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 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”

Eskom, the ANC, government and public trust

The extreme nature of the reaction to the electricity price increase is about a number of things, perhaps most obviously: the public and institutional suspicion that the crisis in Eskom is due to cronyism at a management level and looting via tender abuse by a politically connected elite, and the Great Recession has left theContinue reading “Eskom, the ANC, government and public trust”

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”

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”

The passing flow – 25/11/2009

The harmful effects of BEE John Kane Berman addresses the trade union Solidarity about their legal struggles against Black Economic Empowerment. John Kane Berman is CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations. The institute has a solid history of liberal opposition to Apartheid as well as liberal opposition to the ANC. In thisContinue reading “The passing flow – 25/11/2009”

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”

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*”

Unhappy trends

Bad indicators in the direction of  trends in South African education and health  last week. Very briefly: Two recent studies reveal a low and/or deteriorating quality of matriculant entering university.   The national benchmarking test (NBT) tested 13000 first years at major SA universities and found only 43% proficient in academic literacy, 25% in quantitative literacy and, astonishingly, only 8% in maths.Continue reading “Unhappy trends”

An Unhealthy Debate

Is wealth the cause of poverty? Is everything in development a zero sum game? Listening to how the ANC and the SACP motivate their proposed national health insurance scheme gives a disconcerting inkling of how they think about development. Their proposal is for a compulsory national health insurance (NHI) to be the main solution to a number of  problems that besetContinue reading “An Unhealthy Debate”

Architects of Poverty – Book Review

Architects of Poverty Architects of Poverty by Moeletsi Mbeki (Picador Africa – Pan Macmillan 2009) R152 at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront …it was the Africans who caught the people in the interior and sold them to the owners of the ships that transported them to the Americas to be sold into slavery. SoContinue reading “Architects of Poverty – Book Review”

Excerpt from Architects of Poverty

Architects of Poverty by Moeletsi Mbeki (Picador Africa – Pan Macmillan 2009) R152 at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront – if you can find it where they are hiding all their copies under a table right at the back … conspiring with the evil Minerals-Energy Complex (MEC), no doubt. First things: Time and tideContinue reading “Excerpt from Architects of Poverty”