In a rush on my way from Namibia to the Garden Route – it’s a hard life, but someone has to live it.

The big stories are:

  • the continuing decline in employment numbers;
  • the National Working Committee’s decision not to charge Zwelinzima Vavi but to criticise him for alleging that Minister of Telecommunications Siphiwe Nyanda is corrupt.

StatsSA’s Quarterly Employment Survey released on Monday showed that the formal sector had lost 79 000 jobs between December and March – or that the number of people employed in the first quarter of this year dropped 1% from the previous quarter. The point is simple: unemployment is a deep systemic threat to long term stability in this country and – to some degree – we are experiencing the removal of the short term stimulus associated with World Cup infrastructure build. That doesn’t make the World Cup a bad thing, but it does mean we need to moderate our expectations.

Vavi’s “let off” comes as no surprise. The core of Tenderpreneurs that have risen in the balance of power through clever play post the Polokwane Putsch would dearly love to shaft their irritatingly principled previous allies on the left but the time is not yet right. The ANC and government is not yet purely a device for extracting rent out of the economy. A luta continua.

And then, just because this Reuters picture lends itself so well to a previous line from these posts:

Sepp Blatter and Jacob Zuma were like twinkly old non-English speaking train robbers still dashingly on the run all these years later. They can’t speak English – or any kind of sense – but their delight at how much money they have managed to stash away is infectious.

I tag it on here – with my own caption:

For those who remember the gangster penguins in the wonderful "Madagascar": "Smile and wave boys, just smile and wave."

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