Does the Gordhan correction undo the damage wrought by Nene’s axing?

You might be surprised at how carefully some people who’ve never set foot on these shores, people who are mostly blindingly clever at maths and informed to a scarily deep level about our politics and history and whose job includes trading our currency and bonds, have asked me that headline question in the last week.Continue reading “Does the Gordhan correction undo the damage wrought by Nene’s axing?”

‘Tis reasonable to hope this might be the season to be (faintly) jolly

For those who were tortured by my somnolently incoherent post last night, here is the follow up. Hopefully a little clearer. The flip-flops around the Minister of Finance leave Jacob Zuma looking weak and vulnerable. There are grounds to begin questioning whether he will see out his full term. The appointment of Pravin Gordhan isContinue reading “‘Tis reasonable to hope this might be the season to be (faintly) jolly”

Black Middle class saves our world …. and other plausible hopes for salvation

Greeting … and compliments of the season to you all. I was too busy to post here during the last few months of 2014. I had been writing and then road showing (here and abroad) an argument that suggested pressures acting on the ANC might, ultimately, save the organisation from its slow-motion collapse into whatContinue reading “Black Middle class saves our world …. and other plausible hopes for salvation”

The four most worrying South African political stories of the week

I swore I would never write a listicle as clickbait for my blog; although I once tried mansplaining what that meant. But anyway … here are the 4 most egregious examples of  … of  just general political awfulness from the last week’s political news: 1. Chancellor House gets another slice of the Eskom pie – and says: F*%& you, weContinue reading “The four most worrying South African political stories of the week”

#mansplaining listicles and click bait

This is a quick and casual aside as I await the more weighty matters of Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget policy statement at 14h00 today. For various reasons* I attempt to keep abreast of the rapidly evolving technological and cultural aspects of what we call ‘social media’ New cultural trends drive developments in language and thereContinue reading “#mansplaining listicles and click bait”

Zuma in Eldorado Park = J Arthur Brown in Khayelitsha

The appropriate comparison for J Arthur Brown’s visit to Khayelitsha yesterday is Jacob Zuma’s visit to Eldorado Park a few weeks ago – the president’s vist conducted ostensibly to free that neighborhood from the tyranny of crystal meth and tik. Watching the visuals on eNCA (catch those here) of the white fraudster’s visit to theContinue reading “Zuma in Eldorado Park = J Arthur Brown in Khayelitsha”

Going into the dark

The previous post was headlined “The ANC’s surprising return to form” and it stayed as the face of this website throughout a week in which we were reminded of the nest of corruption our president emerged from. … oh yes, and a week when the ANC in parliament passed the Protection of Information Bill –Continue reading “Going into the dark”

African National Congress – under history’s flood

Following a previous post: The Limits of Politics I want to argue that what the ANC is becoming is less a function of the failings of its leadership and more a consequence of the titanic forces of social change. The past and present history of the African National Congress could be characterised (in shorthand) likeContinue reading “African National Congress – under history’s flood”

The forces for and against a South African revolt

Some of the things we think we know about revolts and revolutions – but that do not always apply: Where there are adequate elective processes dissatisfied people believe they can influence outcomes through voting and therefore are unlikely to make the sacrifices required of a revolution. Revolts are generally lead and organised by the middleContinue reading “The forces for and against a South African revolt”

Sink or swim

Here is the summary of South Africa’s performance in the Global Competitiveness Report 2010 – 2011. The highlights are mine and the seriousness of the problems is obvious.. While we quite rightly bemoan health, education and labour market failures it is interesting to note we were top ranked – in the whole world! – inContinue reading “Sink or swim”

Excellent Crime Stats – against a dark background

From murder to car jacking and from GBH to rape the April 2009 – March 2010 Crime Statistics published yesterday indicate significant and welcome improvements. Unfortunately the absolute levels are still extraordinarily high and in one area, crimes against women and children, there have been large and distressing increases. See the really unusually well writtenContinue reading “Excellent Crime Stats – against a dark background”

Selebi plays Zuma, Agliotti plays Shaik

I can’t help but think of the Selebi corruption trial and conviction as a proxy for the big one that never happened. There’s a story about Glenn Agliotti wandering around Shell House in the early 90’s, undoubtedly looking to meet and great the returning leaders of the ANC. Somewhere in those chaotic corridors where incompetenceContinue reading “Selebi plays Zuma, Agliotti plays Shaik”

Ethnic cleansing by rumour

Jacob Zuma said at a press conference in Sandton yesterday: I’m not certain whether there have been threats of xenophobia. I know that there have been rumours that have been reported. (Reported in The Star) As I drove towards Cape Town on the N1 on Sunday people were already streaming north, belongings in those hugeContinue reading “Ethnic cleansing by rumour”

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”