Business

Dear government, you’ve let things slide too far

My previous letter to you seemed to strike a chord with some of my fellow South Africans, hence this letter to you. Once more, I will use a point form approach. 1. We need decisive leadership. That does not mean holding a press conference. Apart from making you out to be perennial underachievers, they bear…

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Labour-intensive growth strategies key to reduce unemployment

It is generally accepted that unemployment at current levels of about 25% (using the narrow rate) is the most critical and pressing of our socio-economic challenges as it directly impacts how successfully we can reduce poverty and inequality. The problem assumes crisis proportions if we consider that the broader unemployment rate sits at about 43%…

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The delusion at the heart of the sustainable development goals

This is a big year for the development industry. In September, the world’s heads of state will gather in New York City to decide on the new sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will replace the millennium development goals as they expire. This process might sound mundane and wonky to people who don’t follow the development…

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Africa’s China dream hangs in the balance

Voices coming out of Africa and China’s state departments describe relations between the two as based on mutual interest, cooperation, equality and respect. Two-way high volumes of trade, investments, development aid, infrastructure and resource deals are cited as evidence of this win-win relationship. But Afro-Sino engagement has many narratives and deep introspection reveals power, cultural…

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SA needs low-wage, labour-intensive growth strategy to boost economy

Faced with an economy that has been in decline for more than a decade and given the slowing demand from our trading partners, the State of the Nation address should have pointed in an emphatic way, to a radical and fundamental policy shift in strategies that are aimed at economic regeneration and the way we…

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South Africa in the age of austerity

While the battle against austerity in Europe has entered a decisive phase — with the election of the radical-left Syriza in Greece — the term is seldom heard with reference to South Africa. Despite this, and the global discrediting of austerity, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s recent budget can only be described as austere. Austerity refers…

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No Christmas box for my fellow countrymen

I was out doing my irregular early morning jog when I was stopped by a lean and hungry-looking man. My street-wise eyes screened him up and down as he walked in my opposite direction. The distance between us closed and in no time we were face to face. What I picked up was the shabby…

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Towards a better development agenda for the global south

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. They were adopted in September 2000 through the Millennium Declaration at the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly, convened as the Millennium Assembly. The MDGs, understood to be a global development agenda, focused on poverty reduction, access to education, gender parity, healthcare access, sustainable development…

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Is there a good story to tell out there?

In recent weeks there has been a consistent stream of cautionary advice coming from leading economists and analysts warning us that our economic situation is so dire there is a danger that our ability to continue to provide social services at the current levels will be seriously constrained and may certainly lead to rolling social…

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The tripartite alliance was not designed to govern

Alliances are usually structured by different organisations that are motivated by a common purpose to achieve a shared objective. For such an arrangement to be sustainable, it must also be mutually re-enforcing in order to serve their different interests. It was therefore logical for the labour movement to collaborate with the ANC for the purpose…

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