Numsa, Cosatu, the ANC, the SACP and all of that jazz

I have been completely taken up with a project (now completed) that argued that the black African middle-class was our single biggest asset and the workings of the interests of that class in the world would save our politics and help our economics. Yaay! The basic argument looked at the defection suffered by the ANC inContinue reading “Numsa, Cosatu, the ANC, the SACP and all of that jazz”

Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us

I intend, in the near future, to dust off my Marxist theory.* I am going to need a framework through which to express my growing conviction that much of our politics can be understood as a function of the collapse of the alliance of classes that underlay the national democratic revolution – and the African National Congress. The bigContinue reading “Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us”

Strike out, the presidential health, SONA2014#2 and EFF and the landed gentry gets a finger wagged in its direction

Some humble and not so humble opinions on various snippets of recent and not so recent political news. Platinum strike finally over Amcu and the platinum producers announced a settlement on Tuesday. The industry reports the strike cost producers R24-billion in lost revenue and the workers R10.6-billion in forsaken wages (see the pro-industry website here for other data.) SoContinue reading “Strike out, the presidential health, SONA2014#2 and EFF and the landed gentry gets a finger wagged in its direction”

Now is the winter of our discontent …

… which I entirely doubt will be made glorious summer by this sun of KZN when he gives his 5th nth State of the Nation Address this evening. I am not, as my children might have said, very amped for this. The only ray of light so far (I am watching on eNCA) was a brief interview with FloydContinue reading “Now is the winter of our discontent …”

‘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 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”

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”

Motlanthe’s pleasant bedside manner won’t solve mining crisis – but it can’t hurt

Herewith an extract from my weekly news commentary* as of 06h30 yesterday. ‘A minefield of obstacles for Motlanthe’ – Sunday Independent  The Presidency, in the person of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, launched the “Draft Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry” on Friday. The document is based on an initial process of discussion with allContinue reading “Motlanthe’s pleasant bedside manner won’t solve mining crisis – but it can’t hurt”

Top ranked political analyst in the Financial Mail survey

In this age of frenzied self-promotion I should be more comfortable about this, so let me just come out and say it: I was top ranked in the Political Trends and Industrial Relations category at the Financial Mail Analyst of the Year Awards last week. Every year since 1977 the Financial Mail has sent aContinue reading “Top ranked political analyst in the Financial Mail survey”

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”

Against a dark backround … an occasional beam of light

I am struggling to make up my mind whether there really is a small accumulation of good news, clearly visible against the looming night … or if I am just desperate. Today’s Business Day story by the always interesting Carol Paton looking at Manuel and Sisulu on a stern clean up the public service driveContinue reading “Against a dark backround … an occasional beam of light”

SA political risks for investors

I was looking for a shorthand way of summarising what I thought were the main political risks that are in the minds of investors in South African financial markets. Note that the emphasis here (in what appears below) is what I think is an appropriate prism for investors in financial markets, and specifically those withContinue reading “SA political risks for investors”

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”

Talking head, the kept politician, Mangaung, Ramaphosa, Motlanthe and other matters

I was interviewed on eCNA by the excellent Gareth Edwards yesterday about some matters relating to Mangaung, policy and succession. Catch that here. … and here is a part of my weekly news summary from Monday morning: Nelson Mandela hospitalised on the eve of Mangaung conference; A leaked KPMG audit conducted for Zuma’s corruption trialContinue reading “Talking head, the kept politician, Mangaung, Ramaphosa, Motlanthe and other matters”