The Ramaphosa Heuristic

Tracking the momentum of Cyril Ramaphosa – his vulnerability to attack within the ANC, his ability and intention to implement structural reforms and accountability for corruption – has become a widely used heuristic for assessing the state of South Africa more generally. A heuristic is a mental shortcut. In this case, it’s a way ofContinue reading “The Ramaphosa Heuristic”

Corruption arrests and Land ho!

Several posts will be attempts to catch up on relevant news, and argue why I think these are, or are not, important. This is one of those. Corruption Arrests Do the corruption arrests constitute a step change in attempts to unpick the tangled web of ‘normal state and economic activity’ from rent-seeking and the criminalContinue reading “Corruption arrests and Land ho!”

Counterrevolution and the Tiffany Smith & Wesson

The counter revolution is not gonna headline the Sunday Times That Sunday organ is a well established field of play for leaks from factions struggling for power in and around the ANC – and, just as an aside, proved itself most obliging to the whole State Capture initiative by assisting the decimation of SARS throughContinue reading “Counterrevolution and the Tiffany Smith & Wesson”

The race is on …

… but it’s difficult to know who to back Thank you Mail and Guardian for publishing the story we all wanted even though you have probably broken the whole cannon of ethics in journalism. The story to which I refer, titled “Ramaphosa starts fight for top job”, was published in the print edition of the aforesaid newspaper on November 13,Continue reading “The race is on …”

Jacob Zuma – will he stay, will he go and does it matter?

I will get on to the weighty question of whether Jacob Zuma might retire before his term of office is completed momentarily, but first let me mention that I have been busy with what started as an idle rumination about the South African Communist Party. But has turned, inevitably perhaps, to “become persistent and recurrentContinue reading “Jacob Zuma – will he stay, will he go and does it matter?”

Lesotho, Guptas, Jacob’s Ladder, Julius huffs and he puffs but he doesn’t blow the House down, Cyril’s hard week down at the commission …. and so much more

Here are some bits and pieces I highlighted for investors over the last few weeks. Thanks as always to BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities for allowing me to republish these snippets here … it is also a touch more information that most people require, but I post it here for the record, if nothing else. IContinue reading “Lesotho, Guptas, Jacob’s Ladder, Julius huffs and he puffs but he doesn’t blow the House down, Cyril’s hard week down at the commission …. and so much more”

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”

Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious

(Note: please read Jonny Steinberg’s comments on my miscasting of the implications of the recent HSRC’s South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, 2012. Jonny argues that I have taken “a story of resounding success and twisted it into a tale of alarm”. Jonny Steinberg is correct on all counts and I hope to redress myContinue reading “Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious”

Nigeria GDP rebasing flutters, HIV infection rates up, Cosatu crumbles, the vibrant SA democracy (yay) and our myopic exceptionalism (boo)

(Part of this is from a news update I published for the clients of BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities on Monday – 07/04/2014. Thanks as always to them for allowing me to republish here a few days later. None of opinions expressed here are those of BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities.) Nigeria’s GDP rebasing is normal and welcome – for SouthContinue reading “Nigeria GDP rebasing flutters, HIV infection rates up, Cosatu crumbles, the vibrant SA democracy (yay) and our myopic exceptionalism (boo)”

The very fat goose, the socialists* party, all Zuma’s bets are on the NDP, mining companies show some fang and much much more

I am on my way to London to speak to the funds that buy and sell South Africa’s corporate and government bonds i.e. the market that sets the price at which the world is prepared to lend us money. Daily I become more convinced that the South African political economy is, like quick clay “so unstableContinue reading “The very fat goose, the socialists* party, all Zuma’s bets are on the NDP, mining companies show some fang and much much more”

Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future

I have been agonising over whether to keep this website going –  or to consign it to the wastelands of the interwebs there to wander mournfully, accumulating lurid advertisements for secret ways of getting rid of belly fat and invitations from young, beautiful and lonely people, in your area, waiting by their phones for a call from you. AfterContinue reading “Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future”

Madonsela, EFF’s red beret shortage, election estimates and more

I will make a decision on the caption competition soon, but meanwhile here is my latest news update and summary – the Madonsela story continues to grow and, frankly, should be encouraged to. The Public Protector clashes with Zuma’s security chiefs On Friday state security agencies abandoned their urgent interdict in the North Gauteng highContinue reading “Madonsela, EFF’s red beret shortage, election estimates and more”

ANC savaged by a duck – and other matters of national importance

Some of my recent news coverage and commentary: E-tolling and the DA’s cruel billboards Last week Jacob Zuma signed into law the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill – meaning the unpopular e-tolling can begin on certain Gauteng highways. I was impressed that the President did the necessary – despite the fact that thisContinue reading “ANC savaged by a duck – and other matters of national importance”

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”