Business

Black economic empowerment is not black economic empowerment

By Michael Nassen Smith The BEE drum has been beaten many times before on both the right and the left on South Africa’s political spectrum. A recent piece on PoliticsWeb penned by John Kane-Berman gave what has become a standard liberal right critique of BEE. I think Berman is right to bemoan the influence of…

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It’s a simple choice: Are we going to make South Africa great?

Last week I wrote about racism in our public discourse and I was accused of merely describing the problem and negating the role of politics in fixing our economy. Well, here is a stab at a solution: – Every South African corporation with a national footprint should employ one intern aged 20-29 for every 10…

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Why American market capitalism is broken

Yes, you’ve read correctly. You may not know who Rana Foroohar is, so let me inform you that she is a highly respected business and economic journalist working for TIME magazine, who has just published a book called Makers and Takers, published in May (Crown publishers), in which she makes this (to some startling) announcement….

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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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