Is the motor industry killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?

So there you are, an ordinary guy with an ordinary job who wants to buy the best car that you can afford. It has to be reliable and economical rather than have a “WOW” factor, so you’ve pretty well set your mind on a boring new 1.3-litre hatch for R160 000 when up pops a pristine…

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Why I wouldn’t want to live in suburbia

By Ang Lloyd I was born in Troyeville, Johannesburg, back when it was still considered “nice”. For the first two years of my life we lived opposite Gandhi’s old house. My mother has told me about a neighbour, Adolf, who, after the Jews moved out and the Portuguese moved in, he ominously whispered to my…

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Giving thanks for places and people: South African-American bobotie in New England

As I get older I become more emotional. My children scoff, “Pah! You’re kidding, you’ve always been emotional.” Okay, maybe they’re right. Thank God they’re now older than 16 when they were always right. It always amazes me that in the few weeks before Thanksgiving the turkeys appear in the streets, in groups or gangs…

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Goodness gracious! This Dacia is a Nissan!

So poor old Sydney Gordon (65) of Johannesburg is suing Nissan South Africa because he bought a Nissan NP 200 from them for R131 342 on February 22 2012 and a year later discovered that it had “Renault” stamped all over it. He must have gone to a lot of trouble stripping the bakkie to identify…

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Ms Joburg 2013’s most ardent wish

I claim I love Johannesburg more than anyone else on the planet. I was born here. I eat these streets. I declare myself Ms Joburg 2013 — for today (you can have it tomorrow) — and here, for my inaugural address, is my ardent wish for our town: On orders from the executive mayor of…

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Writing about not writing

It’s been almost five weeks since I last wrote a column for this blog. Buzzing on enthusiasm after my page initially went live, I wrote two columns in my first week and tracked the page hits with the same concern as I would my own pulse. The initial post-publishing glow lasted longer than I imagined….

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Whiteness is thicker than blood

Mike van Graan’s Rainbow Scars describes the fortunes and destinies of blacks who are raised by whites and those condemned to live in the townships. Much as the play explores relations between a white mother and an adopted black daughter, the most interesting undercurrent is the theme of black identity and whether skin colour is…

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Who are you calling radical?

The planet needs activism. It is being drilled, mined, excavated, pumped, and fracked more than ever before. Rivers are clogged with clingwrap, Simba packets, and toxic dyes; saturated with the run off from crops that are lathered in pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilisers. Forests are being wiped out: Even in the DRC where the Congo…

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The curse of being liked by the wrong people

There is a fundamental belief in the field of liberal arts that art has an intrinsic value. Marxist theory made out a good case for art being merely a commodity with a market value like any other, but the notion of inherent value refuses to die. Cultural relativism, similarly, has attempted to connect the value…

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Hipster Muslim desperately seeks marriage

My sister has this theory: She refuses to settle for anyone in the limited cess-pool of Indian Muslim men from small communities that sort of Indian Muslim women are limited to when they come from families where one of the parents is rather overly traditional when it comes to stuff like that. Mostly because she…

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