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FALLEN HERO:

Through his autobiography, ‘It’s Not About the Bike’, then-hero Lance Armstrong inspired millions and, more importantly, lifted the spirits of many individuals battling with cancer. We have since sadly learned just how true the title of his book was, as the disgraced...
Feb 01, 2013

GRAPES OF WRATH:

South Africa’s labour market is complicated and contradictory. There is high unemployment, yet, in many sectors, skills shortages persist. It is also true that, in many industries, wages have risen well ahead of productivity gains and that businesses are finding this...
Jan 25, 2013

QUANTITY & QUALITY:

There was a good deal of excitement about the fact that the Matric Class of 2012 – the first cohort of the so-called ‘born frees’ – achieved a pass rate of 73.9%. Indeed, it was the best performance since the advent of democracy. However, questions remain about the...
Jan 18, 2013

LUCKY FOR SOME:

All in all, 2012 was a pretty inauspicious year for South Africa. From the textbook saga in Limpopo to the tragic events of Marikana, there were simply too many problems and too little visible progress and leadership – not to mention a dismal economic performance....
Dec 14, 2012

FOREIGN FINESSE:

The Bank of England (BoE) surprised many last week when it named Mark Carney, a Canadian national, as its replacement for governor Mervyn King when he retires in July. Carney will become the first non-British head of the central bank in its 300-year history. Perhaps...
Dec 07, 2012

FOOD TSUNAMI WARNING:

Reports have emerged that the world could face a possible food crisis in 2013. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, or FAO, warns that not as much food has been produced in 2012 as has been consumed. World grain reserves are at their lowest levels...
Nov 30, 2012

INVERSE RELATIONSHIP:

The more South Africans talk about manufacturing and reindustrialisation, the worse it seems to get. Manufacturing output fell by 1.1% year-on-year in September. The decline followed on from an annual increase of 2.8% in August and was well below the expectation of a...
Nov 23, 2012

CROSSED LINE:

The surprise resignation of Telkom CEO Nombulelo ‘Pinky’ Moholi serves to highlight just how untenable it can become for executives when government wants to be active both as shareholder and policy setter. Government now needs to take full responsibility for the...
Nov 16, 2012

CLOSED, AT LAST:

Following several delays, government has moved to sign the agreements necessary to enable the first wind and solar projects, identified as preferred bidders under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme in December 2011, to move to...
Nov 09, 2012

SHOCKING SEQUEL:

South Africans must have felt a genuine sense of déjà vu last week when Eskom released its latest tariff request to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. Double-digit hikes have become the horrible norm for electricity consumers, big and small. What was...
Nov 02, 2012

CASH BURN:

Hours after Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner burned towards earth at supersonic speed, SAA revealed some seriously speedy cash burn of its own. It emerged that, during the airline’s 2011/12 financial year, cash and cash equivalents fell from R2.3-billion in the...
Oct 26, 2012

JUMPING AIRSHIP:

The resignations at South African Airways have come thick and fast over the past few weeks, with some executives, including CEO Siza Mzimela, joining their nonexecutive colleagues in jumping (air)ship. The shareholder Minister, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi...
Oct 19, 2012

TAKING A BEATING:

South Africa’s image has taken a serious beating since the tragic events of August 16, which took place near the Marikana mine, in the North West province. But it’s not only Marikana and the subsequent series of wildcat strikes that have caused the damage. Against...
Oct 12, 2012

TORNADO WARNING:

The tragic and traumatic events that unfolded near the Marikana mine, in the North West province, on August 16, continue to reverberate. The nature of the settlement agreement also appears to have created the conditions of a perfect labour-market storm. What it will...
Oct 05, 2012

PUNCH DRUNK:

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

BENEFICIATION BLOW-OUT:

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

HARD TIMES:

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

REPUTATION WRECKING BALL:

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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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