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Gutting our mining industry

Lifestyle Section - Opinion

  Let’s take a look at some facts. We have an unemployment rate of around 24%, closer to 30% if you include those who have stopped seeking work, which our unemployment statistics ignore. The mining sector has traditionally been a significant employer – 500 000 directly and 500 000 indirectly – both before and after democracy arrived.  The very nature of mining dictates that it requires substantial capital investment, and the investment-return cycle is protracted, which means the investment environment must offer security and stability to potential investors. 

By Norman McFarlane 19 March 2014 Read Article


Vladimir Putin’s ‘charge of the light brigade’

Lifestyle Section - Opinion


“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.” With these chilling words, begins what is arguably Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s most well-known work, telling the tale of futile valour that became a legend...

By Norman McFarlane 12 March 2014 Read Article

And you thought Big Brother was bad…

Lifestyle Section - Opinion

  There was a time when reality TV was the latest and best thing to watch.  Even I watched a few episodes of the very first Big Brother when it flighted here in South Africa, but I soon saw it for what it was: the nexus of voyeurs and narcissists. Since then, of course, the genre has grown to swamp our TV channels, and it must be popular, or why else would it have become ubiquitous? Is it because it lends excitement to otherwise dull lives?

By Norman McFarlane 05 March 2014 Read Article

Zuma and his Dark Lord of the Sith

Lifestyle Section - Opinion

  Darth Vader (Dark Lord of the Sith) steps out of his shuttle on the Death Star in an early scene in Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi: Moff Jerjerrod (Commander of the Death Star): Lord Vader. This is an unexpected pleasure. We are honoured by your presence. Darth Vader: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I am here to put you back on schedule. Jerjerrod: I assure you, Lord Vader, my men are working as fast they can.  Vader: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.

By Norman McFarlane 26 February 2014 Read Article

All a big storm in an election tea cup

Lifestyle Section - Opinion

  Those who seek cheap publicity must know that the President is more committed to the people of South Africa, to all parties and stands by his actions and decisions and will not be changed from his decisions by people who seek cheap publicity.  Yes, it is confusing, terribly so, but when you realise from whom it was forthcoming, you’ll understand why it is so.

By Norman McFarlane 19 February 2014 Read Article

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