The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know

I wanted to discuss something called heuristics, which refers to the way we make decisions or reach an understanding about something, especially when the matter under consideration is complicated. The word (heuristics) can mean the short cuts we take but the general field also deals with the many errors of thinking to which such short cuts canContinue reading “The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know”

Numsa, Cosatu, the ANC, the SACP and all of that jazz

I have been completely taken up with a project (now completed) that argued that the black African middle-class was our single biggest asset and the workings of the interests of that class in the world would save our politics and help our economics. Yaay! The basic argument looked at the defection suffered by the ANC inContinue reading “Numsa, Cosatu, the ANC, the SACP and all of that jazz”

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?”

Numsa strike catch up

For the record – and on the off chance that  someone may one-day want some background on the (at time of writing) unresolved metalworkers strike – here are the bits and pieces I have published over the last two weeks; ordered from most recent at the top. The piece from the eve of the strike was writtenContinue reading “Numsa strike catch up”

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”

Now is the winter of our discontent …

… which I entirely doubt will be made glorious summer by this sun of KZN when he gives his 5th nth State of the Nation Address this evening. I am not, as my children might have said, very amped for this. The only ray of light so far (I am watching on eNCA) was a brief interview with FloydContinue reading “Now is the winter of our discontent …”

The looming threat of the proto-fascist, demagogic, hybrid neo-Stalinist business unionists, ethnically-tinged vigilantes and the preachy capitalist philanthropists

I am up to my neck in it, trying to tease out the main implications and trends of the election – in a way that might be useful to investors in our financial markets. As part of the process I read everything I can find that has been written about the elections. I have just readContinue reading “The looming threat of the proto-fascist, demagogic, hybrid neo-Stalinist business unionists, ethnically-tinged vigilantes and the preachy capitalist philanthropists”

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”

Madonsela, Manuel, Mining and other things that are not quite what they seem

Herewith some of my latest news updates. (Just as an aside before I start: I couldn’t help but smile at Richard Poplak’s seriously over-the-top take on the Nkandla report in Daily Maverick this morning: “But Madonsela has certainly nailed Zuma to history’s grimiest post—he will be forever remembered as a thief, a fool, and a Zulu man whoContinue reading “Madonsela, Manuel, Mining and other things that are not quite what they seem”

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”

Our Maggie moment

The Numsa exit from the alliance is a natural consequence of what appears to me to be a ‘Maggie Thatcher moment’ in South African politics. (This is a loose characterisation and it purely means that I believe there is evidence that government is taking a much harder line with the union movement and is backingContinue reading “Our Maggie moment”

EFF off and DA

“How seriously to take the EFF is becoming the question of the year for a view on South African political risk” As I listened to Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech I thought I would share with you an extract of my news commentary from Monday morning. But I forgot to hit ‘publish’ as I was beingContinue reading “EFF off and DA”

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”

Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more

As promised some comments on the politics of Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget … but first forgive me for expressing some of my irritation at two of his (Gordhan’s)  recent statements. That will be followed by some of  the bits and pieces I found interesting in the weekly newspapers – if you didn’t see the ‘Zuma gaffes”Continue reading “Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more”