Aakash Bramdeo is a former colleague from e.tv news who moved on to the SABC before being offered the editorship of Post in Durban — which was the newspaper which published my first story back in 1980. Before accepting the job, Aakash picked my brain as to what he could do to make the paper relevant to a wider readership. "Get a columnist who reflects the audience you're trying to attract," I said.

Shortly after accepting the position of editor, Aakash called me and asked, "when can you start?"

"View from the Top" ran in Post every week from 1 May 2011 to 9 April 2014 (which coincided with Aakash's departure from Post to edit the Sunday Tribune).

When pigs die, expect changes . . .

8 February 2012

Most events do not occur in isolation. One might not think, for example that a plague of flies in Egypt might be linked to an outbreak of swine flu in other parts of the world, but the connections become obvious when one steps back to look at the bigger picture.

On Friday, 3 February 2012, Impala Platinum took the extraordinary step of firing 17 200 workers at its Rustenberg mine (which happens to be the largest platinum mine in the world).

Three provinces plus one for parasites!

7 March 2012

The African National Congress this week released discussion documents that will form the basis of its Policy Conference to be held in June this year. This is a significant item in the ANC's calendar of events building up to the December elective conference that will choose leadership for the following five-year period.

Essentially, the discussion documents will represent different viewpoints within the ANC, and the proponents of those viewpoints will be either voted into power or rejected come December.

Roads a scarce resource ... so we pay!

28 March 2012

Whenever I travel abroad (which is frequently), I tend to fly economy class. My logic is simple: I have a finite travel budget, so if I fly economy, I can have more frequent trips to more parts of the world. Case in point, an economy class round trip ticket to London can be had for as little as around R6000 as opposed to R60000 for a business class seat.

Now most reasonable people would nod in agreement with me – it is commonsensical after all – but for some unfathomable reason, too many people are not applying the same logic to toll roads.

Balancing risk and reward . . .

11 April 2012

By March, investors began to get a bit edgy about what was going on this country. Ratings agencies or their equivalent had downgraded our standing over successive periods.

Against this backdrop, the ruling party's ministers began to protest that South Africa was being unfairly judged. The country had systems in place, they said, which had enabled growth during difficult global economic times.

At the same time, the media was awash with tales of division within the ranks of the ruling party around critical issues of government policy.

A bunch of intellectual crybabies

18 April 2012

Credibility is somewhat like virginity, I told interns at my weekly class not so long ago. Once it's gone, it's gone for good.

"But what about hymen reconstruction surgery?" one smart-ass in the class asked, reminding me that there were a substantial number of women who undergo the procedure prior to marriage generally to pay lip service to cultural values.