Waiting for a saviour to rise from these streets*

Just when all hope flees, as the last good politician still within government leaves his/her post to join the feeding frenzy and as the last decent officials trying to do a public service throw up their hands in disgust; and as the striking workers blockade the last functional HIV/AIDS clinic and trash the streets again;Continue reading “Waiting for a saviour to rise from these streets*”

Parastatals: fleshpot flashpoint

How to explain the decision to start a review of the parastatals by a presidential committee just as Public Enterprises minister Barbara Hogan was busy with that job? When anything in our country seems confusing it is always useful to abide by the famous injunction from Watergate’s ‘Deep Throat‘: follow the money. The raison d’êtreContinue reading “Parastatals: fleshpot flashpoint”

Ruling Alliance breaking under the strain of corruption of “members of the cabinet and/or senior party leaders or officials”

Short of an angry and vindictive divorce you don’t really get a more serious breakdown between previous partners than described by the amazingly revealing Cosatu’s press statement yesterday threatening the end of the ruling alliance because ANC has laid disciplinary charges against Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi. This is what the statement reveals: The powerfulContinue reading “Ruling Alliance breaking under the strain of corruption of “members of the cabinet and/or senior party leaders or officials””

London Calling

Herewith a note I wrote a week ago for a South African client concerning a recent whip around the London fund management industry Foreign fund managers perceptions of South African political risk I recently had an opportunity to interact with a few London-based global emerging market fund managers. These were generally from long-only equity funds,Continue reading “London Calling”

The new songsheet of the Left

A quick run through documents and press statement emanating from the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party reveals the existence of a new ‘song sheet’ our crimson brethren have devised to help them sing in tune with each other. This is something more than a coordinated set of slogansContinue reading “The new songsheet of the Left”

Zuma – time for his democratic technocrats to shine

This is not a budget review. There are just too many of them out there and I am in the middle of a roadshow to the South African fund management industry where the budget is being VERY well received. This is more a comment on the whole budget season that yesterday’s excellent National Budget began.Continue reading “Zuma – time for his democratic technocrats to shine”

The State of the Nation nutshell note

I have whipped through the State of the Nation address while Jacob Zuma is just getting started. My initial impression is good, maybe even very good …. but maybe there has just been so much bad news and poor performance that any detailed and thoughtful stuff from government is likely to impress me … HereContinue reading “The State of the Nation nutshell note”

The Alliance Summit is the business

The Alliance Summit on the weekend has significantly reduced confusion about policy and risk – although monetary policy is still under review. Background “The Alliance”  met at Esselen Park, Ekurhuleni  this weekend. This meeting consisted of the the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), the Congress of South African Trade UnionsContinue reading “The Alliance Summit is the business”

Those aren’t Polokwane chickens!

I was dreading yesterday’s mini-budget. Firstly the objective conditions were against us. It was clear that the Great Recession was going to squeeze revenue – and therefore the space available for the new Minister of Finance to operate in. As it turns out, lower revenue and higher than expected expenditure has pushed the estimated deficitContinue reading “Those aren’t Polokwane chickens!”

Farewell to Peter Mayibuye*

Joel Netshitenzhe has resigned as Director General in Trevor Manuel’s National Planning Commission in the presidency. This comes a day after President Zuma reshuffled and attempted to explain the various roles to be played by the various ministers who fall into the economics cluster. The Business Day article suggested that Zuma had caved in toContinue reading “Farewell to Peter Mayibuye*”

The Zuma Cabinet – Upside Surprise

First published May 14 2009 Jacob Zuma’s cabinet was announced in mid-May. This report looks at each minister and deputy minister and gives a brief  introduction to each one. Summary conclusions  This cabinet is shaped by the competing objectives of improving performance/delivery and the political requirement to satisfy both the SACP/Cosatu constituency who backed Zuma’sContinue reading “The Zuma Cabinet – Upside Surprise”