Looking backwards and going forwards

I came across a long research note that I wrote in early 2007 exploring the impending succession process in the ANC to culminate at the Polokwane conference 7 months later. So I was writing before the June 2007  National General Council during which Jacob Zuma’s resignation/suspension as ANC deputy president was overturned from the floorContinue reading “Looking backwards and going forwards”

Stalking Horses at the NGC

I have been sickly and trying to pay the bills. All my ‘paid for’ commentary on the NGC is done and I can finally get back to home ground where I feel more comfortable to make some wild accusations – and I will, finally, be more explicit in this post about who I think theContinue reading “Stalking Horses at the NGC”

Zuma recalled? I just can’t see it …

I want to discuss this business of commentators predicting that Zuma will be recalled before he has finished his initial term – but first a brief advertisement. This blog was set up, in part, to generate paid work for myself. One of the things that I do for a living is talk to (or writeContinue reading “Zuma recalled? I just can’t see it …”

The end of the ruling alliance

Commentators and politicians are outdoing themselves announcing either the end or the permanence of the ANC/SACP/Cosatu alliance. This is Jacob Zuma on the subject – at the Kwazulu-Natal ANC General Council on Friday: I have read so many alliance obituaries. If leaders express their views, people think that we are fighting … The alliance willContinue reading “The end of the ruling alliance”

Waiting for a saviour to rise from these streets*

Just when all hope flees, as the last good politician still within government leaves his/her post to join the feeding frenzy and as the last decent officials trying to do a public service throw up their hands in disgust; and as the striking workers blockade the last functional HIV/AIDS clinic and trash the streets again;Continue reading “Waiting for a saviour to rise from these streets*”

What would the ANC do without Cosatu?

You hear it bruted about that Cosatu provided the organisational structure and person-power to wrestle the ANC from Thabo Mbeki and his Xhosa-Nostra. You also might be told that the same strengths of Cosatu has won the ANC successive national elections. However, if you listen closely and to another set of people, you will hearContinue reading “What would the ANC do without Cosatu?”

The ANC is (still) the prize

Why setting back Julius Malema is important Julius Malema has received a body blow and is reeling about the ring. I mostly want to discuss why this is important – beyond the obvious reasons that drive the obsessive media focus on the grandiose little ANC Youth League President. But first a bit of context: AsContinue reading “The ANC is (still) the prize”

London Calling

Herewith a note I wrote a week ago for a South African client concerning a recent whip around the London fund management industry Foreign fund managers perceptions of South African political risk I recently had an opportunity to interact with a few London-based global emerging market fund managers. These were generally from long-only equity funds,Continue reading “London Calling”

The new songsheet of the Left

A quick run through documents and press statement emanating from the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party reveals the existence of a new ‘song sheet’ our crimson brethren have devised to help them sing in tune with each other. This is something more than a coordinated set of slogansContinue reading “The new songsheet of the Left”

Who can say what the future holds for Zuma?

Will Zuma serve a second term? Will he serve out his first term? Who dares give an answer to these questions? Oh, alight I will. I have burned myself before by being a little too sure and a lot too wrong about what the future holds. Analysts like myself are constantly encouraged to take aContinue reading “Who can say what the future holds for Zuma?”

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”

Sexwale: Oh I just can’t wait to be king!

The spat over Tokoyo Sexwale’s report criticising Gwede Mantashe for not stopping the booing and humiliation of Julius Malema at the SACP conference in December is more important than it seems. The direction a country takes (economically, socially and culturally) emerges from the interplay of too many factors to make the future even vaguely predictable.Continue reading “Sexwale: Oh I just can’t wait to be king!”

The SACP Conference – as I head off

Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn I will begin travelling with my children for a respite after two years of my (it seems somehow personal) Great Recession. We will be moving through some places that are less connected than others, so I will be posting irregularly for some time. For this reason I wantedContinue reading “The SACP Conference – as I head off”

Farewell lessons from Joel – who clearly still believes in government

I do not believe that government, by the pure force of will of the members and the clarity of their thinking, can change all societies or societal processes for the better. In fact, I tend to believe that outside of the basic provision of services and the function of co-ordination, benign neglect is what anyContinue reading “Farewell lessons from Joel – who clearly still believes in government”

Welcome back to the progressive trade union movement

This war won’t be won from our air-conditioned offices but in the branches and structures of the ANC, just as it happened in the build-up to Polokwane. – Zwelenzima Vavi at a press conference yesterday (30/11/2009) It’s over; Cosatu is back where it belongs. The trade union ally fought its way into the ruling tentContinue reading “Welcome back to the progressive trade union movement”