Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts

Various commentators, politicians and analysts have attempted to characterise Mangaung, to define the moment’s essential nature. Below are two takes I found interesting with some words from me on why I found them thus. After that I include a more general summary of what happened with the voting results for the Top Six and theContinue reading “Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts”

A few deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 1

Annus horribilis This has undoubtedly been the worst year for South Africa – at too many levels to name – since 1994. There is much I have wanted to say here but couldn’t find the time.  So I am going to rapidly fire off a series of posts, as my professional duties tail off towardsContinue reading “A few deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 1”

The connection between violent ANC contest and the piles of Nkandla treasure

I am not encouraged, in my professional life, to be too colourful in what I write or say. This morning I reviewed the weeklies – as I do before 06h30 every Monday morning – and found myself having to strip more metaphor and vitriol than usual from what I had to say. For example –Continue reading “The connection between violent ANC contest and the piles of Nkandla treasure”

Originally posted on Nic Borain:
Here is something I wrote during the April general election – with a few minor edits. It is becoming increasingly relevant, as “the left” is backed into a corner and the Malema style populists seem to hold sway. Bread and Circuses Opinion polls indicate that the ruling African National Congress…

Beware the thing that might pick up power lying in the street*

There is something that seems to have been missed in the public discourse about Marikina. Without wanting to be over dramatic, I think Marikana is a clear warning that we are under immediate and serious threat; in ways that I will discuss below. What happened – both before and after the police shooting – hasContinue reading “Beware the thing that might pick up power lying in the street*”

Is it time to sell South Africa ?

I am sometimes tempted to think of myself as a company analyst, with South Africa as my company,  government as management and the currency and bonds as the share price Company analysts make sell, hold or buy recommendations. Obviously a buy means the analyst believes the shares are cheap – in some difficult to determineContinue reading “Is it time to sell South Africa ?”

Strikes and Malema

The among the reasons I have failed to publish here for almost six weeks is I have been on a seemingly endless roadshow (series of presentations to fund managers domestically and in Europe and the UK) that started with Marikana, morphed into Telkom and is on its way back to its origins by focusing moreContinue reading “Strikes and Malema”

Marikana – ways of seeing

Background This is a summary of my analysis of the news from of the weekend press (August  19) – and radio and TV commentary – concerning the events in which 34 striking miners were killed by police last Thursday (August 16) at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Northwest Province. (Written Sunday night, so some new factsContinue reading “Marikana – ways of seeing”

The massacre at Marikana

I comment on, and interpret,  incidents like the shooting by police of at least 35 strikers at Marikana yesterday. Even as the gunfire fell silent the price of Lonmin shares fell and the price of platinum spiked in response to supply concerns. It’s what I do for a living – the people that pay myContinue reading “The massacre at Marikana”

Are we in the predator’s labyrinth?

Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza provides the lead headline in today’s Business Day as “warning of a rogue state future for SA”. So imagine if you could, for a moment, that you are playing a sports game. As in a dream, you suddenly realise you don’t know the rules; you don’t know how to score, who’sContinue reading “Are we in the predator’s labyrinth?”

Originally posted on Nic Borain:
Some of the things we think we know about revolts and revolutions – but that do not always apply: Where there are adequate elective processes dissatisfied people believe they can influence outcomes through voting and therefore are unlikely to make the sacrifices required of a revolution. Revolts are generally lead…

ANC’s economic policy – a bit like being wounded without the pleasure of a scar

It is no easy matter to explain how a paragraph from Michael Ondaatje’s poem “The Cinnamon Peeler” speaks to me about the ANC’s economic policy process. The poem is a  sensual delight – quite unlike the ANC’s policy discussion. Anyway … here is the relevant paragraph: what good is it to be the lime burner’sContinue reading “ANC’s economic policy – a bit like being wounded without the pleasure of a scar”

Malema: a stick being used to beat Zuma? Just a thought …

I am sure no-one has failed to notice the flood of South African high achievers passing through the United Kingdom over the last week or so. A golfer was there recently, some swimmers,  a group of cricketers … and, oh yes, Julius Malema. Julius told BBC and Sky News that he was in London workingContinue reading “Malema: a stick being used to beat Zuma? Just a thought …”

Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?

First off, let me admit, that I have no choice but to believe that the answer to the question in the title is: yes. It’s an article of faith. Who can live in a world where the bullies and thugs, the greedy and manipulative, the powerful and the arrogant have won so decisively that it isContinue reading “Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?”