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”

A Looter Continua

In a rush on my way from Namibia to the Garden Route – it’s a hard life, but someone has to live it. The big stories are: the continuing decline in employment numbers; the National Working Committee’s decision not to charge Zwelinzima Vavi but to criticise him for alleging that Minister of Telecommunications Siphiwe NyandaContinue reading “A Looter Continua”

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””

The ANC is (still) the prize

Why setting back Julius Malema is important Julius Malema has received a body blow and is reeling about the ring. I mostly want to discuss why this is important – beyond the obvious reasons that drive the obsessive media focus on the grandiose little ANC Youth League President. But first a bit of context: AsContinue reading “The ANC is (still) the prize”

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 fearful symmetry of Terre’Blanche and Malema

I don’t really have time for this, but the moment seems to insist. So: I awoke this morning to a world framed as if by an immortal hand or eye. The bludgeoning to death of Eugène Terre’Blanche together with the Zimbabwe public display by Julius Malema feels like a tableau arranged by a naughty godContinue reading “The fearful symmetry of Terre’Blanche and Malema”

The Monsters Ball

Take a look-see at the names that are linked in Evelyn Groenink’s excellent story about IT billionaire Robert Gumede’s wedding to Dr Portia Mkhize in Nelspruit last weekend. Ignore if you can the author’s articulate disgust at the complacent and self-satisfied comrade billionaires and their squeezes grunting at the golden trough while Leandra burns. ThinkContinue reading “The Monsters Ball”

The hidden hand in service delivery protests

It is starting to be whispered that there is a “hidden hand” in the service delivery protests*. The problem (of the protests) is serious and threatening and government is starting to worry about high-profile violence during the World Cup. These protest share a strong crossover constituency and architecture with the xenophobic violence that occurred MayContinue reading “The hidden hand in service delivery protests”

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”

Cosatu and the ANC: the fat’s in the fire

I have been sitting on this for a few days partly because Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee statement on Thursday last week and the ANC response are as harsh as we have seen – and that includes the tone of voice that accompanied Cosatu’s huge strike against ‘Mbeki’s privatisation’ in 2002. Cosatu has a long andContinue reading “Cosatu and the ANC: the fat’s in the fire”

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”

Goodbye Mister Zuma, it’s been …. unsettling

I am trying to work out if Jacob Zuma is condemned to be a one term president; shuffled off the stage by a shamefaced ANC leadership as soon as humanly possible. I think he will be, unless he is saved by a titanic power-struggle that is not settled in time for the 2012 ANC nationalContinue reading “Goodbye Mister Zuma, it’s been …. unsettling”

Welcome back to the progressive trade union movement

This war won’t be won from our air-conditioned offices but in the branches and structures of the ANC, just as it happened in the build-up to Polokwane. – Zwelenzima Vavi at a press conference yesterday (30/11/2009) It’s over; Cosatu is back where it belongs. The trade union ally fought its way into the ruling tentContinue reading “Welcome back to the progressive trade union movement”

Young Communists froth at the mouth – hilariously and for a good cause

This statement from the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) in the province of Gauteng calls on “parents to intensify efforts in teaching their children the dangers of learning from Julius” Malema. Its worth a read – if for nothing else but to see how crazy things are getting between the left-wing of theContinue reading “Young Communists froth at the mouth – hilariously and for a good cause”

Transparently struggling with corruption

My impression is that the ruling ANC government thinks of corruption as one of the three biggest challenges we face – the other two being unemployment and effective social delivery. I don’t think I could usually be accused of giving them too much benefit of the doubt, but I recognise the above statement is moreContinue reading “Transparently struggling with corruption”