General

Our troubled world

A number of things have struck me since we arrived in Europe to attend a number of conferences, travelling from Ghent in Belgium through Munich in Germany to beautiful Venice in the Veneto of Italy, and they do not augur well for the future of human society or the planet. These range from observations in…

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An important conference for Afrikaans in Europe

Summer is a good time for attending conferences in Europe, and 2017 has proved to be no exception. This afternoon we had to brave a thunderstorm that would hold its own against any Highveld thunderstorm in South Africa, and that in Venice, Italy, just after our arrival here from München by bus. We were on…

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Radical Economic Transformation: SMME funding

South Africa has a bipolar economy – pockets of first-world prosperity in a sea of third-world underdevelopment. The SA government has sought to bridge this gap using fiscal stimulus delivered through the social grant system in addition to other infrastructure spending. This has had the effect of lifting, on aggregate, swathes of our people above…

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South Africa’s future becomes clearer

For good or bad, or for better or worse, the future of South Africa is becoming clearer. The signs are everywhere for everyone to see. It is better to deal with a clear future than an uncertain one, even if the future might look ugly. Now that South Africa’s future becomes clearer, we can all…

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Zille and Zuma: A fading star, a black hole and the end of an era

Helen Zille faces a disciplinary hearing from her party as an apparent “litmus test” of its credibility as a champion for the people. President Jacob Zuma, similarly, is facing off with NEC members for his shenanigans, having already navigated the party’s ethics committee, the stalwarts and having subjugated its youth and woman’s leagues. The president, it…

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The essence of neoliberalism

France’s pre-eminent sociologist and social theorist Pierre Bourdieu, who died not so long ago, did not pull his punches when it came to identifying the hegemonic economic system of the present, neoliberalism, ruthlessly as a “utopia of endless exploitation”. In an article titled “The essence of neoliberalism” (in Le Monde Diplomatique, December 1998) he puts…

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The cyber-war(s) being fought right under our noses

Time magazine invariably has very clever, multi-faceted covers, the latest one being no exception. It shows the White House – the American president’s residence and workplace, all in one – being slowly but surely devoured by Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its red brick walls and colourful onion domes, which stands on the Red Square and…

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10 things Ramaphosa should do in his first 100 days as president

Let’s imagine for a minute Ennerdale and Coligny have stopped burning. The knife-fight in the ANC is over and the 2019 elections have come and gone. Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is the fifth democratically elected president of South Africa – and will have inherited a deeply flawed country with a stagnant economy and a…

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The age of anger

A friend of mine – Avril Gardiner, art-fundi and owner-curator of the Liebrecht at gallery in Somerset-West – recently reminded me of a piece by Bryan Walsh in TIME magazine of 20 February (2017: pp. 15-16), in which Walsh talks about what he calls “this age of anger” in the context of the claim that…

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How to ignite growth and return South Africa to investment grade

The theme of the WEFAfrica 2017, “Achieving inclusive growth through responsive and responsible leadership”, could have been an appropriate and founding moral code and political philosophy for the incoming democratic government at the beginning of the transition period in 1994 because it captures, in a simple but profound manner, the essence of what needed to…

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