https://www.engineeringnews.co.za
R/€ = 19.15 Change: 0.01
R/$ = 16.19 Change: 0.02
Au 1908.77 $/oz Change: -10.11
Pt 890.59 $/oz Change: -0.67
 

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 national danger, a national scandal

By: Riaan de Lange     23rd October 2020 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 view. Should you be reading the electronic copy of the column, only the first 50 odd words would be visible before you would need to... 

A Victor, Uniform, or Lima Recovery?

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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

By: Riaan de Lange     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... 

Trade facilitation versus protectionism

By: Riaan de Lange     7th August 2020 In the instalment of this column published on July 3, which was titled ‘Protectionism on the increase’, I expressed my concern at the intensification of the protectionist mentality. Those old enough would acknowledge that the underlying reason for the start of the Second World War was the ‘R’... 

We need to fix our education system

By: Riaan de Lange     31st July 2020 Education is the single definitive Why is there a tendency to believe that the solutions for all our present economic ills lie in the present? Could this tendency be attributable to Albert Einstein’s assessment: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”?... 

You’re on Mute!

By: Riaan de Lange     24th July 2020 If only I could get a cent for every time that I have been on a ‘lockdown’ video call hearing someone saying “…, you’re on mute”, only for the person implicated to answer after an uncomfortable pause, “I’m sorry, I was on mute”, I would be a very rich man indeed. 

Two economic hat-tricks

By: Riaan de Lange     17th July 2020 Two economic hat-tricks A hat-trick is the achievement of a generally positive result three times in a game or in another endeavour. Well, not in this instance, I am afraid. But before we get there, the term was coined in 1858 to describe cricketer HH Stephenson’s feat of taking three wickets in... 

Slow train coming?

By: Riaan de Lange     10th July 2020 On March 20, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the ratings of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation rating, two of South Africa’s State-owned enterprises (SOEs). Eighty-six days later, on June 25, the ratings agency announced another downgrade of... 

Protectionism on the increase

By: Riaan de Lange     3rd July 2020 Contrary to popular belief, economists are not oracles, and neither are they clairvoyants, even though they make frequent reference to their crystal-ball insights. They are mere trend spotters – no more, no less. Should you be interested in becoming a trend spotter, and by default a... 

Déjà vu as another SOE Council is announced

By: Riaan de Lange     26th June 2020 To genuinely appreciate South Africa’s State-owned enterprises (SOEs) – the infamous 131 – while retaining a positive demeanour, it would be best if you were prone to regular bouts of amnesia. If not, you would but echo the memorable Yogi Berra expression: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” On... 

Internalise an external cost

By: Riaan de Lange     19th June 2020 If you know nothing about sin taxes, then your salvation lies in the mere expression of the four words in the headline. Merely mentioning them will elevate you to the status of a tax expert, and slipping in a reference to Pigovian taxes (also spelt Pigouvian taxes) will elevate you to tax... 

Misoneism

By: Riaan de Lange     12th June 2020 This could well be the most apt one-word summary of government’s approach to the South African economy – a dislike of what is new or represents change. How else can one explain government clinging to State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and its “I think I can, I think I can” mantra. This is, of course,... 

Thieving Presidents

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     12th June 2020 Africa has had more than its fair share of Big Men with sticky fingers. The latest to be outed as a kleptomaniac par excellence is deposed Sudanese strongman Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who amassed real estate and other property worthy an estimated $4-billion during his 30-year rule, which came to a... 

End of print magazine era?

By: Riaan de Lange     5th June 2020 In a world obsessed with extinction, where the instinct is seemingly to protect anything and everything from extinction, an extinction is seemingly occurring unnoticed in South Africa. Is the lack of a protest against this extinction indicative of an acknowledgement that doing so would be a lost... 

A whole new world?

By: Riaan de Lange     29th May 2020 “I can show you the world; Shining, shimmering, splendid; … A whole new world; A new fantastic point of view.” If only South Africa could emerge from its economic slumber, as the song from Disney's Aladdin would have. Even Microsoft’s Editor suggests that it should be a “a fantastic new”. But,... 

Look mommy, there’s no plane up in the sky

By: Riaan de Lange     22nd May 2020 What do the kakapo, the takahe, the weka, Comair, SA Express and South African Airways (SAA) have in common? The first three are flightless birds, and the latter three are on the verge of becoming flightless airlines. On May 5, Comair, the owner of kulula.com and the South African operator for... 

Fight, flight, freeze or fawn

By: Riaan de Lange     15th May 2020 You might be more familiar with American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon’s flight-or-fight response, which describes a physiological reaction to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival. The ‘alarm reaction’ is the first stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome that regulates... 

Zombie economics

By: Riaan de Lange     8th May 2020 A zombie is a spirit that wanders about the Earth, tormenting the living. Economics has its own zombies, as it does its own apocalyptic events, one of which is a recession. In addition to a recession, there is an apocalyptic event called a Black Monday, which refers to an international stock... 

The economy in the time of Covid-19

By: Riaan de Lange     1st May 2020 The title is that of the World Bank’s semi-annual report for the Latin America and Caribbean region, which was released on April 12. There is much for South Africa’s policymakers to learn from this report. Do you know how many countries there are in Latin America and in the Caribbean? There are,... 

SA’s Fermi growth estimate

By: Riaan de Lange     24th April 2020 We might well be living the Chinese curse – not Covid-19, but the interesting times that it will deliver. A global economic tragedy is inevitable, only its true extent cannot be determined. If “all the world’s a stage”, as William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy, As You Like It, would have it, then... 

Nelsonian knowledge

By: Riaan de Lange     17th April 2020 What do you understand the headline of this piece to mean? Hint: the phrase originates from across the ocean, where it was used by English judges. The Conglomerate of June 25, 2005, cites it in a quote attributed to Lord Millett, which he delivered in the House of Lords: “It is dishonest for a... 

Three out of three is bad

By: Riaan de Lange     10th April 2020 “Baby, we can talk all night; But that ain't getting us nowhere; I told you everything I possibly can; There's nothing left inside of here; . . . Now don't be sad; 'Cause two out of three ain't bad". That was how the Meatloaf song of yesteryear went, and that was how South African seemingly felt... 

Will the one C survive the other?

By: Riaan de Lange     3rd April 2020 By March 21, most countries had introduced some form of enforced lockdown and/or self-isolation. The Gambler has just played his last hand. Of Kenny Rogers’s music, it is not Islands in the Stream that resonates with me, but The Gambler, You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em,... 

For whom the bell tolls

By: Riaan de Lange     27th March 2020 As I heard the church bells toll on the evening of March 16 – which is when I wrote this piece – I was reminded of the phrase 'for whom the bell tolls'. It refers to the church bells that are rung when a person dies. My church bell ringing is not in practice of the reminiscing the death of the... 

You break it, you buy it

By: Riaan de Lange     20th March 2020 “Beautiful to look at, lovely to hold, but if you should break it, consider it sold.” This rhyme evokes memories of the terror I experienced as a youngster when I was about to enter a shop displaying this message. I recall the drill. As I pushed the door open, which, without exception, triggered... 

Focus on tariff determinations

By: Riaan de Lange     13th March 2020 The National Budget has always tended to be an uninspiring affair as far as customs, excise and international trade are concerned. Its focus tends to be limited to increases in the so-called sin taxes – taxes on tobacco and liquor – and taxes on petroleum producd. This, year's Budget, however,... 

TFA – three years on

By: Riaan de Lange     6th March 2020 The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO's) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the first multilateral deal concluded in the WTO’s 25-year history, celebrated its third year of existence on February 22. The TFA comprises WTO members' commitments to expediting the movement, release and clearance of... 

Stumbling from failure to failure

By: Riaan de Lange     28th February 2020 To avoid embarrassing him, I will not mention the name of my economics professor from Eastern Europe who had a small bust of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, on his desk. Although, as a person, he was quite imposing, he was a gentle soul in class, believing that his mission was to... 

Geographic indication in Brexit aftermath

By: Riaan de Lange     21st February 2020 For as long as I can remember, my favourite meal, if it qualifies to be called that, has been a toasted cheese-and-tomato sandwich. I fondly recall many an afternoon at what was then Café 101, opposite Addington Hospital, on the South Beach, just before the beach starts to curve north. But alas,... 

Brexit: end of the beginning

By: Riaan de Lange     14th February 2020 As I gazed across SW15, the postcode of the city famously known as London, at 00:01 GMT on January 31, Brexit – a portmanteau of ‘British’ and ‘exit’ – which signifies the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (EU), had started. That was 1 318 days after the UK had voted for the move. On a... 

1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Latest News

more

Latest Videos

more

RSS Feed

About

Engineering News is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa
Polity

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Engineering News is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Subscribe Now for $119
Free daily email newsletter Register Now
Subscribe Close