Business

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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An open letter to Kulula (Or is it Khulula?)

I didn’t know who to address this to so I decided to write an open letter. As you might have noticed, this has become a very popular method of addressing officials in high places. (Did you see that pun? “High places”. Hahaha! Funny huh! OK, maybe it’s just me.) I thought that I should probably…

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Boredom and the budget

A new pointer for Pravin: Keep it simple, keep it short. While I was preparing for a recent radio interview with Ashraf Garda on the Sunday SAfm media slot about jargon in the budget speech and journalists’ responsibility to simplify that, it occurred to me to look at budget speeches elsewhere. I looked at only…

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Why a free news media is essential to economic prosperity

Musician Frank Zappa famously remarked that communism collapsed because people want stuff. That is an oversimplification, clearly, because a closer look at the history of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe shows that each country was different. Moreover, the desire for democracy rather than simply material well-being should also be considered. Yet there is…

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