Fragmentation of South Africa: Is the ANC succeeding where the NP failed?

Remember, South Africa as a unitary state is a recent experiment and the verdict on its success or failure is still to be determined…” These words by Lawrence Schlemmer, one of the foremost analytical minds in SA during the latter quarter of the 20thC are today far more relevant than when he uttered them in 1996 when we were enjoying a drink whilst waiting at the late Jan Smuts Airport on delayed flights. Having just read Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers I was starkly reminded of Lawrie’s words.

Lawrie Schlemmer

South Africa is unravelling…

I had the privilege of meeting Lawrie when he was a strategy advisor to the Urban Foundation in the years 1987 onwards. His sharp intellect and wit made him an impressive debater. He was totally independent – apart from his utter dependence on nicotine.

Continue reading “Fragmentation of South Africa: Is the ANC succeeding where the NP failed?”

A stand against hierarchical tyranny: Luther’s protest has changed the world

Luther 500A small minority of people will be remembered and known beyond four generations (100 years): mostly by grandchildren and great grandchildren. A significantly smaller number of people will be remembered 100 years after their death for the impact they have had on developments in their countries. The fact that Martin Luther’s protest half a millennium ago against Papal indulgences and Roman Catholic theology and the Emperor was celebrated last week in Germany and most countries with a significant number of Christian believers, testifies to his role in breaking the mould of Medieval society contributing to the dawn of the Modern Era. Continue reading “A stand against hierarchical tyranny: Luther’s protest has changed the world”

The Hammer and Sickle 100 years on… A legacy with larger atrocities than achievements (and lessons for SA)

A starving Ukrainian boy 1933

The focus in South Africa is so much on the State Capture saga and the ANC’s forthcoming elective conference that few realise we commemorate over the next three weeks two of the most significant events that have shaped our world: the Reformation triggered by Luther’s stance against Rome 500 years ago (30 October 1517) and the Bolshevik Revolution of 7 November 1917 (known as the Great October Socialist Revolution). Both had far-reaching implications for society as a whole, also for the world of enterprise. (Luther’s legacy will be assessed in a subsequent contribution.) Continue reading “The Hammer and Sickle 100 years on… A legacy with larger atrocities than achievements (and lessons for SA)”

Enterprise regularities are probably universal

Do the regularities in enterprise dynamics observed for South African towns and municipalities also occur elsewhere? The U.S. Census Bureau has publicly available data records that allow a quick examination of this question. The data records of counties in the USA, entities for which a range of different measures are available, were downloaded. These included the number of establishments and the number of employees per establishment. The first ten counties of the first State in the data record, i.e. Alabama, were used for a quick comparison. Continue reading “Enterprise regularities are probably universal”

Is the promotion of Black Businesses done by the blind?

Government is pursuing numerous strategies to promote black owned businesses, e.g.:

  • The 80 Black Industrialists’ programme;
  • The Gazelles Programme (fast growing small enterprises that should increase their turnover and growth much faster than the market average);
  • The Cooperative Incentive Scheme;
  • Preferential procurement programmes;
  • BBBEE-measures effectively forcing large and medium-sized companies to subcontract to black owned businesses;
  • Sector Charters;
  • Grants and SEFA loans;
  • Land Reform and Restitution;
  • The Free State Provincial Grants Scheme and numerous other provincial initiatives,

and the list goes on and on… Continue reading “Is the promotion of Black Businesses done by the blind?”