Business

The new shock doctrine: ‘Doing Business’ with the World Bank

One of the problems with neoliberal economic policy is that it’s tough to get countries to agree to it; especially democratic ones. It has often required quite extreme measures, such as invasion — the classic example being the US-backed coup against Chile’s democratically elected president — or debt bondage and structural adjustment led by the…

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South Africa at 20: Storms behind the rainbow

April 27 marks the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections. Most of us remember those iconic images of citizens queuing up in long, snaking lines to vote Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) into power. It was an extraordinary moment, replete with hope and pregnant with expectation, enough to supply years’…

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Immigration: Is South Africa keeping out those it needs?

Election time is nearly upon us, which signals a flurry of activity to curry favour. A recent attempt was the hearings on the Immigration Amendment Bill. As a continental leader it is only befitting to want to monitor the comings and goings of people. The Immigration Amendment Bill seeks to tighten up the “porous borders”,…

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Death by sokkie musiek at corporate functions

Yet another award ceremony, yet another corporate weekend away. So, what shall be my mask this time? The history of power in corporate SA still looms large in the boardrooms of present-day South Africa. The black face needs to be masked by fluency in an institutional culture which, it is assumed, is ahistorical. That is,…

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DA march irresponsible

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is continuously letting the democratic project down, and at this rate, the moment could be nearing for an alternative official opposition to replace them. If it is not an epic political fumble like last week’s Agang shenanigan, then it is flip-flopping on sensitive policy issues like the BBEEE blunder some months…

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The real problem with incompetent black graduates

For many, the mercurial politics of corporate South Africa are punctuated by awkwardly silent, contrived spaces of uncomfortable reflection – spaces known as office elevators. Every so often the silence is broken by wide-eyed faces brimming with the heat of new degrees. Ha! It must be February and the new crop for the graduate programme…

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Leave our ‘germs’ alone!

There is a television advertisement aired in South Africa periodically that I find particularly irritating. In it a young mother, baby in arms, walks around her kitchen spraying an aerosol into the air, to a verbal and written promise that the product in question “Kills germs dead!” Besides massacring the English language, the premise that…

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Flipping the corruption myth

Transparency International recently published their latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), laid out in an eye-catching map of the world with the least corrupt nations coded in happy yellow and the most corrupt nations smeared in stigmatising red. The CPI defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit,” and draws its data…

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How money is more important than lives in healthcare technology

I saw via Twitter an interesting link on Reuters here about how students have developed a smartphone application with a microscope attachment to diagnose malaria. The article shows a picture of a child at risk somewhere in Africa. Great idea, and one that can go a long way to help people who really need it….

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Latvia and the politics of permanent austerity

In 2008 Latvia was hit by the economic crisis that saw its economy shrink substantially. In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, Latvia’s GDP slumped by 10.5% compared to the same period in 2007. Prior to the financial crisis, the Latvian economy had been growing rapidly for a number of years. In response to its…

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