Patrick Bond

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Supporters of austerity are happy because South Africa’s junk rating is a good stick with which to whip President Zuma. But his immediate concern is survival, not the economy. Could the current crisis generate a long-overdue era of redistribution, racial justice and radical economic transformation? This was the promise of new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba last Saturday, April Fool’s Day.

AP

Will the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) bloc ever really challenge the world financial order? The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) leadership is meeting in New Delhi from 31 March to 2 April with a degree of fanfare unmatched by accomplishments. It is a good moment to assess progress since the BRICS Summit in 2013 when rumour had it that the then host city of Durban would a...read more

Drum

South Africa’s two main warring political blocs – the forces of Fiscal Patronage (‘Zuptas!’ in local parlance, referring to the immigrant Gupta family’s curious influence over the president’s family and government) versus the forces of Fiscal Prudence (‘Treasury neoliberals!’ to critics) – are still represented by two men who have begun to stumble on terrain potholed by what a Donald Trump aide read more

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In the US there are already effective Trump boycotts seeking to delegitimise his political agenda. Internationally, protesters will be out wherever he goes. And from Africa, there are sound arguments to play a catalytic role, mainly because the most serious threat to humanity and environment is Trump’s climate change denialism.

Reuters

It is a great period to be a revolutionary activist in Africa. Yet the sense of stop-start progress and regress in so many sites of struggle reflects in part how poorly the working-class, poor, progressive middle class, social movements and other democrats have made alliances. The African uprising against neoliberalism hasn’t yet generated a firm ideology. In this case the best strategy would be a critical yet non-dogmatic engagment with the various emerging forces on the left.

Relations among the BRICS member states could destabilise to breaking point this year. While the Brasilia, Moscow and New Delhi regimes are shifting towards Washington, Pretoria and Beijing continue spouting well-worn anti-imperialist rhetoric, just as Donald Trump and his unhappy mix of populists, paleo-conservatives, neo-conservatives and neo-liberals take power on January 20.

Punch NG

Major investors were hoping Zuma would fall, but the ruling ANC turned to well-tested strategies to yet again protect him. And although credit rating agencies had offered pessimistic commentary on Zuma’s reign in their most recent statements, they did not downgrade South Africa to junk status. But the whip remains poised above the country’s head, awaiting next June’s ratings.

RT

Donald Trump’s ascension to the US Presidency has stunned many across the globe due to his strange views and prejudices. The Conversation Africa business and economy editor Sibonelo Radebe asked Professor Patrick Bond to unpack implications for Africa.

President Zuma has suffered two major legal defeats: a fumbled state attack on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan which was humiliatingly withdrawn by an incompetent prosecutor following a national outcry, and the release of the Public Protector’s report on the Zuma family’s corrupt relationships. Will enough pressures from below be mobilised to generate non-violent regim...read more

BRICS

As the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet this weekend for a summit in India, one consistency is observable from all the BRICS elites: A stream of anti-imperialist chatter even when the intent is to assimilate into imperialism. The BRICS’ real agenda is sub-imperialism: five countries’ feet joining those of the US and EU, firmly astride the throats of the world’s poorest people.

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