Category Archives: Current Affairs

The Missing Piece by Kevin Lings


The Missing Piece is an important contribution to the debate on how best to address the structural problems that have plagued the South African economy. Kevin Lings not only documents the many social and economic achievements of the post-apartheid government, but identifies the key areas in which the country has not performed adequately and suggests some potential solutions.’

– DR SIBUSISO SIBISI, CEO, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

At the time of South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 it was clear that the structure of the economy had to change and that land ownership, employment opportunities and access to essential services had to match more closely the needs of the entire population.

The Missing Piece: Solving South Africa’s Economic Puzzle explores various aspects of the South African economy over the past 20 years – what has worked and what has fallen short. It also looks into the next 20 years to see what needs to be done in order to put together the four pieces of our economy identified by Kevin Lings that will allow us to complete the puzzle and place South Africa on a higher potential growth path. This involves focusing on business development, redressing education policies, improving the use of technology, addressing our infrastructural backlog and developing a closer relationship with the rest of Africa.

The practical policy proposals in The Missing Piece set it apart from other titles on the South African economy, while providing an accessible and comprehensive overview of the pertinent issues.

The Missing Piece – Solving South Africa’s Economic Puzzle


About the Author

Kevin Lings

KEVIN LINGS has been the chief economist at STANLIB for the past 13 years and has analysed the South African economy for the past 25 years. As a core member of the STANLIB investment team, his economic research and assessments directly inform the company’s asset investment strategy. This is his first book.

View Kevin‘s website HERE

Follow Kevin on Twitter @Lingskevin

Published by Pan Macmillan South Africa

ISBN: 9781770103764

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Here Comes the Snake in the Grass by Eric Miyeni


Did Mandela work for nothing?’
‘Mr Sushi comes to town’
‘Give me a corrupt black any day’

These are just some of Eric Miyeni’s newspaper columns and opinion pieces, which have earned him friends and enemies alike. Known for his straight-talking frankness, his views on subjects ranging from politics and travel to big business and sport elicit strong responses.

Here Comes the Snake in the Grass is a selection of Eric Miyeni’s columns and occasional writings covering a variety of topics, from Julius Malema, Oprah Winfrey and Brenda Fassie to the value of radio, the true cost of crime, the need for excellence in South Africa and the difficulty of finding love in the modern world. Some of the writings in this collection court controversy, addressing issues many want hidden from view; others provide glimpses of the writer’s softer side. All show why Eric Miyeni’s is an unmistakeable voice in the South African media.

Alternately hard-hitting and personal, rousing and funny, Here Comes the Snake in the Grass is an entertaining and informative look at the South African cultural landscape.

About the Author


Eric Miyeni is an actor, writer and filmmaker. He is best known for his roles as Darryl Malgas in the tv series Molo Fish and as Absalom Khumalo in the movie Cry, the Beloved Country. He has written four works of non-fiction, including the bestselling The Only Black at a Dinner Party, and a novel, The Release. In 2010 he produced, co-wrote and co-directed the documentary Mining for Change: A Story of South African Mining. He lives in Johannesburg.

Follow Eric on Twitter @Ericmiyeni

View Eric‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Umuzi (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781415207055

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Comedy Club by Jeremy Nell

Jeremy Nel - Comedy Club LR

Award-winning cartoonist Jerm’s spot-on analysis and commentary provide a highly entertaining way to digest the buffoonery of politics in South Africa. No one, neither left nor right, in government or opposition, can escape the acerbic observations of this provocative artist.

Jeremy Nell’s work has appeared in several online and offline publications, such as the Sunday Times, eNCA, TIME, The Star, and others.

About the Author

Jeremy Nel

Jerm (Jeremy Nell) is an award-winning cartoonist, satirist, and social commentator, with work featuring in publications online and offline, like Sunday Times, The StarCity PressRapport, Beeld,The Times, FHMPlayboyRolling StoneTIMEDaily MaverickThe New AgeCosmopolitanEyewitness News and others. His work has also appeared in Belgian, Spanish, Dutch, and Indian publications.

Click HERE to visit the Jerm website and HERE to like his Facebook page.

Or, follow him on Twitter HERE.

Published by Penguin Books SA

ISBN: 9780143539162

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BEE – Helping or Hurting? by Anthea Jeffery

Does black economic empowerment work – or has its unintended consequences been to undermine our country’s growth?


This is the daring question Anthea Jeffery tackles head-on in her new book. 

How rapidly would the black middle class have grown without BEE? Since BEE is unlikely ever to provide redress to the truly disadvantaged, what is its real objective? 

In this – the first comprehensive review of BEE policies since 1994 – Jeffery addresses challenging policy questions about the ‘pros and cons’ of BEE that most commentators avoid. She unflinchingly examines the impacts of BEE on education, employment, procurement and on key sectors such as mining, agriculture, banking and the petroleum industry. 

In the final chapter Jeffery points out the true costs of race quotas. She not only looks at the economic costs of empowerment, but also at the role of BEE in fuelling corruption, the racial element in BEE and the impact of this policy on the poor. 

About the Author


Anthea Jeffery is a well-known and outspoken political commentator based in Johannesburg. She is the author of ten books, including Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa’s Move from Mandela to Zuma (2010), People’s War: New Light on the Struggle for South Africa (2009), Business and Affirmative Action and The Truth about the Truth Commission.

Jeffery holds law degrees from Wits and Cambridge, and a PhD from London University. Since 1990, she has worked for the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), where she is Head of Policy Research and editor of the Institute’s policy bulletin.

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780624071600

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Behind the Door by Mandy Wiener & Barry Bateman

Behind the Door is definitive, engrossing, fascinating, brilliant and utterly unputdownable. Wiener has no equal when it comes to true crime, and Bateman’s first-journalist-on-the-crime-scene insight gives it a huge boost.’

– DEON MEYER, author of Cobra and other bestselling crime novels.

Behind the Door_300dpi

The news of successful model Reeva Steenkamp’s fatal shooting by her boyfriend and global sporting star Oscar Pistorius stunned the world. Over the ensuing weeks, as Pistorius appeared in court and applied for bail, every detail that emerged was analysed, debated, justified and digested. South Africa and the world in general were haunted by the events as they were repeated and discussed at length. Public perception vacillated from version to version and from hour to hour.

Behind the Door is a compelling narrative, which unpacks the story as revealed in the courtroom and beyond during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius and as told to the authors in several exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes briefings. It looks at the characters involved, relates the courtroom interactions and dramas, the construction of each side’s argument, the analysis of forensic and circumstantial evidence and exchanges between the personalities, as well as a broader look at violence and criminal justice in South Africa.

Vivid and gripping, insightful and authoritative, Behind the Door is the book to read on the Reeva and Oscar story.

About the Authors

Mandy Wiener


Mandy Wiener is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author. She reports for Eyewitness News in Johannesburg and covered Vusi Pikoli’s tenure in office, his suspension in 2007 and the testimony of the Ginwala Inquiry. Wiener’s first book Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed has sold over 80 000 copies.

View Mandy‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Mandy on Twitter @MandyWiener

Barry Bateman


Barry Bateman has been reporting in Pretoria, the hometown of Oscar Pistorius, for more than ten years, for the last four of these as the Pretoria Correspondent for Eyewitness News, for which he has won several awards. Bateman was the first journalist on the scene of the shooting and has been covering every development since.

View Barry‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Barry on Twitter @barrybateman

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770103504

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Oscar: An Accident Waiting To Happen by Melinda Ferguson & Patricia Taylor

Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen is the all-exclusive inside story of a teenage daughter’s romance turned into every mother’s nightmare.

Oscar-coversfinal (1)

In September 2011, 24-year-old Oscar Pistorius was introduced to the XXX* family. The next 2.5 years would become a series of rollercoaster rides of emotional highs as young love blossomed, contrasted with dangerous lows, as Pistorius’s international celebrity, emotional fragility, broken promises and acts of recklessness consumed the family.

The London Olympic Games in 2012 was the lowest point. While the world watched Pistorius making history as the first disabled athlete to compete against the likes of Usain Bolt, behind the scenes the weeping Paralympian was on the phone to the XXX* family 24/7. 

Promises by Pistorius to get psychological help never materialised. After one too many signs that his dangerous behaviour was endangering her daughter’s life, by late October 2012, mother XXX* laid down the law, telling Pistorius to stay away from her family forever.

In her last conversation she warned: “Oscar, you have got to step out of your life… Something is going to go wrong. And it’s going to happen soon… Your life is like this terrible accident waiting to happen.”

Just over three months later Pistorius would shoot his new girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times with his 9mm Parabellum pistol. 

Brilliantly researched with never before published behind-the-scenes detail, set against the killing that shocked the world, if you only read one book this year, read this one.


Due to the sub judice nature of material relating to the upcoming Pistorius trial, certain names have been omitted.

About the authors


Oscar: An Accident Waiting To Happen (MFBooks, Jacana), is written by award-winning journalist and best-selling author (of Smacked) Melinda Ferguson, in close collaboration with a key state witness, Patricia TaylorOscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen will be on shelf and simultaneously released as an ebook after the verdict has been announced. The authors and book will be featured as part of the breaking news on Good Morning America while various newspapers are presently trying to outbid each other to serialise the book. Ferguson launched MFBooks in late 2012; this is the 10th book in her imprint.

View Melinda‘s Facebook profile HERE

View Melinda‘s Facebook page HERE

Follow Melinda on Twitter @melindaSMACKED

Published by MFBooks (An imprint of Jacana Media)

ISBN: 9781920601324

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Nothing Left to Steal by Mzilikazi Wa Afrika

This tell-all memoir reveals the details behind Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika’s exposure of the R1.7 billion lease scandal between police commissioner Bheki Cele and property tycoon Roux Shabangu, for which he was infamously arrested in 2010.

Mzilikazi Wa Afrika - Nothing Left to Steal LR

It is also the riveting account of how a neglected boy in an unknown village became one of South Africa’s most awarded investigative reporters and found himself at the receiving end of the corruption that had defeated those he helped put in power.

Fearless in the face of corrupt authorities with sinister political motives, and fervent about justice, Wa Afrika’s life was characterised by resistance to oppression and inequality from an early age. Destined to defend and uphold the principles of democracy, his story is the inspiring tale of an ordinary man, armed with a pen, who challenged the proverbial giant that carried a sword in his sheath.

About the Author

Mzilikazi wa Afrika 2

Mzilikazi wa Afrika has won more than a dozen awards locally and internationally for his work and is currently the chairperson of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters. He is also a musician, song-writer and producer and released a deep-house album, The Icon, in 2008.

Follow Mzilikazi on Twitter @IamMzilikazi

View Mzilikazi‘s Facebook page HERE

Published by Penguin Books 

ISBN: 9780143538929 

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Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away by Maria Phalime


Winner of the City Press Tafelberg Nonfiction Award 2013

Inhuman hours, overflowing emergency rooms, poor resources and little support – this is the daily reality of most doctors and nurses in South African public hospitals. 

Maria Phalime was once a bright-eyed young medical student with high expectations of what life as a doctor would be like and how she would make a difference. But then she went out into the field. During her tenure at hospitals in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha she was overwhelmed by the conditions under which she had to work and the physical and psychological needs of her patients. Medical school had not prepared her for the ethical dilemmas she had to face.

Maria decided to change careers, but for many years reproached herself for this decision. As she goes in search of answers, she also speaks to other doctors who have left medicine. Her conversations with former doctors like comedian Riaad Moosa shed light on some of the major problems in the public health sector.

This is my story and the stories of other doctors who chose to walk away,” she writes. “Ours is a private anguish filled with the niggling suspicion that we should have been stronger, more committed, more able to handle the daily realities of practicing medicine in South Africa.”

A gripping personal account which exposes not only the deficiencies in the public health sector but also the personal pressures and expectations which come with being a doctor in South Africa.

About the Author


Maria Phalime is the recipient of the inaugural City Press Tafelberg Nonfiction Award for her memoir,Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away. This dynamic, upcoming writer studied under the acclaimed author, Mike Nicol, on the Get Smarter/Random House Struik Nonfiction Story Course. In 2013 her novel for teens, Second Chances, was the English language category winner of the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Awards.

Born and raised in the Johannesburg township of Soweto, Maria moved to Cape Town in 1991 to pursue her studies at the University of Cape Town, from which she graduated with degrees in Science and Medicine. She practiced for a brief period as a general practitioner in South Africa and the United Kingdom, before leaving medical practice to pursue non-clinical interests.

In 2010 she found her voice as a writer.

View Maria‘s website HERE 

Follow Maria on Twitter @MariaPhalime and like her Facebook page HERE

Published by NB Publishers 

ISBN: 9780624057604 

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A Time Traveller’s Guide to Our Next Ten Years by Frans Cronje


Picture South Africa in ten years: Are the angry poor rising up, seizing land and businesses? Will the ANC survive two more elections? Will the middle classes still braai in suburbia or will we go the way of Zimbabwe?

South Africa is currently at a tipping point. Unemployment, slow growth, threats to freedom of speech, and poor education can send the country in any direction. Frans Cronje, CEO of one of the country’s leading think-tanks, identifies the key trends in the economy, politics and society which hold the clues to our immediate future.

While living standards have for instance improved since 1994, in an ironic twist this is fuelling ever-increasing expectations by the populace. The “curse of rising expectations” lies at the root of much of the instability in the country

Cronje uses key trends in our society to outline the four most likely scenarios for the country, which he quite fittingly calls the Narrow Road, the Wide Road, the Rocky Road and the Toll Road.

Sobering, shocking and hopeful in turn, no South African can afford to ignore the convincing futures Cronje paints.

About the Author


Frans Cronje is a scenario planner and the CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). He has presented scenarios about South Africa’s long-term economic and political prospects to over 100 corporations, government departments, foreign governments, and political parties.

In 2007 he established the Centre for Risk Analysis within the SAIRR. He is also an associate of the South African scenario planning consultancy, the Centre for Innovative Leadership, which was for ten years the South African representative of the Global Business Network – then regarded as world’s leading scenario planning group.

Cronje’s views are cited widely in local and international media; from the Volksblad to the Wall Street Journal. He writes a column for Rapport and is a regular contributor to Classic Business on Classic FM.

Cronje was educated at St John’s College and Wits University and holds a PHD in scenario planning from North West University. Prior to joining the SAIRR he got his real education serving with the South African police, working as a horse-riding instructor and later lumberjack in the United States, and going on a year-long expedition from Cape Town to Cairo. When not dealing with South Africa’s future he is a fisherman and avid hunter who holds South African colours in shooting.

Follow Frans on Twitter HERE

Published by Tafelberg (An imprint of NB Publishers)

ISBN: 9780624068662

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