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”

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”

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”

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”

Numsa, Nkandla, the SACP and other matters

Herewith some comments on the latest political news. Apologies that I have posted so seldom here of late. I see a New Year’s resolution coming on. I see a New Year’s resolution exiting stage left. Numsa, Cosatu and the SACP … and Jacob Zuma During this past week the National Union of Metalworkers of South AfricaContinue reading “Numsa, Nkandla, the SACP and other matters”

Elections 2014, investment threats, DRC and crime intelligence chaos

Important defection from the ANC to the EFF, and the DA launches robust campaign in Soweto – but it is probably not yet enough to scare the ANC Appropriate concern grows at the Promotion of Investment and Protection Bill Stunning victory in eastern DRC is becoming a feather in Zuma’s cap …  … while theContinue reading “Elections 2014, investment threats, DRC and crime intelligence chaos”

Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more

As promised some comments on the politics of Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget … but first forgive me for expressing some of my irritation at two of his (Gordhan’s)  recent statements. That will be followed by some of  the bits and pieces I found interesting in the weekly newspapers – if you didn’t see the ‘Zuma gaffes”Continue reading “Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more”

The sound coming from business about policy, especially labour policy, is hurting my head

Forgive the dearth of postings here … I was brought low by some late winter dreaded lurgy and as a result my life came to grinding halt for almost two weeks. The big story (which I will deal with later today or tomorrow)  is the astonishingly decisively manner in which the ANC and its governmentContinue reading “The sound coming from business about policy, especially labour policy, is hurting my head”

Nairobi, Cosatu, The Alliance, pressure on mining … and much, much more

I have been on the road without respite for close to 4 weeks … so here is brief selection of some of my news commentary over the last few weeks, just to show that I am alive and working, albeit a little frenetically. Apologies for the out of date bits and the bits that historyContinue reading “Nairobi, Cosatu, The Alliance, pressure on mining … and much, much more”

Strikes, Alliance shenanigans and the very criminal justice system

Herewith an extract from my recent political news update. Strikes – turbulence as the cycle hits the secular trend Num (the National Union of Mineworkers) has served notice on the Chamber of Mines (COM) of its intention to strike across the gold sector, beginning with the Tuesday night shift this week. Num represents 72,000 ofContinue reading “Strikes, Alliance shenanigans and the very criminal justice system”

Alliance ‘boycott’ of Marikana commemoration and Vavi axing are both monuments marking the retreat of ANC power

Zwelinzima Vavi’s suspension from Cosatu and the ANC/SACP/Num decision not to attend the Marikana commemoration, both on Friday last week, are, to my mind, indicative of a significant retreat of ANC hegemony. ‘Hegemony’,  as I imbibed the concept from probably slightly fevered readings of Antonio Gramsci’s sublime Prison Notebooks while I was a student activist (and from endlessContinue reading “Alliance ‘boycott’ of Marikana commemoration and Vavi axing are both monuments marking the retreat of ANC power”

Vavi and the Numsa , DA taking Gauteng, mutters at the Treasury, grounds for even more caution on Zimbabwe and Malema’s visit to the prophet

Here are some bits and pieces of my latest commentary: Vavi and Numsa – the underlying risks Zwelinzima Vavi faces a special central executive committee of Cosatu meeting today to decide his fate following his admission that he had sex with a junior Cosatu employee in her office in the Cosatu headquarters. Numsa, the NationalContinue reading “Vavi and the Numsa , DA taking Gauteng, mutters at the Treasury, grounds for even more caution on Zimbabwe and Malema’s visit to the prophet”