I am an independent political analyst focussing on Southern Africa, particularly South Africa. I specialise in examining political and policy risks for financial markets. A significant portion of my income is currently derived from BNP Paribas Securities South Africa (Pty) Ltd – my major client.
From 1996 to end October 2004 I was a full-time political analyst with the global financial group, HSBC. For the last 12 years I have been an independent analyst, with clients ranging from global financial institutions and corporates as well as governments and resource companies operating in Africa. Much of my work consists of writing articles and analyses as well as giving talks, lectures and seminars in South Africa and abroad.
Areas of special focus
I have focussed in the last few years on the rise of Jacob Zuma and the alliance of forces that backed him; Black Economic Empowerment – especially with regards to the Mining Charter and the Financial Services Charter as well as dodgy mining deals, privatisation, Zimbabwe, status of the Ruling Alliance and opposition politics, sociopolitical effects of HIV/AIDS and consequences of government’s response, crime, the racial dimensions of politics and economics in South Africa and the politics of monetary and fiscal policy and an ongoing study of the evolving post-Gear macro-economic policy environment – particularly as relates to infrastructure plans and spending.
Increasingly I also comment on regional politics and dynamics in North Africa and the Middle-East.
I also advise South African companies on making their engagement with government and the policy, law and regulation making process more efficient.
While working full-time in the market I won five “Analyst of the Year” awards in the Financial Mail rankings in the “Political Trends and Industrial Relations” and “Other African Markets and Economies” categories.
The blog is about trying to market my services (I can be contacted at email@example.com for those purposes) as an independent political analyst and engage in public discussion – because most of my written work is “bespoke” i.e. commissioned and confidential.
I was a Regional Director of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (IDASA) from 1987 – 1990 and in this capacity conceptualised, organised and ran distinct programmes (including three major international conferences) that brought together senior military leaders, writers and youth from the white South African establishment and the then banned African National Congress. An additional speciality at this time was “change management” at an institutional and individual level.
Earlier I was editor of the official UCT student newspaper, Varsity (1983), president of the Student’s Representative Council at UCT(1984) and worked in diverse capacities in the anti-Apartheid movement both inside and outside the country.