Here’s to 2021

December 27, 2020

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A paean to the vanishing wild

December 22, 2020

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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, […]

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Misconceptions & an attack on collective bargaining

December 16, 2020

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(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 […]

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Reflections of a Wayward Boy (12)

December 14, 2020

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Published at: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-12-13-wayward-boy-stumbling-into-exile-on-a-wing-and-a-prayer-from-dominee-du-toit/ 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 […]

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Grim year for labour — and more turbulence ahead

December 13, 2020

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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 […]

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The world is yours — for a price

November 29, 2020

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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 […]

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Arrest, detention & catharsis

November 25, 2020

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Reflections of a Wayward Boy 11 (Also available at: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-11-23-reflections-of-a-wayward-boy-gerald-ludi-and-the-casual-brutality-of-the-security-police/) Anyone who has been arrested in a midnight raid, held in solitary confinement, threatened with dire consequences and interrogated, probably emerges at least slightly unhinged.  Especially when it becomes obvious that a journalist colleague was a police spy.  That certainly applied in my case, but […]

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The virus is not to blame

November 15, 2020

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(First published in City Press and on Fin24) Economic recovery. Economic growth. That is what is now being promoted in the wake of the devastation caused by the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. But what is really required in South Africa is social reconstruction to try to remedy the extraordinary damage done to millions of […]

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