Brace yourself 2023

Brace yourself 2023

As we open a new year, many of us are looking foward to making resolutions and setting targets for ourselves for the year ahead. A few worries begin to set in when we begin to ponder what the year could actually be like considering the circumstances we currently face. People all over Mzansi are bracing themselves for the worst by planning for the best.

It’s going to be a challenging year. Let’s face it, the outlook for 2023, though we always try to stay positive, is the worst we’ve had in Mzansi for years. That’s something we can all agree on. The people of Mzansi share their particular thoughts and plans as they face the knowns and
the unknowns, as they see them…

Knowns: Load shedding is here to stay for the foreseeable future, continuing to affect businesses and the economy; unemployment will increase as a result; prices of basic goods are going to go up even further, making daily life more strenuous; crime will rise; growing disillusionment with government over all of these things is likely to result in unrest leading up to the next elections, and a move away
from the ANC; and with all of these things, the prospect of
environmental doom hangs over our heads as we scramble to find the solutions to global warming and climate change.

Unknowns: Nobody knows what else can be expected next or how any of the knowns and unknowns will affect them personally, but, with the exception of a few die-hard (or desperate) optimists, they’re sure it’s going to be mostly bad. That said, there is the sense that we have been through trying times before, and will face what comes with whatever resources we can muster.

A New Year: What people expect from 2023

Load-shedding escalates with no end in sight

Load-shedding will affect people severely, resulting in the closure of businesses. People are fearful for their job prospects and livelihoods as well as their own businesses.

Nothing particularly good

Nobody knows what else can be expected next or how any There is a general sense of foreboding. People are uncertain
about what will actually happen and how it will affect them
specifically. Some are hopeful for improvement but do not see it happening in the near future.

Rise in cost of living

People are bracing themselves for hardship and the failure of the economy. They are either prepared or planning to prepare for the financial struggle they see coming.

Rise in unemployment

Concerns about unemployment leading to more crime and
unrest. These concerns are also rooted in political dissatisfaction with service delivery and lack of job creation.

Environmental consciousness

A strong concern for the environment is evident. Concerns
stem from a desire for safety, wellbeing and general quality of life.

Civil unrest

Unrest is seen as the inevitable outcome of all of the above, if we don’t have improved leadership in Mzansi be it a new political party or new representation – someone who can uplift the country. There is real fear among the people.

A qualitative engagement with 100 people from our MzansiVoice Community of 10,000+ panelists.

New year's resolutions

Open, grow or expand business

People in Mzansi are planning to make more money in light of current and future economic pressure. The goal is to achieve “financial independence”: not having to worry about finances. For some, starting a business is seen as a solution in light of limited employment options.

Others hope to grow or expand their existing businesses. There is likely to be an increasing need for investment from banks and big business in this regard.

Save and invest

The intention is to save and invest by means of fixed deposits, buying of stocks, and forex trading this year.
They are still learning about forex and other investment opportunities that would be suitable for them.

This suggests that there is room for financial institutions to educate people about ways to grow their money and to make it work for them. Minimal mention was made of investment in virtual currencies.


People are looking forward to travelling internationally this year, since the lifting of travel restrictions and the increased affordability of certain international flights. The desire to travel runs parallel with the desire to progress in a career; it stems from a need to not only see more, but to escape economic hardship and to find rest, meaning and quality of life.

This hopefully bodes well for the travel industry and brands offering loyalty travel rewards. Valentine’s specials might be a consideration for brands at the moment, as several participants expressed the desire to travel as a couple in 2023.

Further studies to improve job prospects

Many of our panelists want to further their studies, be it in the form of post-graduate degrees, diplomas or short courses. This is in an effort to become more employable or to make themselves assets to their current businesses or places of employment.

It is felt that studying will unlock
the jobs and income that they long for. There is a sense of wanting to self-improve, but it is strongly tied to dissatisfaction with their current position and a desire for more money.

Get in-shape and healthy

This year, the all-time favourite resolution has reemerged with “added motivation” to follow through. A number of people want to improve their wellness “for real this time”, and claim to have already signed their gym contracts to help them see it through.

They are intending to cut down a
lot on their alcohol consumption, and live more healthily in general. Brands can continue to ride the health and wellness wave as they support customers in staying on top of their resolutions.

Build a house

Consistent with our MzansiEye Christmas research findings, a lot of people are looking forward to building or building onto homes this year, either for themselves or for a family member or parent. They are looking to plant roots and have the stability of a secure home. Building and DIY suppliers stand to benefit if these plans can be realised.

Get a job or promotion

Study or not, there is a clear drive to take action and find a job or get promoted as part of bunkering down to weather the approaching economic storm. Whether or not this is a realistic expectation is another question.

How their approach will be different this year?

Budgeting and living within their means

People have been forced by economic pressure to
learn some financial survival skills and as pressure
mounts, they want to be better prepared financially
for the short-term and long-term future. They wish to move beyond surviving month-to-month and to also start growing their wealth, as they realise, more and more, the need to prepare for future cost of living. They also seek to attain “financial independence” (from parents, family and government), and, hopefully even set something aside for retirement.

Practicing self-care

Taking time to focus on one’s own general wellbeing and finding budget-friendly indulgences to help cope with life psychologically. It includes pampering (hair, nails, treats, etc.) and travel for women, and getting outdoors, visiting
places and experiencing things for men. Both men and women also seek to self-care through exercise and healthy eating.


The term is sometimes used quite loosely, but “investing” can be defined as the best way to make their money
grow. Some understand the need for caution and patience, but others are hoping to make it grow a bit quicker
through avenues like trading. The forex trading craze seems to be attracting a lot of attention.

Being self-disciplined in health and finances

With the shock of the past few years, people are a lot more weary of being optimistic about the future. This means added motivation to conserve and protect what they have: health and wealth. This is closely related to a desire to maintain or improve quality of life.

A qualitative engagement with 100 people from our MzansiVoice Community of 10,000+ panelists.

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Phone: +2710 142 6269

 WhatsApp: 27 82 384 7456

Address: 1st Floor, Yellowwood House, Ballywoods Office Park, 33 Ballyclare Dr, Bryanston, Sandton, 2191

Trading hours: Mon – Fri, 8am-5pm