It seems that commenting on all the negative things in our newspapers is a national hobby and probably one of the main things that really unite us as a nation. We forget all the good (nay, great) things going on in South Africa and where we have come from and just dive deeper into all the gloom and despair that inevitably results from a good read of a news paper.
Well, I have a solution. My wife sent me a link to a local site called "South Africa: The Good News" and it should have a place in your browser bookmarks and your del.icio.us bookmarks. You won’t find negative news on this site. All you will find is good news or news with a positive angle and that makes such a big difference when most of what we see in mainstream media is negative (not unjustifiably so) and depressing!
To give you an idea of what is on the site, here is a selection of statistics:
- 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
- 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
- Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world after Washington, D.C.
Here are just a few more reasons to be more positive about South Africa.
I would like to see the ability to subscribe to the site’s feed. There is a newsletter which you can subscribe to but a regular feed of positive news stories would be great. There is actually a feed available (thanks Ian for getting back to me).