Business

If kids can grasp it, why can’t bankers?

There is a difference between what is legal and what is right. Parents work hard on getting their kids to understand this and fortunately for society, they mostly succeed. Big business doesn’t get it, though. For most corporates what is legal is moral, finish en klaar. In South Africa entire industries were gleefully built around…

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Every budget tells a story

By Albert van Zyl In his first important speech as finance minister, Pravin Gordhan’s main story was that the budget deficit would be 7.6% of GDP, not 3.8% as projected in the February budget. And the reason for this, he told us, was that Sars collected a lot less tax than what the Treasury thought…

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Housing: Are good ideas wilfully ignored?

We’ve been promised housing for South Africans for a good 15 years now, but progress has been rather pathetic. The backlog remains at more than 2 million houses and government seems highly unlikely to make serious inroads into the issue soon. This became painfully evident last month when it came to light that government flagship housing…

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Hey, Zuma, you can’t buy your way out of this one, old chap

Almost from the moment the rag-tag gaggle of erstwhile freedom fighters took over the reins of power — and, boy, did they love that power, like a kid who had just got his driver’s licence and was put behind the wheel of a Ferrari — they realised that, even under someone of the statesmanship and…

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Oh…and one last question

I haven’t had the luck or CV excellence to go to many interviews since I moved up to Cape Town. Truth be told, things are a bit laid back here and so in the absence of a job I’ve had to make ends meat by pursuing other inane part time work like data capturing, promoting,…

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Dubai, an economic powerhouse that’s just getting started

Many a story abounds about the rapid emergence of Dubai as an economic powerhouse. In just 35 years, the country has morphed from a trading outpost to a unique duty-free shopping destination, from a beach holiday resort to one of the world’s busiest ports and dry docks, from a gold exchange to the premier financial…

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Corporate social responsibility, does it work?

By Kim Polley What is in it for businesses and why should they invest in improving the environment and alleviating poverty? Companies in the private sector say they just want to do “the right thing” and “give something back” to the community. The sceptics on the other hand believe businesses are using these investments as…

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What makes accountants so special anyway?

I wish I was an accountant. Really. If I were an accountant, I’d be like my cousin, who’s younger than me and drives a top-end Mercedes. He’s just bought a R3.5 million house, and that’s without having to sell the one he already owns. All because he did a BCom and became a CA. Speaking of…

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Africa still perfectly poised for a golden age

By Sanjeev Gupta UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently stated: “It is not just Wall Street or Main Street that is hurting; people with no streets are suffering too.” And amid all the turbulence that has engulfed the world of high commerce and haunted the major global economies, one can be forgiven for asking whether the…

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Meet Al Caphone, capo de tutti capi of SA’s telecommunications cartel

In the past six months Vodacom made more than R14 billion, 12.2% better than it performed previously. While millions of South Africans suffer the very worst of the global economic crisis, it seems counter-intuitive that a telecommunications company can bask in that kind of profitability. This should spark great admiration. Until you come face to face…

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