Business

‘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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Is climate change a form of violence?

Over the past few years a number of studies have warned about the links between climate change and violent conflict. While the precise causal connections are not yet well-defined, it is likely that famine, flooding, and displacement will spur increasing conflict and war as the 21st century unfolds. This is a serious concern. Already 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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Global poverty is worse than you think

A few weeks ago the World Bank changed the international poverty line from $1.25 to $1.90 (R27) a day. Normally, changes to the poverty line slide by without attracting much attention, but for some reason this time people got excited. At first glance, it looks as if the bank has finally admitted that the old…

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Limping from policy disaster to policy disaster

It’s unusual to see a government that is on the face of it so entrenched in power — a solid 62% of the national vote after two decades in office, eight out of nine provincial assemblies — in such disarray. Yet President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress administration limps from disaster to disaster, full of…

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Derrida and the present world (dis-)order

Anyone who believes that the present world-dispensation is one of “order”, merely has to scan all the many sources of information to be disabused of such an illusion. In doing so, however, they would probably not realise that, as Derrida (1994; see below) enables one to see, these very news sources — mainly television, the…

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Forget ‘developing’ poor countries. It’s time to ‘de-develop’ rich countries

Heads of state recently gathered in New York to sign the UN’s new sustainable development goals (SDGs). The main objective is to eradicate poverty by 2030. Beyoncé, One Direction and Malala are on board. It’s set to be a monumental international celebration. Given all the fanfare, one might think the SDGs are about to offer…

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Brics in crisis and new middle classes will bear the greatest costs

By Jan Hofmeyr These are trying times for Brazil and South Africa, the southern members of the Brics grouping of emerging nations that also include China, Russia and India. After years of robust growth their economies are in the doldrums, and their governments lack latitude in the options to revive them. It is not only…

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Corporate leaders destroyed by their own greed

It’s been a bad run for caring capitalism. An unvarnished display this week was the monstrous rapaciousness unleashed when captains of industry lack any sense of social responsibility or personal morality. First there was business boy wonder Martin Shkreli’s inadvertent self-immolation, metaphorically speaking. Then there was the slow motion crash of Volkswagen, the world’s second…

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