Business

New Age harkens back to a previous age

Thanks to City Press, we now have an idea of how the New Age, a newspaper without audited circulation figures and little advertising, survives in the competitive daily newspaper market. The Gupta family, who are said to be close to President Jacob Zuma, created the New Age as a deliberate counter to the mainstream commercial…

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The role of China on the African continent

The exponential rate of Chinese investment in Africa over the past few years has been noted with both optimism and scepticism by mainstream media, political commentators and influential role players in the developed and developing world. Opinions triggered by this new development are deeply polarised. A positive view of increased and concentrated Chinese investment on…

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Regional trade can boost Africa’s growth, jobs

There is strong consensus that regional integration is indispensable in promoting intra-African trade especially with a large African market of one billion consumers, which can be a powerful engine for growth and employment. Despite the underlying market potential for both cross-border and export trade, the volumes and values of the goods traded in the regional…

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The old plight of workers in the new South Africa

Pictures of labourers with raised fists, chanting liberation slogans are now commonplace in South Africa. We’re notorious for industrial protests, dubbed “the protest capital of the world”. For many, the only serious cause for concern is the unsightly violence of industrial protests. The world watched in awe as the police showered (allegedly) armed Marikana miners…

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So how did FNB manage to tickle the ANC’s studio?

When I heard about the troublesome First National Bank advert causing a stir with the political bigwigs I was on the Lyon TCL tramway, on my way home from a rather unpleasant encounter with French bureaucracy. I became so excited I was literally pacing up and down, hoping to use my superpowers to command the…

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Predistribution

I recently finished reading The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. I last read the book shortly after it was first released in 2009. The book made quite a splash at the time in the UK, but I don’t recall a similar fuss being made about the book in South Africa. But I…

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Amplats passing the buck after pocketing the rand

No wonder Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest platinum producer, is fixing to lay off at least 14 000 workers. According to the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, the remuneration of a mineworker increased by an average of 30% each year between 1999 and 2011. I highly doubt the average mineworker increased his or…

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The importance of public spending

The existence of long-term growth effects from public spending is hardly contested in policy discussions. Growth literature that has emerged over the last 20 years supports the belief that public spending affects long-term growth. First, standard growth models explaining total output level as a function of factor inputs (capital and labour), as well as the…

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Commercial news media, like the SABC, also answer to his master’s voice

Everyone’s favourite whipping boy, the SABC, has done it again. Unspoken commands from the outside have barged in and, at the last minute, dictated an editorial policy. Either both the Metro FM show’s producer and host neglected to acquaint themselves with the said policy, or the policy did not exist until five minutes before the…

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South Africa 2013

South Africa’s potential growth has slowed over the last few years. Considerable efforts will be needed to meet the Government’s goal of raising per capita income and to create 11 million new jobs by 2030. Moreover, inequality continues to be unacceptably high, suggesting that making growth more inclusive remains an important policy challenge. Our government…

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