Zimbabwe, Vavi, EFF, Amcu and other delights

Herewith my news commentary as of yesterday morning. I thought I would republish it here because it includes my brief assessments of how to think about the Zimbabwe election, Vavi and the EFF. I also, politely, imply that the Seriti commission might be a cover-up and that Amcu’s underlying objectives in the gold sector areContinue reading “Zimbabwe, Vavi, EFF, Amcu and other delights”

NDP defections, construction scandal gathers momentum, Ramaphosa’s uncertain future, Zanu-PF’s alledged relationship with Julius … and much much more

Herewith my latest news update as of 06h30 this morning. NDP – defections to the left and right Collusion scandal in the construction industry gathers momentum Tax Review Committee – some welcome caution Proposed legislative changes in the mining industry shows SA government’s deep ambivalence towards the sector Ramaphosa – rumours that Zuma faction isContinue reading “NDP defections, construction scandal gathers momentum, Ramaphosa’s uncertain future, Zanu-PF’s alledged relationship with Julius … and much much more”

The politics in our economics, NPA in decline, Vavi survives, Pule lies, Dali hearts Bob, Num bends the truth and more

Herewith an extract from my weekly news summary and analysis. The big question of the week was the degree to which Zuma’s Thursday morning briefing helped or hindered our economic decline. I know I cringed as he was speaking, especially during the twinkly admonishment at the end urging journalists present to report favourably on SouthContinue reading “The politics in our economics, NPA in decline, Vavi survives, Pule lies, Dali hearts Bob, Num bends the truth and more”

Freedom day good news, the bargaining season, Vavi and other matters

Herewith is an extract from my weekly news summary/analysis of what I thought was important in the main weeklies. Freedom Day, April 27 – nineteen years on from the first democratic election … a good story by-and-large City Press has a useful op-ed page by the always excellent Ferial Haffajee (who is also the editor)Continue reading “Freedom day good news, the bargaining season, Vavi and other matters”

Cosatu’s splitting headache, the ANC and DA try on new party dresses and those awful Mandelas

In high anxiety at my failure to publish here for several weeks (what with 12 days visiting fund managers in the UK and Europe and new commitments to the Daily Maverick – see here and here for the first two of those) I have decided to again post a modified version of my usually bespoke Continue reading “Cosatu’s splitting headache, the ANC and DA try on new party dresses and those awful Mandelas”

Zuma’s brittle grip tightens

Early on Monday mornings I send my clients a review of the previous week’s political news which might be of relevance to financial markets. This morning I thought the issues were of more general interest. Thus … Summary: It is difficult not to see the main items in this review as connected: The ANC yesterdayContinue reading “Zuma’s brittle grip tightens”

Political risk and the weeklies

Sunday’s newspapers were more interesting from a political risk and investment point of views than normal. This is what I thought mattered, as far as financial markets were concerned, in last week’s Mail & Guardian, the Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and City Press: Construction industry – possible prosecution and fines for fraud and racketeering GovernmentContinue reading “Political risk and the weeklies”

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 (more) deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 2

By the way “deep blue” in the headline was not meant to be a riff on IBM’s chess playing supercomputer. Rereading Part 1  I can see how someone might accuse me of being a little too certain about the shape of the future.  I am not running “deep blue” regressions and algorithms, modelling South AfricaContinue reading “A few (more) deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 2”

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*”

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”

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?”

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”