The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
There are fifteen thousand reasons I’ll remember the first time President Jacob Zuma attended the World Economic Forum in Davos. It was in January 2009 and we were on the same SAA flight home. Because there were more politicians wanting to get home than Business Class seats available, I was among those who accepted a R15 000 offer to downgrade – enough those days to buy another ticket both ways. At the time Zuma was President-in-waiting. What a difference a few years can make. The front of an SAA airliner is no longer deemed suitable for SA’s esteemed leader. Neither is his customised Boeing 737, an $80m jet which, when used commercially, seats over 100 people. Zuma – and his Presidential successors – now require a taxpayer-funded upgrade to a $200m-plus plane that looks eerily like another poorly considered extravagance like Nkandla. A basic economics lesson to SA Parliamentarians is long overdue. No, South Africa is not a rich country. No, taxpayers are not an endless supply of funding. Yes, the poorest of the poor also pay VAT of 14%, around a quarter of the money that we call taxes, the slush fund that finances what the public sector spends – fancy planes, blue light brigades and salaries for sleeping Parliamentarians included. – Alec Hogg
By Thulani Gqirana, News24
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.