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Editor’s update


Dear reader

South African universities were in the headlines this week with the news that they have failed to gain a place in the QS University Ranking for BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. The ranking compares the top 400 institutions in the five major emerging national economies. The ranking was published shortly after the Chinese Parliament ratified the creation of the BRICS Development Bank, already ratified in India and Russia. The New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS Bank, will finance infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, which are likely to include higher education related investments to further increase the global competitiveness of these economies.

Also in the headlines this week was the news that both business confidence and consumer confidence in South Africa have plummeted. The SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) for June 2015 dropped by 2.3 index points to 84.6 in June 2015 from 86.9 in May 2015. This level is 5.1 points lower than in June 2014 and is the lowest level since the 83.9 of January 1999 – a sixteen-and-a-half year low. Meanwhile, social unrest, political turmoil, frequent power outages and other economic headwinds have all combined to bring South African consumer sentiment to a 14,5-year low. Results from the 2Q2015 FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Survey show that consumer sentiment has seen its largest drop since 2008, to reach a level of -15 in the second quarter. Consumer confidence had already declined from zero to -4 index points during the first quarter of 2015. The latest index number is not only far lower than the lowest reading recorded during the 2008/09 financial crisis and recession (-6), but it is also only the second time since South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 that the CCI has dropped below -12 index points.

And finally, the City of Jo’burg has announced the top three winners of the #Hack.Jozi Challenge. Desmond Mongwe of MoWallet was awarded R1-million, while Niel Pieters of Lazy Lizzard and Percy Lawrence of MoveThisStuff were both awarded R350 000 each.

Until next week,

The IT-Online team