As I was saying …

Greetings. I have decided to resume updating this WordPress site. Mostly with commentary based on news coverage about South African politics and investment risk. Occasionally with articles that I think someone following South African politics may find interesting. Land ho Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the land question as president of the ANC has been thoroughlyContinue reading “As I was saying …”

The race is on …

… but it’s difficult to know who to back Thank you Mail and Guardian for publishing the story we all wanted even though you have probably broken the whole cannon of ethics in journalism. The story to which I refer, titled “Ramaphosa starts fight for top job”, was published in the print edition of the aforesaid newspaper on November 13,Continue reading “The race is on …”

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”

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”

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”

Election of the flesh

Walking back home from the Sea Point promenade I encountered, no more than thirty minutes ago, two tall attractive young women in blue t-shirts standing next to a table full of DA literature. Nearby is a church hall that serves as a voter registration station. This weekend is the last nationwide drive to get asContinue reading “Election of the flesh”

If the ANC was a soap opera slipping in the ratings …

Imagine you are the producer of a major and successful television soap-opera. Gradually, for reasons that are not immediately apparent, market research begins to indicate your share of the prime-time television audience is diminishing – and, further, that the declines are accelerating. I suspect what you do is try to work out whether the viewersContinue reading “If the ANC was a soap opera slipping in the ratings …”

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”

SA political risks for investors

I was looking for a shorthand way of summarising what I thought were the main political risks that are in the minds of investors in South African financial markets. Note that the emphasis here (in what appears below) is what I think is an appropriate prism for investors in financial markets, and specifically those withContinue reading “SA political risks for investors”

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”

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”

Beware the thing that might pick up power lying in the street*

There is something that seems to have been missed in the public discourse about Marikina. Without wanting to be over dramatic, I think Marikana is a clear warning that we are under immediate and serious threat; in ways that I will discuss below. What happened – both before and after the police shooting – hasContinue reading “Beware the thing that might pick up power lying in the street*”

Marikana – ways of seeing

Background This is a summary of my analysis of the news from of the weekend press (August  19) – and radio and TV commentary – concerning the events in which 34 striking miners were killed by police last Thursday (August 16) at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Northwest Province. (Written Sunday night, so some new factsContinue reading “Marikana – ways of seeing”

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”