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ZAR Podcast
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ZAR Podcast

Author: Stephen Reardon

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ZAR is a discussion that aims to inform and educate us all about what is really happening in the Republic of South Africa. Every episode will feature a guest that is an expert in their respective fields and I will try to get to the heart of what makes the country tick. Through this all we might just get a better insight into The State of our Nation.
22 Episodes
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I jumped out of retirement to cover the local elections with RW Johnson and discuss the results of the opposition party, the reaction of the ANC and the future of the ANC.
My guest today is RW Johnson.R. W. Johnson is a South African author, journalist and historian. Born in England, he was educated at Natal University and Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar. He was a fellow in politics, philosophy and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford, for twenty-six years. He was formerly director of the Helen Suzman Foundation in Johannesburg.He has published 12 books including Shootdown: The Verdict on KAL 007, South Africa’s Brave New World and his most recent How Long will South Africa Survive which is a follow up to his 1977 book of the same title.His most recent book has captured the public imagination and is being debated both in the press and across dinner tables around the country.
I sat down with John Purchase to talk about the state of the agriculture industry in South Africa. We cover the current crippling drought, El Nino, GMO crops, the state of food security and policy decisions around land reform. Plus – Should we be farming Rhinos!John is currently CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) of South Africa, having been appointed to the position in 2007. Prior to taking up the position with Agbiz, he was the CEO of Grain South Africa. He started his professional career as a scientist in South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC).John was appointed to the Board of the Land & Agricultural Bank of South Africa in July 2012, as well as appointed as Council Member to the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) by the South African Cabinet. John is the current chairman of the CEO Forum, a forum of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in which the CEO’s and MD’s of agribusinesses and organized agriculture meet with the Minister and senior executives of DAFF (government) to address the critical and strategic challenges facing the broader agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries of South Africa.He serves on various Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) committees and NEDLAC task teams with regard to policy and legislation matters impacting on the agro-food industry, such as co-operatives legislation, consumer protection legislation (GM labelling), climate change and carbon tax policy, land reform policy and legislation, spatial planning and land use management legislation and expropriation legislation.Among other awards, he received the 2011 Alumnus of the Year award from the University of the Free State, as well as the 2012 South African Agriculturalist of the Year Award from the South African Agricultural Writers Association. In June 2013 he was also elected to the Board of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association
We also discuss why we aren’t governed like a normal G20 country, why the specific reasons for his sacking don’t really matter, why we have never been serious about fiscal reform, what this means for our sovereign rating and where we go from here. It’s not all doom and gloom however with both guests finding some silver lining in our current plight.
This week I discuss the racial situation in South Africa with Scott Burnett.We discuss the racial inequalities in our country, the problem of White Privilege and an analysis of offence. Plus why some Save the Rhino bumper stickers are racist.Scott has worked for many years for loveLife; a national youth leadership development organisation where he developed a strong interest in social change and youth leadership. In 2003 he was selected as a Clinton Democracy Fellow for his work on citizen service.He holds and honours in English Literature and Philosophy from Rhodes university and a Masters in Philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.He is currently a PhD candidate at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies where his focus area is critical whiteness studies with a specific research into the influence of whiteness on environmental discourse.
This week on ZAR I discuss the state of the nation with Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela.We discuss why we are headed for a crisis if we don’t change course, why the size of the state has increased corruption, why we still have a robust and independent judiciary and why millennials are the hope for the future of the country.Advocate Madonsela is the Public Protector of South Africa, a position she has occupied for over 6 years. The 3Rd Public Protector and first woman to occupy the position, Adv Madonsela was appointed by the President with effect from 15 October 2009 following a unanimous vote by all parties represented in Parliament.Advocate Madonsela is also a Human Rights Lawyer and Equality Expert and is one of the 11 technical experts who helped the Constitutional Assembly draft the final constitution in 1994 and 1995.Since Advocate Madonsela took office, the Public Protector as a constitutional institution has tackled tough questions and has received unprecedented national and international recognition, which has included her being recognized by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2014.
We discuss why private profits equal country growth, why the only thing you get out of communism is brutality and why we should abolish all race based legislation. We also cover why we need less government in our lives and how redress can come from our humanity not our statute books. I spoke to Herman Mashaba just after the ANC’s NGC at his offices in Sandton.Herman Mashaba is a leading South African businessman and the founder of hair care company Black Like Me. Founded in 1985 with a R30,000 loan, Black Like Me has grown to a household name in South Africa. He still serves as a non-executive director of the business.He is currently executive chairperson of Lephatsi Investments, a company he founded a few years ago, operating in the mining, construction and the logistics sectors.He is the recipient of numerous awards including in 2012 the Ernest and Young Lifetime Achievement Award.
My guest this week is Phillip De Wet.Phillip is the deputy editor of the Mail and Guardian. This week we discuss South Africa’s love affair with China, why we still don’t understand China, why the ANC doesn’t buy its own rhetoric but why others do and the future of media relations in SA. It is worth noting we spoke in October just before the ANC’s NGC.Phillip de Wet writes about politics, society, economics, weird stuff, and the areas where all of these collide.
Neil joined me on the line from Cape Town in the midst of the #feesmustfall student campaign. We discuss the future of trade unions, why we need a national minimum wage, how to cultivate a patriotic business sector and why COSATU is the ANC’s most vociferous critic.Neil is Strategies Co-ordinator in the COSATU Secretariat. He has been active in various community organisations, and anti-apartheid formations such as the United Democratic Front, and trade union organisations, in particular the Congress of South African Trade Unions, over the last three and a half decades.Neil has worked for COSATU since 1989 and has co-ordinated several departments in COSATU over this period, including COSATU’s parliamentary office and communications department.His current role involves giving strategic advice to the COSATU Secretariat, as well as coordinating various teams of experts for the federation, including working with the country’s top progressive economists.Since January 2015 he has been tasked with leading the delegation of three Labour Federations (COSATU, Nactu and Fedusa) in negotiations on the introduction of a National Minimum Wage in South Africa, through the Wage Inequality Task Team of Nedlac.
This week I interview Solidarity Chairman Flip Buys. We discuss Afrikaner autonomy, the pursuit of benevolent neglect, the need for community engagement and the benefits of the free market. Oh and also my quote of the year “you can’t out promise a socialist”.Flip obtained a degree in Communication Studies, from the Potchefstroom University in 1988. In 1992 he obtained an honours degree in Labour Relations from the Rand Afrikaans University. He also attended courses in political economics at the University of the Witwatersrand and project management at the NWU.Flip Buys previously served as council member and member of the executive committee of the North-West University for seven years. During this period he gained significant experience of the university setup and the activities of the university council.Flip is executive chairperson of the Solidarity Movement, which consists of a “family” of 18 organisations and represents approximately 270 000 families. The Solidarity Movement considers itself a modern Helpmekaar movement that consists of Afrikaans community organisations. It is a federation of Afrikaans employee, social, language, culture, civil rights, media, and training institutions who believe that a community should take responsibility for itself instead of depending solely on the government or passively awaiting the future.
My guest today is Chris Yelland.This week we discuss the woes at Eskom, whether we will experience a national blackout, the future of renewable energy and why Eskom might be unmanageable in it’s current form; plus POWER SHIPS!Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Natal and he is currently the managing director of EE Publishers , the publisher of EngineerIT, Energize, Vector and PositionIT magazines.
This week on ZAR returning guest and economist Russell Lamberti discusses the woes of the Rand, the threat of Junk bond status and why South Africa needs to build a better boat.
My guest today is Andile Mngxitama.Andile is a leading Black Consciousness thinker, organizer and activist, He holds an MA in sociology from the University of Witwatersrand.Andile is a former member of parliament for the Economic Freedom Fighters. He also served as their commissar for land and agrarian revolution. He publishes a pamphlet series called New Frank Talk and is also a columnist for the Sowetan and City Press newspapers.Andile is an associate of the Sankara Policy and Political School and founding member of the Black First Land First movement.In this week’s show we cover Andile’s view on land policy – why all South African land is stolen property – and his views on racial redress and inequality.
Tony Leon is the Executive Chairman of Resolve Communications (Pty) Ltd, a South African consultancy specialising in strategic communication, reputational management and issues’ advocacy. He is also a noted author, columnist and speaker.For nearly twenty years Tony Leon has been a Member of Parliament in South Africa, and for thirteen years he led the Democratic Alliance and its predecessor. He is the longest serving Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, since the advent of democracy in April 1994. He led and grew his party from its marginal position on the brink of political extinction into the second largest political force in South Africa.A trained lawyer, Tony Leon actively participated in the critical constitutional negotiations which led to the birth of a democratic South Africa and served as a co-chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly’s Theme Committee on Fundamental Rights.He was appointed by President Jacob Zuma as the South African Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay in August 2009. Since returning from his three year post in Buenos Aires in September 2012, Tony Leon has been thinking, writing, speaking and about matters in South Africa and the world. He consults to businesses both locally and abroad and has a special interest in risk consulting on Africa and South America and on navigating the intricacies of the booming markets of South America.We discuss the current state of liberalism in South Africa, why Jacob Zuma is an incompetent executive and the incoherent nature of South African foreign policy.
My guest on this week’s podcast is Michael Harris. Michael is an independent political strategist. He is also a partner at Vsolution management consultancy,Michael trained at leading geopolitical consultancy Stratfor in the United States and has been published on a number of topics ranging from local election forecasts to African geopolitics.This week we dive into the South African political landscape. We cover the ANC succession, the future of the DA, the COSATU split, the future landscape of Municipal politics and the political forecast of SA’s future.
Sizwe Nxedlana is the chief economist at FNB.Prior to this role, Sizwe held the role of senior economist at FNB Wealth and was a member of the investment and asset allocation committees.He joined FNB in 2008 and was responsible for the analysis of South African and global economic trends and global markets, initially servicing the FNB Commercial and more recently the FNB Wealth segment.Sizwe holds a Master of Commerce in Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.He completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Cape Town and prior to FNB, Sizwe worked at Kagiso Trust Investments and Standard Bank, as a property economist.
Russell Lamberti is the head strategist at ETM Analytics.Russell has been involved in high-level consulting projects for government and the private sector ranging from feasibility studies to market impact assessments, and now consults full time to the fund management industry where he oversees a team providing research and strategic macro insights to portfolio managers for use in their asset allocation process. He has a passion for economics and financial markets and for individual liberty and economic freedom. His stated goal is see the return of sound, just money, the wholesale reform of our broken financial system, and the diminution of centralised and coercive state power.Russell is the co-author (with Phillip Haslam) of When Money Destroys Nations: How Hyperinflation Ruined Zimbabwe, How Ordinary People Survived, and Warnings for Nations that Print Money Which is available in paperback and electronic editions at Amazon and Takelot.
The guest this week is…. Me, Stephen Reardon. This week's show is guest hosted by Russell Lamberti and we discuss a wide range of topics from liberalism, the student movement, my most surprising guests, what I've learnt about South Africa and the story of ZAR podcast. Stephen is a business executive who has worked in a wide range of businesses and industries. He has always had a keen interest in politics and social issues and most recently founded, produced and hosted the podcast ZAR. ZAR podcast has grown into a 20 part series that has featured prominent guests such as the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Tony Leon, RW Johnson, Zizi Kowda and many other prominent South African commentators.
My guest today is DA national spokesperson Refiloe Ntsekhe. We discuss the state of the Democratic Alliance, race based legislation, racism, DKB, local elections and economic policy. Refiloe has a degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Cape Town, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing. During her years at UCT, she was a national executive member of the South African Liberal Students Association in the 1990s and joined the DA in 2001.After qualifying at university she held a range of marketing positions in various corporations including: The Foschini Group, Capespan, SAA, ABSA and SABC.She was appointed in 2009 as the DA’s National Director of the LEAD programme which increased communication with voters in traditional ANC support areas. She left this position when she became the councillor for Ward 24 in Ekurhuleni in 2011.In 2012, while still a councillor, she was appointed as the DA’s Gauteng provincial spokesperson. After the May 2014, she was elected as a Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and is currently the Shadow MEC for Social Development and a member of the Health Portfolio. She is also the DA Political Head for Kempton Park and Tembisa.On the 10th of May 2015 she was elected one of the three Deputy Federal Chairpersons for the DA.
My guest today is Professor Adam Habib. We spoke from his office in Johannesburg. Our discussion covers the recent student protests, racism in our culture and on our campuses, #feesmustfall and higher education funding. WARNING: There is some explicit language in this interview. Professor Adam Habib is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, and has served in this position as from the 1st of June 2013.He is an academic, an activist, an administrator, and a renowned political media commentator and columnist.A Professor of Political Science, Habib has more than 30 years of academic, research, institutional and administration expertise. His experience spans five universities and multiple local and international institutions, boards and task teamsProfessor Habib holds qualifications in Political Science from three universities including the University of Natal and Wits. He earned his masters and doctoral qualifications from the Graduate School of the City University of New York.
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