Friday, 11 September 2015


The amplitude of the swings in share prices has declined substantially and levels on average are about where they were at the start of the year. Interestingly the latest crop of company results has contained some quite good news and there has even been deal-making in the ruins of the mining industry. It’s unlikely however, that the bear has finished his work and the majority of valuations are near historical highs. The temptation to buy shares at last year’s prices is strong but perhaps even lower levels are still coming.
Minister Red Rob Davies thought the nation deserved to hear his ideas about the nine-point plan to reignite the economy. All this hot air about moving up the value chain and assurances that the government thinks that the nation is facing a challenge is tedious and alarming in its naivety. Forget the ratings and surveys and indicators and all the stuff that the hand-waving grave-faced talking heads use to warn us that the end is nigh. That plunging rand is telling us all we need to know; which is that no one at all is very keen on SA at the moment. Not even tourists are coming.  Even the ideologically blind can’t fail to read this crystal clear message. What our “leaders” have been doing for us these past few years is definitely not working. It is urgent that they stop allocating the nation’s resources to places where the market would not place them. That’s assuming of course that we have those resources in the first place. How many teachers of Mandarin are there in the country?
A further illustration of this unrelenting micro management is the complicated algorithm for determining how much a City Manager should be paid. The appalling Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has declared that the top man in one of the nation's bigger cities could be pulling down R275 000 a month. Ratepayers and their elected councillors appear to be out of the loop on this one.  And the lucky incumbent does not even have to write his own annual reports. And neither do his staff. A very surprising call for tenders reveals that the tough job of boasting about one’s accomplishments is outsourced to a successful bidder. So what actually do all these civil servants do all day? As the adage goes, they may not look out of the window in the morning because then there would then be nothing to do in the afternoon.
It’s all very exciting finding yet another Hominim species in South Africa.  Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was obviously pleased to have been sent on a job that for once didn’t involve meeting angry people, was even moved to press a welcoming kiss on Homo Naledi’s missing lips.. Since these little guys were undeniably here before any of us, can we expect a land claim on their behalf soon?
Regrettably but unsurprisingly, it seems that we have been lied to once again about the national sports teams. When it was noted the ‘boks RWC jersey would have the  Springbok on the sleeve and not the breast, the story was that it was a RWC rule so as not to clash with the sponsor’s logos. But now looking at the All Blacks strip, that excuse seems to be hogwash. The new cricketing formats mean that three Proteas squads have to be selected for the tour to India and it looks suspiciously as if the racists have been whispering in Linda Zondi's (Convener of Selectors - didn't you know?) ear. And over in the Bafana Bafana soccer camp it is blindingly obvious that something is seriously awry when we lose 1-3 to a country one tenth our size.
James Greener
14th Anniversary of 9/11