South African Politics

The treasury wish list for boosting growth is right – extremely so

“Running out of Road” is the pertinently titled report by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) report on our dreadful public finances. When you actually drill down into the detail of our cratering revenues and blowout expenditure, “Headlong Into a Cul de Sac” or “Entering the Death Zone” might be even catchier. The CDE [...]

By |2019-09-04T06:44:35+00:00September 4th, 2019|Cyril Ramaphosa, South African Politics|0 Comments

Justice Cameron sets high bar for successor in SA’s top court

In 1981, a young Roman law lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand left the faculty to go to Oxford University as a Vinerian Scholar. This most prestigious legal scholarship is awarded by one of the most prestigious universities in the world "for the best performance in the degree Bachelor of Civil Laws". Only four [...]

By |2019-08-25T06:35:36+00:00August 25th, 2019|Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Don’t cry for us: Argentina’s political nightmare is mirrored in SA

Big investor selloff; huge currency decline against the US dollar; a reformist leader hemmed in by populist and corrupt rivals; the former president uses the head of state’s difficulties to launch their fightback; a resource-rich economy is trapped in negative sentiment and low growth and unemployment and poverty ticks upward. If this looks depressingly familiar [...]

Incisive analyses of grievance-based nationalism expose ANC’s folly

Three discrete encounters in Johannesburg recently reinforced the singular, stark economic darkness that now clouds the hype and hope of the Cyril Ramaphosa “new dawn”. First off, I listened to an acute analysis on the essential problem with our economy and its misdiagnosis by the governing ANC. Moeletsi Mbeki — an analyst of our political [...]

‘Myopic Cyril can’t, or won’t, make the tough calls to prevent SA’s collapse

There is the famous story of the British admiral, Lord Nelson, who, when his commander-in-chief tried to signal him to retreat during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, placed his telescope into his blind eye. Something very similar is going on right now at our moment of national economic peril and our president’s wilful blindness [...]

Corrosive fallout from buying into ruling-party myth

Binge-watching a top-rated TV series is a sure-fire way to escape the depressing reality of SA's winter of discontent. But beyond escapism, one current series offers compelling insight into what happens to a society where trust is destroyed and truth is completely corrupted. Chernobyl is the masterful HBO-Sky series depicting the nuclear disaster at the eponymous [...]

We all know that Ace is far from alone. Now let’s do something about it

The recent Easter weekend coincided with the intensification of campaigning for the upcoming general elections. The double advantage of a large audience and the ennoblement of the speakers with the blessings of a higher authority created a magnet for politicians to harangue congregations across the country. There were no reports of any of the political [...]

Vote for the party of obstructionists? Surely you jest

The old gag "the problem with political jokes is that they get elected" was given new meaning last weekend in embattled Ukraine. There, a television comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky, won a landslide victory, ousting hapless incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Voters ignored the latter's warning that "voting for a comedian is no joke". The obvious jokers in the [...]

More votes for opposition could shift SA from its mix of toxic politics and bad economics

In 2014 Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens went to Moscow. He was in search of an answer to the question why Vladimir Putin was, in the teeth of his weak economy and restive populace, doing such apparently risky things as invading neighbouring Crimea and threatening the states in Russia’s “near abroad”. The best response he [...]

SA’s parlous politics are more ‘Game of Thrones’ than Notre Dame

On Monday night, in the real world and in one of its cultural capitals, Paris, 800 years of French history and an icon of Christianity dating to the Middle Ages, went up in smoke. While the lasting damage inflicted by the fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral is being assessed, the global shock and horror [...]