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Summary of good news from South Africa
by Steuart Pennington and Brett Bowes

SA The Good News    Translate This Article
22 August 2006

Sixty-four thousand people in South Africa have been trained in Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation Technique, including 20,000 students in schools. A total of 2,200 have been trained in the TM-Sidhis programme, including 1,000 Sidhas at the university in Johannesburg, CIDA City Campus, which was started by the TM Movement.

The following is a summary of the rise of good news from South Africa as reported by South Africa's The Good News website:

- Interest rates are at a 25-year low.

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

- 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.

- South Africa ranks 50th in the world in terms of economic freedom, according to the Index of Economic Freedom 2006.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.

- South Africa is ranked 28th in the world for ease of doing business according to a survey conducted by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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, the fiscal policy is ranked 11th, the international trade competitiveness 21st, and the country is the 28th most-attractive destination for foreign direct investment, according to the World Competiveness Yearbook. 2005

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

- Of the 10 LSM levels ( LSM1=poorest; LSM10 wealthiest ), the average SA family ranked LSM6.

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