Business

We are rebuilding an economic apartheid instead of dismantling it

In the mid-1980s South Africa’s prime overdraft rate went to 25%, inflation rocketed to 20.9% and the apartheid government abolished the financial rand exchange rate system in 1983 as international banks refused to renew credit lines for South Africa. The world was punishing South Africa for being a pariah, a scum state, violating the fundamental…

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Concerns raised over way repossessed homes are sold at public auctions

By Mbalenhle Budaza Lawyers for Human Rights, together with many legal non-governmental organisations, have noted with growing concern the manner in which repossessed houses are sold at public auctions. The fact that a reserve price is not mandatory for sales in execution as well as the lack of judicial oversight over these processes has led…

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BASF, Lonmin and how the Marikana battle for justice is taken to Germany

BASF is a huge corporate that gives Lonmin a lot of business. Today, April 29, in Germany they are gathered for their annual shareholder meeting. Along with the usual shareholders who attend these meetings there’ll be some less familiar faces, two of the women made widows by the Marikana massacre. Thirty-four miners brutally gunned down…

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What’s needed to lift investor confidence

South Africa faces a perilous and uncertain future because of stagnant growth, policy uncertainty and ideological gridlock, high unemployment, inequality and poverty. Social tension is very high as indicated by a high frequency of service-delivery protests across the country and an increasing level of anti-social behaviour that morphs into the current high-crime rate. The frequent…

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Global inequality is much worse than we thought

It’s familiar news by now. According to Oxfam, the richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined. Global inequality is worse than at any time since the 19th century. For most people, this is all they know about global inequality. But Oxfam’s wealth figures don’t quite tell the whole…

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How to avoid an economic war

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India said “Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Nehru led a nation of hundreds of millions of poor Indians groaning under the postcolonial legacies that had shaped the subcontinent. Colonialism was not…

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Alternatives to coal-fired electricity exist but there are no alternatives for water

By Penny-Jane Cooke The last quarter of 2015 saw five out of the nine provinces — KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the North West, including the breadbasket of the country, the Free State — declared as water disaster areas and by extension disaster areas for agriculture. Somehow, the linkages between how the intensive water use for coal-fired…

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We need to break the one sacred rule of the global economy

Scholars are still trying to figure out why the society on Easter Island collapsed, ending the people famed for their construction of towering stone heads. One interesting theory holds that it had to do with the heads themselves. Somehow, the islanders decided that the giant heads represented power and success, so different groups competed to…

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How the west destroyed the global south’s best shot at development

When it comes to international affairs, western politicians love to celebrate their devotion to development. In her flagship speech on development as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton offered stories about US aid transforming the lives of poor people in Indonesia, Nicaragua and South Africa. France’s minister of foreign affairs recently hailed his country’s commitment to…

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Debunking economic myths about African growth

By Zukiswa Mqolomba Recent reports on Africa’s development have been characterized by high levels of optimism. This trend is totally different from previous commentary, which was riddled with pessimistic accounts about the future of the continent. Development agencies cite the rapid economic growth of some African countries as a sign of economic development. Seven of…

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