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The South African economy is being hit on all fronts. Growth continues to be sluggish and there are new inflation concerns as energy prices rise and the rand weakens. In addition, our imports are outpacing our exports, which resulted in the deficit on the trade...
Sep 28, 2012


An inverse relationship has developed between government pontification on the virtues of beneficiation and the reality at South Africa’s existing beneficiation plants. Ferrochrome producers, in particular, have been warning for years that, unless active measures are...
Sep 21, 2012


As the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) prepares for its national congress later this month, its general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, appears to be between the proverbial rock and a hard place. There is the immediate dilemma of having to display unity...
Sep 14, 2012


Nearly a month after the horrific events that took place near Lonmin’s Marikana mine, in the North West province, South Africa is still experiencing the reputational fallout. Rebuilding that lost reputation is going to require a major rethink about the role and...
Sep 07, 2012


The tragic events that took place near Lonim’s Marikana mine, in the North West province, have left all South Africans shocked and depressed. This shameful moment demands deep reflection on the state of society. It’s a timely reminder that prevailing levels of...
Aug 31, 2012


At least the serious issues surrounding SA Express’s financial statements have resulted in some far-reaching changes to the governance structures at the airline. To be sure, unless things are put back on track quickly, the flying public is going to have second...
Aug 24, 2012


South Africa’s ambassador to the US Ebrahim Rasool has warned that there should be no complacency, or presumption, among government, business and labour over the automatic extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) beyond September 30, 2015 – Agoa...
Aug 17, 2012


Are there any lessons for the South African economic policymakers and businesspeople from the sensational Olympic victories by swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos? One could be that, while practice, determination and vision are essential, in the end it...
Aug 10, 2012


Auditor-general Terence Nombembe’s report on the state of municipal accounts makes for dismal reading. It shows that there was R11-billion in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2010/11. The report highlights a lack of consequences for...
Aug 03, 2012


South Africa is all set for another arduous round of power tariff deliberations as Eskom puts the final touches to its submission to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). The utility is in mandatory consultations with the National Treasury and the...
Jul 27, 2012


Last week’s intervention by the Gauteng North High Court – giving the Gert Sibande municipality 72 hours to provide 17 000 citizens of Carolina, in Mpumalanga, with potable water – is a timely reminder of the downside risks associated with failing to move assertively...
Jul 20, 2012

HEAT, DUST & . . . :

The mining investment community is none the wiser about the African National Congress’s preferred approach to the mining sector following the party’s policy conference in late June. Yes, nationalisation is off. But what exactly is on? The longer the uncertainty...
Jul 13, 2012


The African National Congress’s (ANC’s) policy conference threw up the usual contradictory mix of messages over the state of the governing party. For the cameras, it was all smiles and comradely backslapping. But the undercurrents of division, suspicion and position...
Jul 06, 2012


It was reported earlier this month that corporate South Africa’s deposits have swelled again and that they currently stand at more than R530-billion. Owing to the prevailing economic and policy uncertainty, firms are hoarding cash instead of investing. For a country...
Jun 29, 2012


The Walmart-Massmart merger aside, a number of Western diplomats, as well as some potential investors, are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with some of the rhetoric flowing from the African National Congress regarding future economic ties. Secretary-general Gwede...
Jun 22, 2012


Concerns over the potential for a sharp fiscal contraction in the US from January 2013 – also dubbed the ‘fiscal cliff’ – are beginning to be raised more vociferously. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, among others, is urging the US...
Jun 15, 2012


There was much argy-bargy between South Africa and Australia ahead of the big Square Kilometre Array (SKA) siting decision. But now that a dual-siting choice has been made, it’s time to make science, and scientific collaboration, the real winner. We wish the teams on...
Jun 08, 2012


From afar, the war surrounding Brett Murray’s display of political satire at the Goodman Gallery must appear more than bizarre. The context, however, is a country with a vicious history of racial repression and one where opinions are often still divided on racial...
Jun 01, 2012
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