South African Politics

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 [...]

Tito may not have good news, but he won’t fly a false flag – we hope

South Africans desperately seeking some good news are unlikely to find it in the speech in parliament on Wednesday afternoon from Tito Mboweni when he delivers the medium-term budget policy statement. Happier tidings might emerge from the pitch on Saturday afternoon when the Springboks meet England in the Rugby World Cup final at the International [...]

By |2019-10-30T04:38:24+00:00October 30th, 2019|Finance Minister, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

SA is sliding down the road to ruin on the flat tyres of empowerment

About 15 years ago, in parliament, the Democratic Alliance spokesperson on education drew attention with a very telling metaphor. The House was then discussing yet another government assault on private school education, corralling the powers of their governing bodies and related items, in the pursuit of achieving equality of outcomes across all education sectors. Willem [...]

By |2019-10-02T08:08:24+00:00October 2nd, 2019|South African Politics|0 Comments

Instructive lessons for Eskom from British Leyland’s experience

There is a long, ever-lengthening, list of SA-originating business leaders who have achieved huge success and had high impact in boardrooms and markets across the world. Elon Musk and Roelof Botha in the hi-tech field in California (and even outer space in the case of the former); Ivan Glasenberg and Mick Davis in the world [...]

By |2019-10-01T06:11:22+00:00October 1st, 2019|Eskom, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Rap on the knuckles for the new nationalists

Usually, I am a sucker for middlebrow musicals of the Sound of Music and Evita stamp, where you leave the theatre singing,  tunelessly but enthusiastically,  the showstopper tunes. But last week in London, and aptly on the eve of SA’s Heritage Day, I witnessed a musical event with such great and wider meaning, and performed in such an unusual, [...]

By |2019-09-29T06:11:14+00:00September 29th, 2019|Boris Johnson, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

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 [...]