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Riaan de Lange

Riaan de Lange


This economic and trade-focused column is prepared by Riaan de Lange – riaan@tariffandtrade.co.za. The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views

Do your part to remedy SA’s ills

14th September 2018 “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” These humorous words tend to be attributable to Winnie-the-Pooh. But I am afraid these were not Pooh’s words, and neither were they the author AA. Milne, who wrote of Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926. It is in fact, the words of Theodor... 

Heigh-ho silver lining

7th September 2018 They say every silver lining has a cloud or every cloud has a silver lining? Which of the phrases do you prefer? Surely, it depends on whether you are of the glass-half-full or glass-half-empty persuasion. Your perference may also depend on the topic under consideration. With this in mind, it... 

Reflecting on sugar customs duty increase

31st August 2018 So, will the increase in the variable formula tariff (VFT) on sugar – or the 'honey without bees', as Alexander the Great called it – mitigate the harshness of international trade or be the saccharine protection that the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) producers desire it to be? Growing up... 

Bailout or bail out?

24th August 2018 One word or two? So, which is the correct option for South Africa’s State-owned enterprises (SOEs)? Hint: a bailout is the act of giving financial assistance to a failing business or economy to save it from collapse, while to bail out is to abandon a position or situation. As I contemplated what... 

Can’t you handle the truth?

17th August 2018 Have you seen any mention of the publicat of the International Monetary Forum's (IMF's) 2018 Article IV consultation with South Africa? For what I have seen, it was released through a notice from the National Treasury on July 30. Have you seen any mention of this in the South African financial... 

Four Brics and a briquette

10th August 2018 The headline of this article sounds a bit like a 1960s band. A popular music band. A pop band. But, alas, it is no band – it is what should be an honest reflection of what the world knows as Brics, an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Bric came into existence in 2008 and... 

Darkness, is it contagious?

3rd August 2018 A R2 300,000 000 loss, R19 600 000 000 in irregular expenditure, net cash from operations declining by 21.81% from R45 800 000 00 to R37 600 000 000, total debt increasing by 55.04% from R387 000 000 000 to R600 000 000 000, raising only 22% of the R72 000 000 000 borrowing commitment, a firm... 

Semantics around land expropriation

27th July 2018 The semantics around land expropriation As I have said many times before, English is, at the best of times, a most intriguing and peculiar language. But I strongly believe that the English are not solely to blame for this. If anything, the Americans did, and continue to, play a role in butchering... 

It’s Friday I’m in love

20th July 2018 It’s Friday I'm in … ‘I don't care if Monday's blue; Tuesday's gray and Wednesday too; Thursday I don't care about you; It's Friday I'm in love.’ 

Countdown to Brexit

13th July 2018 Should you be reading this column on the date of its publication – July 13 –  it will be the second and last Friday the 13th in 2018. I hope you are not superstitious or suffer from triskaidekaphobia, an extreme or irrational fear of the number 13. And it is only 260 days to the day when the... 

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