On Friday 23 August, the department of performance, monitoring and evaluation (DPME) in the Presidency launched the 2012 development indicators.
These indicators are an annual release by the department and are essentially an aggregation of all of the most important development indicators available.
The trends paint the picture of a country that is improving in many areas, doing a bit better than the broader public consensus in a few others, but unfortunately failing in one or two crucial places.
The report on the 2012 development indicators is a substantial one. It's not just that it contains its fair share of graphs and charts, but that it's managed to aggregate and collate data from so many different sources.
Apart from the usual sources, including StatsSA and the Reserve Bank, there's a collection of data from different government departments, presented more succinctly and clearly than many of the departments do themselves.
This data includes the results of public surveys conducted on behalf of the government, surveys that contain interesting (and disturbing) facts about normal people's outlooks and future expectations.
The indicators are arranged thematically, under topics like 'economic growth and transformation' and 'household and community assets'. Every theme is...