Polling, polling, polling down the river

It’s the 1st of April and I have already seen that Helen Zille has accepted an ‘elecnomination‘  to spend two weeks living in Khayelitsha, surviving on the minimum wage and using a bucket toilet. Good for her, I say. In other news the DA has announced that the Western Cape government it is going to upgrade Zille’s private residenceContinue reading “Polling, polling, polling down the river”

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”

‘Why do people still vote for the ANC?’ asked the clever child, exasperatedly

This is a quick  aside before getting onto the more riveting topics of the May 7 elections, service delivery protests (and their search for a Gene Sharp handbook as well as the predictions of the Davies J-curve), the platinum strike, Julius Malema’s sequestration hearing in the North Gauteng High Court this morning (and the pressing matter of whetherContinue reading “‘Why do people still vote for the ANC?’ asked the clever child, exasperatedly”

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”

Nairobi, Cosatu, The Alliance, pressure on mining … and much, much more

I have been on the road without respite for close to 4 weeks … so here is brief selection of some of my news commentary over the last few weeks, just to show that I am alive and working, albeit a little frenetically. Apologies for the out of date bits and the bits that historyContinue reading “Nairobi, Cosatu, The Alliance, pressure on mining … and much, much more”

Stuff happens to some people, but some people happen to stuff

Jacob Zuma has forced me to reread Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli’s The Prince, published 500 years ago this year. He (Jacob Zuma) didn’t threaten me with the red lightsaber or catch me in a honey trap. My natterings, fortunately, are not impactful enough to draw the attentions of the Dark Lord (Darth Vader, dah! –Continue reading “Stuff happens to some people, but some people happen to stuff”

Motlanthe’s pleasant bedside manner won’t solve mining crisis – but it can’t hurt

Herewith an extract from my weekly news commentary* as of 06h30 yesterday. ‘A minefield of obstacles for Motlanthe’ – Sunday Independent  The Presidency, in the person of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, launched the “Draft Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry” on Friday. The document is based on an initial process of discussion with allContinue reading “Motlanthe’s pleasant bedside manner won’t solve mining crisis – but it can’t hurt”

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”

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”

Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts

Various commentators, politicians and analysts have attempted to characterise Mangaung, to define the moment’s essential nature. Below are two takes I found interesting with some words from me on why I found them thus. After that I include a more general summary of what happened with the voting results for the Top Six and theContinue reading “Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts”

Talking head, the kept politician, Mangaung, Ramaphosa, Motlanthe and other matters

I was interviewed on eCNA by the excellent Gareth Edwards yesterday about some matters relating to Mangaung, policy and succession. Catch that here. … and here is a part of my weekly news summary from Monday morning: Nelson Mandela hospitalised on the eve of Mangaung conference; A leaked KPMG audit conducted for Zuma’s corruption trialContinue reading “Talking head, the kept politician, Mangaung, Ramaphosa, Motlanthe and other matters”

A few (more) deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 2

By the way “deep blue” in the headline was not meant to be a riff on IBM’s chess playing supercomputer. Rereading Part 1  I can see how someone might accuse me of being a little too certain about the shape of the future.  I am not running “deep blue” regressions and algorithms, modelling South AfricaContinue reading “A few (more) deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 2”

A few deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 1

Annus horribilis This has undoubtedly been the worst year for South Africa – at too many levels to name – since 1994. There is much I have wanted to say here but couldn’t find the time.  So I am going to rapidly fire off a series of posts, as my professional duties tail off towardsContinue reading “A few deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 1”