Business

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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The financial crisis and emerging economies

The role of globalisation after the 2008–2009 financial crises has fundamentally altered the economic landscape around the world. Excessive dependence on exports to the United States and the European Union has long been identified as a problem for developing countries. Product and market diversification should be part of any trade or development strategy. The fall…

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Banking on sexism

Earlier this year I told Standard Bank that they could stick their dishwasher where the sun doesn’t shine. The reason? It replicated 1950s sexism assuming that men in the family are breadwinners, sit around watching TV all day, and that the women in the family do all the cleaning. Accordingly men were given the opportunity…

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Informal cross-border trade should be formalised

Despite being a source of income for many living on the African continent, as much as 43%, informal cross-border trade is regarded as illegal. Informal cross-border trade refers to trade in processed or non-processed merchandise that may be legal imports or exports on one side of the border and illicit on the other side and…

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