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”

Nigeria GDP rebasing flutters, HIV infection rates up, Cosatu crumbles, the vibrant SA democracy (yay) and our myopic exceptionalism (boo)

(Part of this is from a news update I published for the clients of BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities on Monday – 07/04/2014. Thanks as always to them for allowing me to republish here a few days later. None of opinions expressed here are those of BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities.) Nigeria’s GDP rebasing is normal and welcome – for SouthContinue reading “Nigeria GDP rebasing flutters, HIV infection rates up, Cosatu crumbles, the vibrant SA democracy (yay) and our myopic exceptionalism (boo)”

World Cup Prequil …

I am going to have to keep a straight face as I do this. I am not unaware that “sex sells” – and I come from a political tradition that is endlessly anxious about the depiction of women’s bodies and about whose cause is being served by that depiction – but here goes … TheContinue reading “World Cup Prequil …”

Kampala bombings as ambush marketing

Sunday’s Kampala (capital city of Uganda) bombings during the World Cup finals in a rugby club and a restaurant where people had gathered to watch the match were important for too many reasons to name here – although the tragic human suffering, with the death toll standing at 76,  must rank first. For those whoContinue reading “Kampala bombings as ambush marketing”

World Cup – stimulation or diversion?

Last night, I felt the pull of warring emotions. The occasion was the watching of the World Cup welcoming concert on TV from the comfort of my own lounge. The general effects seemed to be intensified by the fact that I could see (the fireworks, lasers and helicopters anyway) and hear the one taking placeContinue reading “World Cup – stimulation or diversion?”

Strike while the iron is hot

No-one can take serious issue with the leopard for pouncing down on the neck of a wayward sheep and dragging the carcass back up the rocky outcrop to her cubs for a leisurely feed. It’s what leopards do. Engaging the leopard in any special pleading about the benefits of keeping this particular sheep alive is,Continue reading “Strike while the iron is hot”

The hidden hand in service delivery protests

It is starting to be whispered that there is a “hidden hand” in the service delivery protests*. The problem (of the protests) is serious and threatening and government is starting to worry about high-profile violence during the World Cup. These protest share a strong crossover constituency and architecture with the xenophobic violence that occurred MayContinue reading “The hidden hand in service delivery protests”

The Stabproof Protektorvest

Here is something along the same lines, or at least in the same universe of sartorial symbolism, as the ANC leather jackets story. You couldn’t have failed to read about the stab-proof protective vests being marketed to soccer fans who hope to visit South Africa during the World Cup. You can get yours in yourContinue reading “The Stabproof Protektorvest”

While we were away …

Having  just returned from an idyllic holiday, I am forced to take stock of what I missed … The Communists versus the TenderCapitalists A “TenderCapitalist” is not an over-sensitive entrepreneur. It is a South African person, much loathed by the communists,  who uses his or her  race and/or political connection to win tenders from theContinue reading “While we were away …”

German footballers in bullet-proof vests

Well, here it comes. The waves of terror and paranoia about deepest, darkest Africa are about to break on our shores. And not just any kind of fear – more the  scaremongered kind generated by those whose job it is to sell protection. Last night the global sporting media (BBC, SPC and AP) were awashContinue reading “German footballers in bullet-proof vests”

2010 – imagine the worst

Think of the outrage at the Munich Olympics in the summer of  1974; the Champions League Twenty20 cricket in Mumbai last year; the boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980; bomb threats at the Grand National in 1997; the Sri Lankan marathon massacre in 2008; the extensive security fears at the Ryder Cup post the September 11 attacks andContinue reading “2010 – imagine the worst”