Business

SA remains a bastion of racism, while the rest of Africa moves on

How has the rest of Africa succeeded in putting its traumatic racial discrimination past behind it? Speak to anyone doing business in Africa and they will tell you that “race” is not an issue. They will tell you that doing business is not impeded by requirements to have “black” partners and that the concept of…

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Why commercial law?

Now and I again my friends, who seem never to pay attention to anything I tell them, ask me about my career plans. “So, which area of law will you specialise in?” they ask. When I tell them that I am training to specialise in commercial law, I see their curiosity whirling to awe. I…

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Academia is Africa’s last hope

“I am studying mathematics because I wanted to study something as difficult as it is useless.” I follow this statement with a polite laugh and wink. This is how I answer a person asking me why I’m studying a subject that most people regard with a terrified shudder (no doubt linked to their bad memories…

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Rail services still treat us like cattle

Dear Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, I don’t usually write open letters and have tried to engage you in more direct ways. I was one of the groups kept back by security at your Pretoria Station not too long ago and I am a regular visitor at your customer care booth at Park Station….

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Capitalism and/as suffering

No one in their right mind would associate capitalism with suffering, would they? Isn’t it about enjoyment of commodities, ostentatious consumption, celebrity life and wealth accumulation? And what is there about all this that could be connected with “suffering”? Of course, one could elaborate, as Hardt and Negri do in Multitude (2005) and elsewhere, about…

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Marikana: When neoliberalism negates human rights

It is one year to the day that the Marikana massacre unfolded on the Wonderkop koppie and was witnessed on national television. The trauma of this spectacle still hangs heavy in the air for many who are unable to make any sense of this heinous occurrence, because there is no making sense of it. There…

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A world where time replaces money as currency

Isn’t it amazing how a huge money-spinner of a film, made on a budget of millions, obviously in anticipation of making a sizeable profit in moviehouse-attendance and on DVDs, can tap into something that goes diametrically against the grain of its own production rationale? What it taps into, is the latent desire on the part…

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To get South Africa working again fire the DTI

It’s official that South Africa’s growth rate lags badly behind the rest of Africa, with no imminent solution in sight. The New Development plan is supposed to be the knight in shining armour that will rescue us from our predicament. Sure it sounds grand; increasing the number of employed to nearly 12-million, doubling per capita…

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What art you talking about?

The 31st of July was the deadline decided on by the South African Department of Arts and Culture (DepARTment) for arts practitioners and institutional responses to a revised White Paper they made available (in very limited fashion) earlier in the same month. There was nothing normal about the process but nothing abnormal either. Because this…

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Bye-bye 132 000 Chinese tourists

By Michael Jones “I’m sorry, I simply do not see them” is an often-quoted response I hear when talking to high-end South African tourism brands about marketing their products in the China outbound travel market. Strange considering that official government statistics are adamant that South Africa received 132 334 Chinese tourists in 2012 making it our…

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