Browsing Archives of Author »Terry Bell«

Into exile — by jet to London

January 19, 2021


(Available on Daily Maverick at, following further arrests in South Africa in 1965, I decided to go into exile, I had no intention of going any further than Zambia or Tanzania. Naïvely, I saw myself joining the ANC army in exile and returning within five years as apartheid crumbled. Instead, I was ordered out […]

A season of discontent looms

January 19, 2021


(First published on the Fin24 website) With justification, government ministers continue to praise nurses and other “frontline workers” fighting the battle against Covid-19.  Yet, at the same time, they refuse to pay a wage rise agreed three years ago with unions representing these same workers and others in the health, education and other sectors. In […]

Here’s to 2021

December 27, 2020


A paean to the vanishing wild

December 22, 2020


To the Edges of Earth — A Journey into Wild Land by Peter Pickford (Bookstorm, 421 pages) (First published on News24, South Africa)Of the many books I have reviewed over decades, this is one of the few that stands out as an instant classic, a book that seems certain to be read — and often, […]

Misconceptions & an attack on collective bargaining

December 16, 2020


(First published on Fin24) A common misconception, encouraged by media reports and rating agency comments, is that South Africa’s civil service is bloated and has continued to grow while the private sector has shed jobs. But official figures reveal that there are now 32,077 fewer employees on the government payroll than there were seven years […]

Reflections of a Wayward Boy (12)

December 14, 2020


Published at: Despite my nervousness, getting into exile over Easter of April, 1965, turned out to be remarkably easy. Less than a week after disappearing from Johannesburg, I was in Salisbury (Harare) in what was then Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). But I was broke and needed a job. Then, within weeks, aided by blind luck […]

Grim year for labour — and more turbulence ahead

December 13, 2020


Much was made this week of the “stronger-than-forecast rebound” in economic performance in the third quarter of the year, yet it was another case of clutching at straws of optimism. With the easing of lockdown regulations and the return to work of more employees, an improvement was inevitable, but it came off a very low […]

The world is yours — for a price

November 29, 2020


The flight of the self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, in the process forgoing R400,000 in bail money, a Gulf Steam jet aircraft and a R5.5 million mansion, revealed how, with enough money, national borders become insignificant. On the other hand, working people in many regions of the world are being increasingly trapped not […]