Business

Poor schooling’s retarding SA’s economic growth

Unless we pursue a highly focused and coordinated strategy to improve the quality of our education system, especially for our poor communities, we will not be able to sustain our competitive advantage on the continent. We will also fail to uphold our status as a credible member of the Bric club of emerging economies. To…

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Fracking and feminist concerns

We’ve all heard a lot over the past few weeks about the dangers of fracking for our pristine Karoo environment. Shell, the master of disaster when it comes to environmental damage, has requested the rights to explore the Karoo for natural gas. This is not the type of exploration where you shade your eyes with…

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Africa in the aftermath of the recession

Many African scholars and politicians have repeatedly made the point that Africa remains behind other regions or continents as a result of the historical injustices it endured for centuries. Disturbingly, though, the injustices have taken a different form over the years, particularly by the so-called developed world. This is not to say that part of…

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SA needs more entrepreneurs

In South Africa, the phrase “no quick fix” is often associated with the black box phenomena we accept when mulling unemployment — labour market inflexibility, competitiveness and regulatory reform are but a few. Small business development is another such a cure for unemployment for which there is — you guessed it — no quick fix….

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CPI being abused in price negotiations

By Kevin Phillips South Africans pay a lot of attention to the inflation rate: whether it’s up, down or stable, which direction it’s headed in and what it means for our wage and salary negotiations. But in some cases, the official inflation rate is being abused by large companies to squeeze their suppliers — putting…

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Why Jozi’s hipsters are good for the economy

This past weekend I took a rather cynical friend of mine to the Market on Main, luring him along with the promise of plenty of hipsters to serve as the objects of his withering scorn. In the end, while there were plenty of bourgeois bohemians or bobos around, I was somewhat disappointed by the absence…

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Another day in the shattered dream that is SA

Driving back from an appointment at the state-run Helen Joseph Hospital — how she would cringe at the “place of weeping” that bears her name and which most people call the Hell & Joseph — I see the massive traffic jam snaking back a kilometre down Hendrik Potgieter Road in Roodepoort. The words of a…

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Artists are entrepreneurs

There is great promise for the creative industries now that a platform has been created for the media, practitioners, public and government to discuss the role of the arts in the economy. Obviously, this is a long-overdue development but no one can deny that the national consultative conference on the role of the arts in…

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Vodacom is not red — Vodacom is dead

How dumb does Vodacom think we are? We know what Vodafone’s logo looks like. It’s a red pointy thing with a white circle around. I realise creative advertising sometimes leaves something to the imagination but slapping the word Vodacom on Vodafone branding and expecting us to imagine it’s still Vodacom is a bit much. The…

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Powering madness

For a while now I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how recent events in Japan and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are similar in some way; what’s the link between them? I’m not talking about some weird conspiracy theory, like the one linking the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami…

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