Some tenuously connected thoughts about political risk and financial markets in recent South African newsflow: For whom the bell tolls The marginal victory of Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC conference at Nasrec in December 2017 immediately raised the matter of ‘key person risk’ inherent in having one portly fellow as the absolute lynchpin of theContinue reading “Key person risk, Molefe’s attack on Ramaphosa and other matters”
Category Archives: Polokwane
Ace in the hole*
Ace Magashule’s 10th November arrest linked to his involvement in the Asbestos Scandal has the potential to be a seismic political event for South Africa, should he be successfully prosecuted and sentenced. This caveat is important, given both the long-standing capacity constraints at the NPA and the botching of previous state capture prosecutions, including theContinue reading “Ace in the hole*”
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?”
Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us
I intend, in the near future, to dust off my Marxist theory.* I am going to need a framework through which to express my growing conviction that much of our politics can be understood as a function of the collapse of the alliance of classes that underlay the national democratic revolution – and the African National Congress. The bigContinue reading “Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us”
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”
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”
Is it time to sell South Africa ?
I am sometimes tempted to think of myself as a company analyst, with South Africa as my company, government as management and the currency and bonds as the share price Company analysts make sell, hold or buy recommendations. Obviously a buy means the analyst believes the shares are cheap – in some difficult to determineContinue reading “Is it time to sell South Africa ?”
Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?
First off, let me admit, that I have no choice but to believe that the answer to the question in the title is: yes. It’s an article of faith. Who can live in a world where the bullies and thugs, the greedy and manipulative, the powerful and the arrogant have won so decisively that it isContinue reading “Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?”
My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention
Remember kaleidoscopes? Basically a tube that you held up towards a light and peered through as if it was a telescope? But unlike kid’s telescopes – which, like kid’s microscopes, were blurry and disappointing and stupid – the kaleidoscope was a device of astonishing power and beauty. The point for my six-year-old self who received his first kaleidoscope for a birthday, probably,Continue reading “My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention”
What could derail Jacob Zuma at this late hour?
Well it is certainly not Julius. Last night his expulsion from the ANC and the ANC Youth League was confirmed by the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee. His ‘fixer’, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, was suspended for a year – making any attempt to ‘rule-by-wire’ difficult. The appeals committee chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa also confirmed the three-yearContinue reading “What could derail Jacob Zuma at this late hour?”
African National Congress chasing its tail … and biting it
This is a screenshot from the front page of the ANC’s website accessed early this morning: It’s those latest press statements I am interested in. That’s the last five major releases from the Ruling Party, every one of which is exclusively concerned with the vicious battle taking place within the organisation. Working backwards: April 4Continue reading “African National Congress chasing its tail … and biting it”
Zuma was to Polokwane what Malema hopes to be to Mangaung
Doesn’t the Julius Malema saga feel so familiar? Remember how the Jacob Zuma campaign seemed to transform each new obstacle placed in his path into fuel for his political train that eventually steamed triumphant into Polokwane in December 2007? The fact that he was known far and wide as hopelessly incapable of moderating his sexualContinue reading “Zuma was to Polokwane what Malema hopes to be to Mangaung”
Game of Thrones in the ANC
A good friend of mine in New York* recently put me on to “A Song of Ice and Fire” – a seemingly endless series of swords and sorcery novels by George R R Martin. This is the crack cocaine of fantasy fiction but it is also a surprisingly brilliant study of politics and power vacuums.Continue reading “Game of Thrones in the ANC”
Nationalisation revisited revisited … if you know what I mean
In case anyone was wondering if I had disappeared into the ether: I have been seriously busy and have had no time to post on the blog. If you were paying extra attention, you may have noticed that a post reviewing the nationalisation of mines debate appeared and disappeared a few weeks ago. My mistakeContinue reading “Nationalisation revisited revisited … if you know what I mean”