Zimbabwe: Destruction of its Timber Plantations

This is a timely reminder of one of the consequences of the ill-considered land invasion policy of the ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe. It was recently revealed by the Finance Minister of Zimbabwe. 

Will the likes of Julius Malema and the EFF take cognaissance of this open admission of this policy’s devastating consequences? 

 Main picture: Timber plantations in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe  Continue reading

The Future is E-Government

Maybe governments employ computers to process and record transactions and store data but by a large measure, the mindset is still 19th century. At best, their current practices are still in the mid 20th century mode. What will it take to bring it in line with Best Practice?

 Pictures: All of them are photographs of Port Elizabeth 100 years ago. The main picture was taken outside the Edward Hotel in Belmont Terrace

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Did Man domesticate Plants or Vice Versa?

 Before the advent of the domestication of plants, man led a carefree existence. They roamed in groups from location to location in search of food. If food was readily available in an area, they might settle for a while but, being itinerants, they carried little. Furthermore, they sought shelter rather than built shelter. 

What happened when they elected to settle permanently in an area and to domesticate plants and animals? Will another orthodoxy be overthrown in this debate? 

Main picture: The false idyll of domestication

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Can Medium Size Countries still afford Main Battle Tanks?

Given the fact that a modern Main Battle Tank such as the basic Abrams M1A2 now costs $10 million [R 150m], even a modest fleet of 300 tanks would today be prohibitively expensive at a cost of R 44 billion. 

If so, how can any self respecting nation with a pretence of having an army still afford them?

If not, what is the alternative?

Main picture:  Stridsvagn 103

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What form will Zuma’s comeback in 2017 take?

Bereft of options, the guilty are at their most disingenuous, duplicitous and mendacious. Even the guile card is now useless. If they are in a supreme position of power, they are especially dangerous as they can abuse their authority and the levers of powers. 

It is instructive to recall that Zuma’s 2016 was an unmitigated disaster. From losing his case in the Constitutional Court to the ANC losing control in three Metros after the local government elections, Zuma has been on the defensive. Then came the most galling of all: an attempted vote of no confidence in his leadership within the NEC. 

As he surely will, what will the wounded Zuma do as a counter strike in 2017?

 

 Main picture: South African president Jacob Zuma (2nd R), the man with nine lives, poses for photographs with an assortment of his wives:  Sizakele Khumalo (R), Nompumelo Ntuli (L), and Thobeka Mabhija (2-L) after the State of The Nation address in Parliament, in Cape Town, on June 03, 2009. The rest were indisposed.

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Graph to Explain Brexit & the Appeal of Trump

On my list of future blogs was this topic except that I never had a convenient succinct coathanger on which to hang it. That is, until this morning when I serendipitously discovered a blog on a little known backroom economist called Branko Milanović. 

First, there was Thomas Piketty, the rock star economist. Now, in the mould of the dismal scientist, comes Milanović, rescuing economics from irrelevance.  

Main picture:  Branko Milanović

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SABC Chairman: Is he a Charlatan or an Alternative Reality?

Being retired, I had time on my hands to watch the Parliamentary enquiry into the SABC. Frankly, it was more riveting than many of the dramas on SABC, except that this reality TV show revealed current South Africa writ large. 

Apart from Minister Faith Muthambi’s deft blame shifting, the most interesting for me was a floundering Chairman of SABC, Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe clearly out of his depth.  An articulate Grade 10 pupil – sorry learner – would have trounced his Varsity Professor with ease. 

Main picture: Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe 

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