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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is the head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund South Africa. The unit's work is focused on identifying ways to manage a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Conservation as cost

7th June 2019 The conservation movement has been around for a long time. In its modern version, it can be traced to the curiosity of early explorers like Darwin, Russell, Humboldt and many others. That we think of it as an artifact of civilised life is due to the dominance humans as a species. In Africa, the... 

Independent power producers and Weet-Bix

19th April 2019 There is a vociferous attack on independent power producers (IPPs) and renewables in South Africa, despite the energy crisis that the country is experiencing and the fact that the long-term prospects for State-owned electricity utility Eskom look rather bleak. Eskom is a choke point, just as... 

Reflection on proposed splitting of Eskom

15th March 2019 The mere mention of the splitting of State-owned  electricity utility Eskom into three parts invikes the conclusion that it is a Trojan horse for privatisation. There may be some validity in this assumption, but it is not clear, given Eskom's current woes and its inability to pass costs fully to... 

Building sustainable economies through good governance of extractives industry

1st March 2019 A pertinent question remains unanswered: Can mining economies lead to sustainable economies? This is an appropriate question to ask in the context of the yearly parade in Cape Town. I am referring to the Mining Indaba, attracts about 6 000 people from all over the world. For Africa, turning its... 

The Eskom quagmire

1st February 2019 As we enter the year 2019, State-owned electricity utility Eskom, once a success story of South Africa's industrialisation programme, is now an albatros around the neck of the National Treasury and hampering the State's efforts to realise the full potential for economic growth.   

Reflections on global conventions in a postliberal order

18th January 2019 I was in Sharm-El Shaik, Egypt, in November at a gathering of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the Conference of the Parties (COP). This enclave of holiday resorts is characterised by daily jostling by tourists mostly from Kiev. At least four flights a day come and in out of the... 

Africa’s infrastructure and recent climate report

30th November 2018 It was my first attendance at the yearly Africa Infrastructure conference, held in Sandton this year on October 9 and 10. Infrastructure has always been an interest of mine but this year it has consumed all my time as I work with a colleague and co-lead Dr Yemi Katerere on the African Ecological... 

Strategic economics in times of uncertainty

19th October 2018 In his excellent three-volume work titled Wheels of Commerce, Fernand Braudel describes countries or city states as islands in a world economy. This is a reference to the interconnectedness of the world and our dependence on the  world economy. There are always places of gravity and attraction –... 

The industrialisation debate in SA – what are the lessons?

21st September 2018 Manufacturing has been in slow decline in the past decade or so. The sector has always been treated as a useful link between mining and higher-value beneficiation. Light and heavy industrialisation were, and in some respects still are, at the core of South Africa's industrial base. Before the... 

Using Douglas North’s institutional economics to understand State capture

24th August 2018 Douglas North remains an influential institutional economist and his work on institutional economics can help us understand economic development and long-run growth. North was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993 and died in 2015. He shared the award with William Fogel.   He was one of the founders of... 

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