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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Ray Hartley Considers Whether South Africa Has Progressed Over the Past Twenty Years

How to Fix South AfricaIn 1993 Decision Surveys International released the results of a survey about South African’s attitudes to democracy. Twenty years later Ray Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa, looks back on those results in a column for Business Day and considers “whether South Africa has progressed over the past 20 years”.

Almost exactly 20 years ago, in November 1993, the results of a survey of South African attitudes to democracy was released.

Conducted by Decision Surveys International, the survey found, unsurprisingly, that 73% of black South Africans believed their lives would improve following the first democratic election set for April the following year.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
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Ray Hartley Examines South Africa’s Lack of Action Against Terrorism

How to Fix South Africa“Because of the way in which South Africa has positioned its foreign policy, it finds itself unwilling to be seen to be pursuing a US agenda, in this case, what the US calls its “war on terror’”, writes Ray Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa, in Rhodes University‘s Perspective.

Following the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall, Hartley examines South Africa’s lack of action against terrorism, finding that “the only people smiling are the members of al-Shabab wandering around the malls of South Africa with impunity, their South African passports in their pockets.”

South Africa has not been a victim of organised terrorism since a spate of pipe bombings, believed to be the work of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs, hit Cape Town in 1998, fizzling out as a number of the vigilante group’s operators were arrested and jailed by 2002.

It is easy to forget the most traumatic incident, the pipe bombing of the Planet Hollywood restaurant at the Waterfront, which resulted in two deaths and numerous injuries. Until then, it had seemed South Africa’s tolerant multicultural democracy had immunised it against this sort of extremist attack.

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  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Ray Hartley Looks at the Impact of Strikes on the Automotive Industry

How to Fix South AfricaRay Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs, has written a column for Business Day on the impact of strikes in the automotive industry.

Hartley writes that “over the past eight weeks, everything has changed. Strikes in August and last month have shown just how fragile a position car makers occupy in the local manufacturing landscape”.

The white BMW 3 Series parked at the end of the production line of the Rosslyn factory looks ordinary enough, but for its raised suspension. It has the “X-Drive” powertrain, which makes it all-wheel-drive.

“It’s going to Canada — ice and snow,” says BMW ’s communications GM, Guy Kilfoil.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Video: Ann Bernstein Discusses Poverty and Inequality on South2North

How to Fix South AfricaAnn Bernstein, executive director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise and contributor to How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs, was on Redi Tlhabi’s Al Jazeera show, South2North, discussing “Why capitalism needs poverty”.

Bernstein commented that “The gains of economic growth are increasingly going to those people who have education and the means to exploit the entrepreneurial opportunities. You’re going to get growing inequality in a growing society.”

Watch the video:

We live in a world where extreme poverty is slowly being eradicated while wealth inequality increases.

This week on South2North Redi Tlhabi asks if we will see the end of extreme poverty in our lifetime.

She is joined by Ann Bernstein, the executive director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise; Goolam Ballim, chief economist of the Standard Bank Group; and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, the author of What If Latin America Ruled The World?

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  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
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Ray Hartley Discusses the Arms Deal and Marikana Commissions

How to Fix South Africa“Unknown persons, unknown criteria and unexplained reasons are hardly a foundation on which to construct the truth”, writes Ray Hartley about the resignations and rumours of misconduct surrounding the arms deal commission.

Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa, has written a column for Business Day on the arms deal commission and the Marikana commission of inquiry, saying that “To deal with breaches of the public trust on this scale, you need more than a simple police investigation.”

The Arms Procurement Commission has a logo. It consists of a laurel wreath composed in part of crossed sabres and fighter jets. In the centre is a shield on which are depicted a tank, a bullet and a swooping distorted triangle, which may be an avant-garde “A”. If it were not the logo of a commission of inquiry, it would serve well as the shoulder patch of an elite Special Forces unit. Beneath the logo stands its motto: “Transparency, Accountability and the Rule of Law”. The logo and motto were proudly on display at the commission’s first session in the Sammy Marks conference centre in downtown Pretoria on Monday, a session that fizzled into a two-week postponement.

Fifteen minutes or so down the road at the Lyttelton municipal offices in Centurion is the new home of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. It also has a logo, consisting of what appears to be a flower opening to reveal the rising sun with the word “Marikana” bent over the top of it. And it, too, has a motto: “Truth, Restoration and Justice”.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Ray Hartley Discusses the Comparisons Between Current Day South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1999

How to Fix South AfricaRay Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa, has co-written an article for Business Day with Greg Mills on the comparisons made between Zimbabwe in 1999 and current day South Africa. They ask whether it would “have been possible for Zimbabweans to have arrested that country’s decline from a happy facade of democracy to the harsh reality of authoritarianism?”

Discussing Zimbabwe’s political history Hartley and Mills conclude that “The answer to the Zimbabwe question circa 1999 as South Africa’s today, must lie in robust political competition.”

It’s like Zimbabwe in 1999. That is one of many offhand remarks about the state of South Africa that are uttered without a second thought these days. It is easy to dismiss this sort of comparison by pointing to South Africa’s free and fair elections and the valiant work of some independent institutions, such as the public protector.

But there are aspects of this comparison that are alarming. For one thing, South Africa’s criminal justice system has lost its ability to ruthlessly prosecute crimes by members of the political elite. For another, the economy is being distorted by corruption and aggrandisement, along with a lack of economic opportunities free from political favours. It is plain the ruling party is unwilling to take the tough choices needed to make a sustainable high-growth, job-rich path a reality.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
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Ray Hartley Looks at Criticism of the ANC Coming from Its Own Party Leaders and Struggle Stalwarts

How to Fix South AfricaRay Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa, has written a column for Business Day about the recent comments made by ANC struggle stalwarts criticising the ruling party. Hartley looks at the comments made by Gill Marcus, Trevor Manuel and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

The critics have spoken and the African National Congress (ANC) is on a slide, rudderless, drifting away from the people, and riven by factionalism. By the critics, I mean the party’s senior leaders, of course. In this winter of discontent, Helen Zille can’t get a word in edgeways.

The first frost arrived in June when Gill Marcus, a stalwart of the exile struggle who is now governor of the Reserve Bank, decided to speak her mind.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Duma Gqubule Comments on the Targets for BEE Compliance in the Financial Sector

Making Mistakes Righting WrongsDuma Gqubule has been quoted in an article by Banele Ginindza for Business Report on BEE compliance and targets in the financial sector.

Gqubule, author of Making Mistakes Righting Wrongs: Insights into Black Economic Empowerment, commented that “the targets for BEE compliance of banks and the majority of JSE-listed firms were pitifully low by virtue of their market capitalisation, which made them redundant to empower black entities in acquiring ownership stakes in established industries.”

Reserve Bank regulations requiring shareholders to have the capacity to bail out banks in the event of a run on their liquid assets are major hurdles barring black economic empowerment (BEE) entities from acquiring significant stakes because they are historically disadvantaged in capital markets.

While the financial services sector charter launched yesterday enables BEE firms to acquire an ownership stake of more than 10 percent, it is lessons learnt from the European financial crisis that require shareholders to have sufficient funds to help the banks in case of a run on them.

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Ray Hartley Looks at the Unemployment Rate in the Mining Sector Following Marikana

How to Fix South AfricaThe “chickens of Marikana have come home to roost”, writes Ray Hartley, editor of How to Fix South Africa, in a column for Business Day about South Africa’s bleak unemployment statistics.

Looking at the numbers released by Statistics SA, Hartley writes that “20,000 workers have quietly vanished from the books following the country’s worst mining tragedy”:

The employment statistics for the quarter ending March are out. The big numbers are unremarkable. They show that South Africa remains one of the worst places to be if you are young and keen to work.

In the dry language of Statistics SA (Stats SA), “the number of people employed in the formal nonagricultural sector of the economy increased by about 7,000 persons (+0,1%) from December last year (an estimated 8,456,000 employees) to March 2013 (an estimated 8,463,000 employees).”

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article

Ray Hartley Disagrees with Public Opinion on President Zuma’s Speech on the Economy

How to Fix South AfricaRay Hartley has written about the public opinion of President Jacob Zuma’s speech about “a series of initiatives to restore the confidence of investors in the country’s economy”.

As the rand weakened after Zuma’s speech the public opinion was that he had made things worse, but Hartley disagrees, saying that “If there is a more effective way of dealing with the problem than assigning his deputy and his finance minister to try to bridge the gap between labour and mine owners? I cannot see it.”

Read Hartley’s article on Business Day:

On Thursday last week, President Jacob Zuma convened a briefing to announce a series of initiatives to restore the confidence of investors in the country’s economy. His intention was simple: he wanted to send a strong signal that the state took the issues bedevilling the mining industry seriously and that it had a plan.

After pointing out that it was a “cornerstone” of the economy, he reeled off the statistics. Mining accounted for 6% of gross domestic product — 18% “if one includes links from other sectors”. The sector generated 60% of the country’s export revenues and was a “valuable contributor” to corporate taxes. It provided jobs for a million people.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article