Kragdadigheid. That is the word that was routinely used during the Apartheid era, to describe the actions of the regime in response to the struggle for freedom, the struggle for democracy. The response was characterised by an executive that routinely employed state power to prop up the edifice of apartheid.
By Norman McFarlane 18 February 2015 Read Article
A South African literary giant and anti-apartheid activist has fallen. André P Brink died on Friday night on a KLM flight from Europe, where he had accepted an honorary doctorate in literature from the UCL Louvain-La-Neuve University in Belgium. His wife Karina Szczurek was at his side when he died. When the news broke of his untimely death (he was 79), social media channels burned bright as tributes poured in from all over the world, reflecting on his prowess as an intellectual, academic, poet, author and activist – who singlehandedly turned frikaans literature on its head.
By Norman McFarlane 11 February 2015 Read Article
On May 12, 2008, riots broke out in Alexandra Township. Mozambican, Zimbabwean and Malawian nationals were targeted. Two people were killed and 40 injured that day. It spread from there in the ensuing weeks, to other Gauteng settlements, and to Durban, Cape Town and parts of the Southern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West and Free State provinces.
By Norman McFarlane 28 January 2015 Read Article
Listening to minister in the presidency Jeff Rad-ebe unctuously assuring the media that our troubles with Eskom are under control, makes me hear echoes of the opening lines of that hilarious, albeit offensive, Australian comedian, Kevin “Bloody” Wilson’s ode to Christmas: “Ho, ho, bloody ho, what a crock of s**t!” Are we really expected to believe that? All those portentous utterances about setting up a “war room” to deal with the current electricity crisis, the glib assurances that fuel will be available for Eskom’s hungry gas turbines, that we will import gas as a substitute for this very same diesel, that we’ll harness a further 1 000 megawatts from co-generation agreements from the paper, pulp and sugar industries.
By Norman McFarlane 17 December 2014 Read Article
You may have noticed that the petrol price dropp-ed by 69c a litre last Tuesday. If you’re a cynic, chances are you’ll be inclined to interpret this as ANC government largesse in the lead-up to the festive season, during which many people will be buying a great deal of petrol as they head off on their annual holidays. And you’d be wrong. Aside from abandoning the many excises and levies which form part of the petrol price we pay, or reducing the retailer margin (which would inevitably result in petrol attendants being paid less than the already parsimonious wage they earn), government has remarkably little wiggle room when it comes to managing the petrol price.
By Norman McFarlane 10 December 2014 Read Article
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