‘Learn to stand up and lie like white men’

There is something strangely compelling about Chris Griffith’s now infamous comments about his salary and perks – published in Business Day last week. Remember these are the words of the CEO of Amplats, the biggest platinum company in the world. It cannot have escaped your notice that a bitter and grinding strike throughout the South African platinum sector is entering its 17th week. TheContinue reading “‘Learn to stand up and lie like white men’”

The looming threat of the proto-fascist, demagogic, hybrid neo-Stalinist business unionists, ethnically-tinged vigilantes and the preachy capitalist philanthropists

I am up to my neck in it, trying to tease out the main implications and trends of the election – in a way that might be useful to investors in our financial markets. As part of the process I read everything I can find that has been written about the elections. I have just readContinue reading “The looming threat of the proto-fascist, demagogic, hybrid neo-Stalinist business unionists, ethnically-tinged vigilantes and the preachy capitalist philanthropists”

The four most worrying South African political stories of the week

I swore I would never write a listicle as clickbait for my blog; although I once tried mansplaining what that meant. But anyway … here are the 4 most egregious examples of  … of  just general political awfulness from the last week’s political news: 1. Chancellor House gets another slice of the Eskom pie – and says: F*%& you, weContinue reading “The four most worrying South African political stories of the week”

Most recent polling data and some comments

This from my 22nd of April 2014 news update: The Sunday Times 20/04/2014  released a second “fully representative” survey conducted by Ipsos using a sample of 2219 registered voters. Here are the results as published in the Sunday Times tracked against both the 2009 election and the earlier Sunday Times commissioned poll of March 11,Continue reading “Most recent polling data and some comments”

Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious

(Note: please read Jonny Steinberg’s comments on my miscasting of the implications of the recent HSRC’s South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, 2012. Jonny argues that I have taken “a story of resounding success and twisted it into a tale of alarm”. Jonny Steinberg is correct on all counts and I hope to redress myContinue reading “Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious”

Nigeria GDP rebasing flutters, HIV infection rates up, Cosatu crumbles, the vibrant SA democracy (yay) and our myopic exceptionalism (boo)

(Part of this is from a news update I published for the clients of BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities on Monday – 07/04/2014. Thanks as always to them for allowing me to republish here a few days later. None of opinions expressed here are those of BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities.) Nigeria’s GDP rebasing is normal and welcome – for SouthContinue reading “Nigeria GDP rebasing flutters, HIV infection rates up, Cosatu crumbles, the vibrant SA democracy (yay) and our myopic exceptionalism (boo)”

Cynical quotes and facetious asides: an attempted antidote to the twin plagues of pompous banality and gruesome brutality

Perhaps you are a journalist covering the May 7 elections or the Oscar Pistorius trial – and will soon be immersed in Shrien Dewani’s adventures in our specialist niche of the honeymoon-tourism market. You might be a TV continuity announcer-cum-journalist, circling endlessly between serious discussion about bone fragments, Nkandla’s fire retarding swimming pool, Numsa’s endless exit  from CosatuContinue reading “Cynical quotes and facetious asides: an attempted antidote to the twin plagues of pompous banality and gruesome brutality”

Polling, polling, polling down the river

It’s the 1st of April and I have already seen that Helen Zille has accepted an ‘elecnomination‘  to spend two weeks living in Khayelitsha, surviving on the minimum wage and using a bucket toilet. Good for her, I say. In other news the DA has announced that the Western Cape government it is going to upgrade Zille’s private residenceContinue reading “Polling, polling, polling down the river”

Madonsela, Manuel, Mining and other things that are not quite what they seem

Herewith some of my latest news updates. (Just as an aside before I start: I couldn’t help but smile at Richard Poplak’s seriously over-the-top take on the Nkandla report in Daily Maverick this morning: “But Madonsela has certainly nailed Zuma to history’s grimiest post—he will be forever remembered as a thief, a fool, and a Zulu man whoContinue reading “Madonsela, Manuel, Mining and other things that are not quite what they seem”

The very fat goose, the socialists* party, all Zuma’s bets are on the NDP, mining companies show some fang and much much more

I am on my way to London to speak to the funds that buy and sell South Africa’s corporate and government bonds i.e. the market that sets the price at which the world is prepared to lend us money. Daily I become more convinced that the South African political economy is, like quick clay “so unstableContinue reading “The very fat goose, the socialists* party, all Zuma’s bets are on the NDP, mining companies show some fang and much much more”

Our Maggie moment

The Numsa exit from the alliance is a natural consequence of what appears to me to be a ‘Maggie Thatcher moment’ in South African politics. (This is a loose characterisation and it purely means that I believe there is evidence that government is taking a much harder line with the union movement and is backingContinue reading “Our Maggie moment”

EFF off and DA

“How seriously to take the EFF is becoming the question of the year for a view on South African political risk” As I listened to Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech I thought I would share with you an extract of my news commentary from Monday morning. But I forgot to hit ‘publish’ as I was beingContinue reading “EFF off and DA”

‘Why do people still vote for the ANC?’ asked the clever child, exasperatedly

This is a quick  aside before getting onto the more riveting topics of the May 7 elections, service delivery protests (and their search for a Gene Sharp handbook as well as the predictions of the Davies J-curve), the platinum strike, Julius Malema’s sequestration hearing in the North Gauteng High Court this morning (and the pressing matter of whetherContinue reading “‘Why do people still vote for the ANC?’ asked the clever child, exasperatedly”

Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future

I have been agonising over whether to keep this website going –  or to consign it to the wastelands of the interwebs there to wander mournfully, accumulating lurid advertisements for secret ways of getting rid of belly fat and invitations from young, beautiful and lonely people, in your area, waiting by their phones for a call from you. AfterContinue reading “Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future”