ANC 2019 Manifesto – staking out the Middle Ground By Stephen Grootes, 13 January 2019

16 January 2019

While all of that was happening, the ANC released three separate documents. The first was the text of Ramaphosa’s address itself, the same words that he was reading on his iPad. The second was the official January 8th Statement of the ANC’s national executive committee. The third was a glossy election manifesto pamphlet, aimed directly at voters, many photographs of Ramaphosa (no images of Zuma, or, notably, even Deputy President David Mabuza).

SA’s youth jobless rate is the world’s worst by Iavan Pijoos, 08 January 2019

9 January 2019

Education expert Nic Spaull believes a fundamental problem with SA’s education system is that not all students are equipped with the basics in primary school. This comes after the Spectator Index ranked SA’s youth unemployment rate as the highest in the world.

Of the countries it ranked‚ the Spectator Index said the five countries with the highest youth unemployment were SA at 52.8%; followed by Greece (36.8%)‚ Spain (34.9%)‚ Nigeria (33.1%) and Italy (32.5%).

SA’s poor foundation-phase education system has repeatedly been linked to the country’s skills shortage.

Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out by Yanis Varoufakis (The Guardian), 20 April 2018

7 January 2019

For a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, exposing the possibilities with which our current reality is pregnant. It should make us feel hopelessly inadequate for not having recognised these truths ourselves, and it must lift the curtain on the unsettling realisation that we have been acting as petty accomplices, reproducing a dead-end past.

Corporates leave R7bn tax hole in SA by Claire Bisseker (, 20 December 2018

3 January 2019

Two groundbreaking research papers on corporate tax avoidance in SA have found that the authorities have grossly underestimated the scale of unlawful profit shifting out of the country.

It conservatively amounts to R7bn a year in foregone taxes, and some of the largest multinationals are the biggest culprits.

Abiy Ahmed – bringing a touch of Madiba Magic to Ethiopia by Carien Du Plessis (Daily Maverick), 18 December 2018

3 January 2019

In 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed became the youngest head of state in Africa, and one of the most talked-about in the world. In less than nine months, he’s opened up the political space in Ethiopia, changed the geopolitics in the horn of Africa, and is a serious contender for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

How colonial violence came home: the ugly truth of the first world war by Pankaj Mishra (The Guardian), 10 November 2018

10 November 2018

"Today on the Western Front,” the German sociologist Max Weber wrote in September 1917, there “stands a dross of African and Asiatic savages and all the world’s rabble of thieves and lumpens.” Weber was referring to the millions of Indian, African, Arab, Chinese and Vietnamese soldiers and labourers, who were then fighting with British and French forces in Europe, as well as in several ancillary theatres of the first world war.

‘2 Minutes Silence’ is a South African Gift to the Act of Remembrance by Peter Dickens, The Observation Post, Nov 7, 2018

9 November 2018

The featured image above, taken in 1918, is a rare and unique one, it shows South African civilians stopping what they are doing in the middle of Cape Town and standing to attention for two minutes silence, signalled when the noon day gun was fired.

Not common today in Cape Town but a daily occurrence during war years.

So how did this unique practice become a worldwide standard for remembrance?

As Transnet boss Siyabonga Gama fights for his job, a new report reveals why he may have lost it by Ferial Haffajee (Daily Maverick), 30 October 2018

31 October 2018

Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama is fighting for his job in a series of high court actions, but a new report by the Public Affairs Research Institute (Pari) shows that he was in charge of the parastatal at the height of its capture.