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Riaan de Lange

Riaan de Lange


This economic and trade-focused column is prepared by Riaan de Lange – riaan@tariffandtrade.co.za. The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views

Irregular expenditure

19th October 2018 Take a moment to reflect on the phrase 'irregular expenditure'. What thoughts does it evoke? Anything? These two words, I wager, have been rendered devoid of their impact, owing to excessive use. 

I’m from govt and I’m here to help

12th October 2018 The words in the headline are considered to be the most terrifying in the English language. This is not my assessment, but that of the gentleman who famously uttered them, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the fourtieth President of the US. If you are old enough, you might well recall a time when companies’... 

Economic stimulus and recovery plan

5th October 2018 It is said that there are only three kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who cannot. The stimulus and recovery plan has sevral broad parts: implementation of growth-enhancing economic reforms, reprioritisation of public spending to support job creation, the establishment... 

SA economy flying by the seats of its pants

28th September 2018 It is said that bad news comes in threes. If only South Africa was that fortunate – the country exhausted its quota a long time ago, and hardly a week goes by without bad news about the performance of the South African economy. The news is either a reflection on what has happened or what is... 

Technically, stuck in a recession

21st September 2018 “Is you is or is you ain't?”, to partially borrow from the title of American blues musician BB King’s song. Is South Africa in a recession or ain’t it? It is a simple enough question that should solicit a 'yes' or 'no' answer, ain’t? Surely, if one knows what a recession is, then one should know... 

Do your part to remedy SA’s ills

14th September 2018 “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” These humorous words tend to be attributable to Winnie-the-Pooh. But I am afraid these were not Pooh’s words, and neither were they the author AA. Milne, who wrote of Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926. It is in fact, the words of Theodor... 

Heigh-ho silver lining

7th September 2018 They say every silver lining has a cloud or every cloud has a silver lining? Which of the phrases do you prefer? Surely, it depends on whether you are of the glass-half-full or glass-half-empty persuasion. Your perference may also depend on the topic under consideration. With this in mind, it... 

Reflecting on sugar customs duty increase

31st August 2018 So, will the increase in the variable formula tariff (VFT) on sugar – or the 'honey without bees', as Alexander the Great called it – mitigate the harshness of international trade or be the saccharine protection that the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) producers desire it to be? Growing up... 

Bailout or bail out?

24th August 2018 One word or two? So, which is the correct option for South Africa’s State-owned enterprises (SOEs)? Hint: a bailout is the act of giving financial assistance to a failing business or economy to save it from collapse, while to bail out is to abandon a position or situation. As I contemplated what... 

Can’t you handle the truth?

17th August 2018 Have you seen any mention of the publicat of the International Monetary Forum's (IMF's) 2018 Article IV consultation with South Africa? For what I have seen, it was released through a notice from the National Treasury on July 30. Have you seen any mention of this in the South African financial... 

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