That’s nothing! I remember ….

There were several times last week when I felt admiration for the protesting students, including those who crashed through the gates of parliament and, quite bravely in many cases, stood up to the SAPS’s counter attack, stun grenades and all. I admit to some brief, irresponsible, trickster elation – Loki let loose upon the world – good for them …Continue reading “That’s nothing! I remember ….”

Mantashe holds the line

Single heroes who defend narrow approaches to the precious citadel against massed ranks of Orcs, barbarians or Persians are much revered in mythology. I would like to nominate Gwede Mantashe to stand briefly amongst their legendary ranks. He stood up yesterday in front of the South African Democratic Teachers Union and said (as quoted inContinue reading “Mantashe holds the line”

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”

Strike – not as easy as it looks

The news media is full of toyi-toying fat people in red T-shirts blockading hospital gates interspersed with pictures of dead and dying babies. Alternatively the coverage is of other fat people in red T-shirts clutching sticks and whips trundling around, with their fat bottoms swaying, looking for pupils (bravely trying to uplift themselves by continuingContinue reading “Strike – not as easy as it looks”

Jacob Dlamini on National Service – nobody says it better

I had been gearing up to say something snide about Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s ridiculous call for a reinstitution of national service. I know many people will instinctively approve of her suggestion. It speaks directly to our despair about the failure of  the education system and the worry about the “Lost Generation”. Well, be thatContinue reading “Jacob Dlamini on National Service – nobody says it better”

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”

While we were away …

Having  just returned from an idyllic holiday, I am forced to take stock of what I missed … The Communists versus the TenderCapitalists A “TenderCapitalist” is not an over-sensitive entrepreneur. It is a South African person, much loathed by the communists,  who uses his or her  race and/or political connection to win tenders from theContinue reading “While we were away …”

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”