Tag Archives: economy

Zuma-Concourt saga: Constitutionalism (Episode IV)

The widespread use of the phrase “a victory of democracy”, when referring to the Constitutional Court Nkandla ruling, is a disservice to South Africa. Words have the power to shine light on a meaning. Words have the power to marginalise. The choice of the word democracy in this instance is not a trivial matter because…

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Zuma-Concourt saga: National question (Episode II)

Thabo Mbeki for a long time used to set and drive the public socio-political discourse agenda in South Africa. Journalists would excitedly wait for his regular newsletter and general musings. After Mbeki was dethroned, we entered an interregnum where political discourse largely oscillated between affairs concerning the person of Jacob Zuma and an extended obituary…

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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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How the university can recuperate itself

In my previous post I wrote about the question raised by Bernard Stiegler on the pervasive stupidity characterising global societies today, and the failure of universities to live up to their historical task under present circumstances. The latter amount to what Stiegler calls “hyperindustrial” society, that is, a society in which it is not only…

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‘White land’ must fall, after Zuma

I know what you’re thinking — another irritating piece about “white monopoly capital”. This is not about the Economic Freedom Fighters and their policy of redress through wholesale re-disenfranchisement and nationalisation. South Africa is more nuanced than the high politics of the day. The outcry of the last week is testament to the vibrancy of…

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Axing Nene: Give us the reasons

One of my most powerful insights during the height of the #feesmustfall protests was that the media has its own agenda and bias. Nuance, the sympathetic depiction of all sides, fair coverage of silent constituencies: these are all niceties in the hurly-burly of a reporting frenzy. So with the axing of Nhlanhla Nene sending the…

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Any heroes in the ANC, please stand up?

Just when you thought it could not get any worse, it just did. Jacob Zuma clearly wants what he wants and he wants it now. And so, the prospect of JZ waking up to a R4 BILLION jet under his Christmas tree at his R250 MILLION Nkandla on the 25th has edged a little closer with the…

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Mandela delivered the transition we desperately needed

It’s not surprising that the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s death generated reflection on the course we’re following as a nation. Some veered on the negative. But rather than denigrate those who express them, we should instead pay attention, listen and engage rationally with them. Doing so will anchor further freedom of speech, which is the…

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Something stirs behind the dull eyes and zombie shuffle

Just occasionally one glimpses, behind the dull eyes and zombie-like shuffle of President Jacob Zuma’s disengaged administration, the values that sustained the African National Congress in the struggle years. It’s a briefly cheering reminder that all is not yet lost. This week Kgalema Motlanthe, in an uncommonly frank Business Day interview, skewered the movement to…

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Fix the public education system to grow the economy

The essence of good strategic thinking and planning requires, for an organization, a critical capacity to anticipate events in the future that may have the capacity to derail its strategy and develop remedial measures to mitigate the threat. This is also true for a government. The crippling financial burden of university education for the poor,…

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