My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention

Remember kaleidoscopes? Basically a tube that you held up towards a light and peered through as if it was a telescope? But unlike kid’s telescopes –  which, like kid’s microscopes, were blurry and disappointing and stupid – the kaleidoscope was a device of astonishing power and beauty. The point for my six-year-old self who received his first kaleidoscope for a birthday, probably,Continue reading “My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention”

Greeting – and a few thoughts of home – from Belgrade

I am in Serbia on a social visit and I thought I would record here some of my initial observations about stuff we might learn from this country about some aspects of SA politics and culture. Cultural Betrayal Firstly, I am in Belgrade – a city of 1.6 million people built on the confluence ofContinue reading “Greeting – and a few thoughts of home – from Belgrade”

The Second Transition

Occasionally I publish slides from a current presentation series and here are a few from something I am busy with called: “The Second Transition – SA politics and policy somewhere twixt hither and yon”. The general idea is the ANC government is determined to move beyond the ‘transitional’ arrangements that it agreed to in 1994 andContinue reading “The Second Transition”

Top ranked political analyst in FM survey

There are not many medals of honour, accolades, gold stars and trophies in the political analysis business (and quite right too), but I achieved an acknowledgement last week of which I am particularly proud. Once a year the Financial Mail commissions a poll of the top 30 or so South African asset managers (life assurers, retirement and pension funds, private clientContinue reading “Top ranked political analyst in FM survey”

Cosatu, the Democratic Alliance and the middle classes – is it love, actually?

Think of the various interests of classes and groups in our society as constituting an ecology in which political parties and organisations find niches to graze, hunt and be sustained. The system can change and niches shift, narrow or broaden –  and in response the denizens that live in each niche must adapt or becomeContinue reading “Cosatu, the Democratic Alliance and the middle classes – is it love, actually?”

Content removed

A few days ago I published a link here to an e-tolling interview I did on CNBC Africa that someone put on YouTube. The post received several interesting comments about an aside I made on more than one occasion during the interview that I thought users paying directly for infrastructure  is probably a more efficient method than taking the fundingContinue reading “Content removed”

Therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for free

I think the e-tolling saga is important precisely because my headline bastardising the denouement of John Donne’s famous poem is, in truth, wrong. Gauteng’s road upgrade does not come for free. The R20bn was borrowed by Sanral and lent by people and institutions (which) who assessed the risk attached to repayment on the basis that e-tolling wasContinue reading “Therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for free”

What could derail Jacob Zuma at this late hour?

Well it is certainly not Julius. Last night his expulsion from the ANC and the ANC Youth League was confirmed by the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee. His ‘fixer’, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, was suspended for a year – making any attempt to ‘rule-by-wire’ difficult. The appeals committee chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa also confirmed the three-yearContinue reading “What could derail Jacob Zuma at this late hour?”

African National Congress chasing its tail … and biting it

This is a screenshot from the front page of the ANC’s website accessed early this morning: It’s those latest press statements I am interested in. That’s the last five major releases from the Ruling Party, every one of which is exclusively concerned with the vicious battle taking place within the organisation. Working backwards: April 4Continue reading “African National Congress chasing its tail … and biting it”

Housekeeping, MTN, Iran, US secret power, Zimbabwe, Malema and the Interminable Mangaung

Right. I have got to find a way of continuing to populate this website. The reasons posts are becoming infrequent and irregular is that almost every day I produce bespoke and paid for research. I have less time every week to write specifically for … except the occasional philosophical musings, which probably have a … very specific?Continue reading “Housekeeping, MTN, Iran, US secret power, Zimbabwe, Malema and the Interminable Mangaung”

Notes on the relationship between Cosatu and the ANC

After last week’s Cosatu strike against labour brokers and e-tolling the question of the future of the relationship between the Cosatu and the ANC has again consumed public debate. I have quickly jotted down some of the issues as I see them and how I think the situation might play out in the longer termContinue reading “Notes on the relationship between Cosatu and the ANC”

Red Alert – communists unveil non-traditional weapon

I have been interviewed several times this week about the Cosatu strike. Is this an irreparable breakdown between the ANC and Cosatu? Does this have implications for Zuma’s bid for re-election at Mangaung? How stable is the ANC/Cosatu alliance? What do I think of Jackson Mthembu’s response to Vavi’s claim that the ANC says “Cosatu isContinue reading “Red Alert – communists unveil non-traditional weapon”

The shape (and size) of things to come

Once a week I take my mother to an audio book library. My car radio only picks up SAFM and because the dreary worthiness of our national broadcaster occasionally tempts me into driving my car off a cliff, I sometimes pick something out for myself. I have recently finished listening to (over and over again – at least eightContinue reading “The shape (and size) of things to come”

The SACP and Cosatu are trying to rescue the ANC and the state – but there is an optimism differential between them

Has the South African state become an instrument in the hands of the class of predators that dominate our politics? Think a crowbar or a 9mm automatic and think of the Nkandla or Limpopo crews using that tool to rip or rob huge sections of  provincial and national budgets. Cosatu is clearly suspicious of theContinue reading “The SACP and Cosatu are trying to rescue the ANC and the state – but there is an optimism differential between them”

Weather – tis nobler in the mind to suffer

In a Woolworths queue in the Gardens Centre yesterday evening I idly picked up the Cape Argus. It’s the only time I actually read anything in that newspaper. I like to casually glance at its headlines during my journey from the beginning of the endless tunnel of sweats sweets (damn morning rush) and magazines. IContinue reading “Weather – tis nobler in the mind to suffer”