘Rookie of the Year’ award, considered by the surfing world to be second only to the world title in prestige.

    The black middle class grew by 30% in 2005, adding another 421,000 black adults to SA’s middle-income layer and ramping up the black population’s share of SA’s total middle class to almost a third, according to the Financial Mail. Between 2001 and 2004, there were 300,000 new black entrants to the middle class.

    South Africa ranks in the top four countries worldwide in terms of the transparency surrounding its budgets – ahead of the US, Norway and Sweden – according to the Open Budget Index.

    South Africa is ranked 29th out of 175 countries for ease of doing business – ahead of Austria, France, Spain, Brazil and India – according to Doing Business 2007, a joint publication of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

    Cape Town has the fifth-best blue sky in the world according to the UK’s National Physical Laboratory

    La Colombe restaurant in Constantia, Cape Town, was voted the 28th best restaurant in the world by the UK’s
    Restaurant Magazine

    South African media ranks 31st out of 167 countries in the Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2005, higher than any country in Asia, the Middle East or South America, and ahead of Japan, Spain, Italy and the United States.

    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange was the 7th best performing stock market in 2005, according to the World Federation of Exchanges

    Home ownership in SA has increased from 64% (5,12m households) in 1994 to 78% (7,9m households) in 2004, according to a South African Advertising Research Foundation development index

    Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world after Washington, D.C.

    Interest rates are at a 25-year low

    Johannesbrg is the 116th most expensive city out of the 144 measured by Irish business website

    South Africa accounts for almost 45% of the GDP of the entire African continent, with an economy three times the
    size of the second biggest (Egypt)

    South Africa is one of only 12 countries with potable tap water

    Almost a quarter of South Africa’s non-interest budget is spent on education

    The University of South Africa UNISA is a pioneer of tertiary distance education and is

    the largest correspondence university in the world with 250,000 students

    In 1991, South Africa became the first country in the world to protect the Great White shark

    Afrikaans is the youngest official language in the world

    In 2005, Time Magazine hailed President Thabo Mbeki as the Most Powerful Man in Africa

    According to the Economic Freedom of the World 2005 Annual Report, South Africa ranks 38th out of 127 countries in terms of ecomomic freedom, tied with France and ahead of Israel, India, Italy, China, Brazil and Russia.

    The rand, the world’s most actively traded emerging market currency, has joined an elite club of 15 currencies – the Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) – where forex transactions are settled immediately, lowering the risks of transacting across time zones

    The Singita Private Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park was voted the best hotel in the world by the readers of travel publication, Conde Nast Traveller

    The South African Rand was the best performing currency against the US Dollar between 2002 and 2005, according to the Bloomberg Currency Scorecard

    South Africa has 37 000 high net-wealth individuals (holding at least US$1million in financial assets) in 2004, according to the World Wealth Report

    South Africa’s per capita GDP, corrected for purchasing power parity, positions the country as one of the 50 wealthiest in the world ranks South Africa as the 32nd most democratic country out of 150 nations

    Stellenbosch University was the first university in the world to design and launch a microsatellite

    South Africa is the 32nd best place in the world to do e-business (tied with Poland), according to the Economist Intelligence Report.

    South Africa is the best-ranked country in terms of price stability, our fiscal policy is ranked 11th, our international trade competitiveness 21st, and we are the 28th most-attractive destination for foreign direct investment, according to the World Competiveness Yearbook 2005

    South African business owners of mid-size companies are the second most optimistic worldwide about their economic prospects of the year ahead, according to the annual Grant Thorton International Business Owners Survey for 2005.

    South Africa houses one of the three largest telescopes in the world at Sutherland in the Karoo

    South Africa is the first, and to date only, country to build nuclear weapons and then voluntarily dismantle its entire nuclear weapons programme

    The value of South African real estate improved by 30% over the past 5 years

    Since 1994, 500 houses have been built each day for the poor

    Tax revenue in SA has increased by 220% over the past 10 years

    In 2005, 10 million South Africans benefited from access to social grants

    The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown by 116% since 1994

    Over the past 5 years, Consumer Confidence in SA has improved by 43%.

    In the global measure of women in Parliament, South Africa ranks 8th in the world.

    Of the 10 LSM levels ( LSM1=poorest; LSM10 wealthiest ), the average SA family located in LSM6

    The current police to population ratio is 1:304.