South African Politics

Instead of a virus national command, what SA really needs is a ‘Goat’

At the dawn of democracy SA gave birth to a Gnu. In the midst of a global pandemic is it not time for a Goat? I do not refer to animals, although Animal Farm remains the best take on politics ever written, but to a constitutional shorthand. The government of national unity (GNU) mandated under our interim [...]

By |2020-04-15T07:53:13+00:00April 15th, 2020|Corona Virus, South African Politics|0 Comments

The big disconnect between preparation for Covid-19 and the Credit-20 crash

A famous question was asked by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II: “Why did no-one see it coming?” This was not her question on the coronavirus pandemic, but her inquiry at the London School of Economics back in November 2008 on the credit crunch set off by the global financial crisis, which the British queen described [...]

ANC replicating apartheid past

The rear-view mirror is the preferred reflector for our government. Far easier to remember the apartheid past, in which most members of the governing party were victims, than the dire times that confront SA. But even this litigation of the past has both its distortions and its ironies. Take, for example, the latest piece of constitutional nonsense [...]

The good news first: SA isn’t as doomed as you think

As we end the first week of the year and enter the brave new world of the third decade of the century (not true for the pedants, as the last decade strictly ends on December 31 2020), note one big thing. According to the 2011 SA census, more than 40% of our 57 million population [...]

Well-intentioned men of zeal and the harm they do

In his famous 1928 dissenting opinion in Olmstead vs United States, US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis offered a warning to freedom-lovers everywhere. He wrote: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their [...]

Don’t even bother, Mmusi. Your ‘people’s dialogue’ will be a flop

Away from the Eskom horror show, far be it for me to rain on the “People’s Dialogue” to be launched soon by Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane. However, a weather check may be in order to see whether a shaft of light may yet appear in our current darkness. There is an elephant’s graveyard in [...]

Corruption and conspiracies: the lies that bind our Zuma and Israel’s Bibi

At first blush, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and our dethroned former president, Jacob Zuma, have zero in common. The one presides over one of the most successful economies in the world, the other drove ours into a ditch. Zuma is a staunch ally of the Palestinian cause; Netanyahu has made a career out [...]

Our own ‘royals’ in government go beyond parody

In 1867, constitutionalist Walter Bagehot decoded the enduring magic of Britain's royal family: "Its mystery is its life. We must not let daylight upon its magic." Just over 140 years later, last Saturday night the current queen's favourite child, apparently, and certainly her dimmest, invited not daylight but the bright klieg lights of the BBC's Newsnight into [...]

By |2019-11-24T06:51:53+00:00November 24th, 2019|Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Look and learn: choking debt before it chokes you

Comparing two different polities, especially with different demographics, history and economies, can be fraught and error-ridden. Writing in Politicsweb recently, RW Johnson dismissed as “very silly” attempts to find “alleged SA analogies” in sovereign and leadership comparisons “as if everything that happens in the world needs to be translated into what it means for SA”. [...]

By |2019-11-12T06:30:18+00:00November 12th, 2019|South African Politics, Tito Mboweni|0 Comments

Mboweni and Ramaphosa, it’s time for action

This week’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) is the grimmest and most difficult in a generation. There’s the revenue shortfall, anticipated at about R50bn. The convenient — though perfectly valid — explanation for this huge undershoot is the internal sabotage at the SA Revenue Service by Tom Moyane and his merry men and women. The less [...]