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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

A Victor, Uniform, or Lima Recovery?

16th October 2020 The International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, commonly known as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) phonetic alphabet, is the most widely used radiotelephone spelling alphabet. In creating the alphabet, the ICAO assigned codewords acrophonically to the letters of the... 

Poverty and inequality

9th October 2020 While contemplating last week’s column, ‘The poor and miserable simply cannot be let be’, it dawned on me that the meaning of ‘poverty’ and ‘inequality’ – two of the most misused words in South Africa – might well be misconstrued. The most prominent government document on the topic is the... 

The poor and miserable simply cannot be let be

2nd October 2020 South Africa, and more especially its economy, is in deep trouble. When I find myself in similar circumstance, I recall the lyrics of the Beatles song, Let It Be: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me; Speaking words of wisdom, let it be; And in my hour of darkness she... 

Knightian uncertainty

25th September 2020 The 1980s in South Africa might have been an idyllic time for some, but they were a period of discontentment for others. The mid- to late 1980s were my formative years for me. My most vivid memory of the time was going to the drive-in – that is watching a movie in a car, for younger readers. As I... 

Hippopotomonstroses-quippedaliophobia

18th September 2020 If “the biggest word you ever heard”, as the song goes, is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, then you are in for a shock, as this piece’s title is longer. It is, in fact, one of the longest words in the English language.[Unknown A1]  The longest word in English, which is five letters longer... 

Monitoring export barriers

11th September 2020 It has been 81 years since World War Two (WWII) started – on September 1, 1939 – and, as you read this piece, just more than a week since the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) launched the Export Barriers Monitoring Mechanism (EBMM). The intention of the EBMM is to help South... 

Existing together in a delicate balance

4th September 2020 Long before motivational quotes found fame on electronic media, at a time when ‘www’ meant little more than the Wild Wild West – in a World Without Windows, you could say – I was given an A3 page. I was mesmerised, not by its appearance, as it was just a white page with very large bold black... 

Swelling words of emptiness

28th August 2020 As South Africans, we tend to think that we have an intimate understanding of South Africa and how it operates. If this line of thinking is true, then our parents should be open books to us, but alas, even they are strangers too. All this is reminiscent of the French novelist Andre Malraux, who... 

Economics of corruption

21st August 2020 If there is a single topic that economists tend to avoid researching, it is corruption, which tends to be assumed to reside in the realms of political science and sociology. At a time where another ‘C’ (Covid-19) is wreaking havoc on an unprecedented scale, corruption seems to be obscured from... 

Promises make debt, and debt makes promises

14th August 2020 Let us start this week’s column with a truth, for at the moment, the truth is as scarce as a hen’s teeth. Truth be told, the title of this piece is borrowed from a Dutch proverb. If there is a single message, a single life lesson, that resonates with me, it is that one should never incur debt of... 

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