30 June 2009

africa inc.

the last couple of days have been rather full news days. that said, i'll only write about a few quick things and then get back to the deadline that i have for tomorrow morning [new york time]. 

as many of you know, south africa competes with colombia, venezuela and brazil for having the world's highest gini coefficient. unlike the latin american countries [even brazil], there is a bona fide government policy to try to address the situation. [one would say this exists also in brazil, but the little political will to advance it that has existed for the last decade or so will disappear when lula is no longer president.] the short version is called BEE, for black economic empowerment. it's official name is BBBEE, with the first two Bs standing for "broad-based", but in actuality, this is not the case. 

tonite on sabc, a new show started that addresses the implementation [or lack thereof] of BEE onto the broader economy. it's called africa inc -- and my first question is how did they manage not to step on anyone's toes wrt the name of the show. it's not the first hit on google, and there are several companies with that very name. hm. 

the hosts of the show are nikiwe bikitsha and siki mgadebeli, two people who used to be newsreaders on the sabc itself, but left for cnbc. there were rumors that they were sacked due to being anti-anc, or at the very least, not "anc enough", but they can answer that, if they so desire, as i've written the show and invited them to my blog. well, this one anyway. 

on today's show they talked about implementation of BEE. their two interviewees were blade nzimande, chairman of the communist party and current minister for higher education, and saki macozoma, a wabenzi who has his fingers a lot of things, was formerly part of the mbeki anc, and left to join the most recent splinter party, congress of the people, also known as cope. 

saki was talking the boring anc mess. he had a few bright spots, but nothing out of range from the mbeki buddies. blade on the other hand, well, sounded like trevor manuel a few weeks ago when he said that "apartheid killed entrepreneurship". in fact, blade sounded so much like a typical classical liberal that i think that he may actually understand that in order to have a communist society, everyone needs to be working at a certain level, and south africa is not there yet. it was quite impressive. 

i wrote to the show afterwards, telling them how i felt about it, and invited them to peep my pages. if for no other reason, i guess i will be posting at least once a week, for the rest of the year, probably after i've seen their show. 

i'm going to close my eyes for a wee bit, and then i'm going to type this 80 minutes that's due at noon tomorrow. 

watch this space.

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