• The Phoenix January / February 2019
    Feb 05, 2019 The Phoenix

    The Phoenix January / February 2019

    As I was racking my brain how to explain the very weird year of 2018, an email arrived from 21st Century, a company that operates primarily as remuneration consultants. Chris Blair and Bryden Morton have managed to make sense of all the… more...
    Editor 787
  • The Phoenix November - December 2018
    Nov 05, 2018 The Phoenix

    The Phoenix November - December 2018

    Good News Issue #2 Last year aBr, in its November / December 2017 issue, came out with a Good News Issue, based on the premise that political change was about to come, and the strong feeling was that this would naturally put the country on a strong… more...
    Editor 854
  • The Phoenix October 2018
    Oct 01, 2018 The Phoenix

    The Phoenix October 2018

    September is supposed to mean rejuvenation, growth and all-round happiness. Poets are also inspired by spring, as they unleash their quills, rejoicing about trees sprouting, birds singing, breezes blowing, and temperatures pleasing Spring has Sprung… more...
    Editor 1024
  • Ten Years’ Young
    Sep 03, 2018 The Phoenix

    Ten Years’ Young

    2008 was not the best year to start a business, let alone a magazine. The global financial crisis was starting to bite, and only the brave or foolish would even attempt to rush in, while the angels were treading carefully. However, necessity is the… more...
    Editor 1117
  • The Phoenix August 2018
    Jul 31, 2018 The Phoenix

    The Phoenix August 2018

    In my youth I was a rabid free marketeer, and an avid disciple of Milton Friedman. To my mind, the market should dictate most everything, and I couldn’t understand why governments intervened in such a seamless process. Of course, over the years I… more...
    Editor 1127
  • The Phoenix July 2018
    Jun 30, 2018 The Phoenix

    The Phoenix July 2018

    Ever since our February 2018 issue, I have been dishing out political advice to all and sundry, albeit with the knowledge that I am just a kibitzer, or as many of my acquaintances call me, a space cadet. I accept that I am only a bit player, and as… more...
    Editor 1384
  • Some Advice to Cyril Ramaphosa – from Kipling and Sunter
    Jun 04, 2018 The Phoenix

    Some Advice to Cyril Ramaphosa – from Kipling and…

    My editorials in the March, April, and May 2018 issues of aBr clearly spelt out the failings and even worse of our esteemed governing party over the past ten years. These editorials, titled “Our Bloated Ship of Sate”, “The First Step – with a Long… more...
    Editor 1035
  • Cutting out Wastage
    Apr 30, 2018 The Phoenix

    Cutting out Wastage

    The Phoenix editorials In the March and April 2018 issues of aBr were highly political, and I am afraid, for those of you who are heartily sick and tired of my pontifications, the May issue carries on the theme of providing advice to the president… more...
    Editor 951
  • The First Step – with a Long Way to Go
    Mar 26, 2018 The Phoenix

    The First Step – with a Long Way to Go

    In the March 2018 issue of aBr I was presumptuous enough to give Cyril Ramaphosa advice on the size of his cabinet, and even more presumptuous to suggest who should not be there, starting with Malusi Giggle Gigaba, and a list that I promised to… more...
    The Phoenix 770
  • Planning for the Future
    Feb 06, 2018 The Phoenix

    Planning for the Future

    The automotive aftermarket is in good shape at the moment, what with close to 10 million vehicles plying the South African roads, and depressed vehicle sales an indication that people and businesses are postponing vehicle purchases because of low… more...
    The Phoenix 950
  • The Phoenix -  Good News Issue
    Nov 13, 2017 The Phoenix

    The Phoenix - Good News Issue

    South Africa is on the precipice, and we need all the help we can get. By the end of December 2017 we will have a pretty sound idea about where we as a country are going, so for the last issue of aBr in 2017 I have decided to try and give fate a… more...
    Editor 718
  • Inclusive Growth
    Oct 06, 2017 The Phoenix

    Inclusive Growth

    What exactly is inclusive growth? If you go to Google this is the definition that pops up first: “Inclusive growth is a concept that advances equitable opportunities for economic participants during economic growth with benefits incurred by every… more...
    Editor 681
  • Toyota South African Motors used the opportunity of the SOMI to officially re-open the revamped Toyota South Africa Museum, now named the Colin Adcock Museum. Andrew Kirby, president and CEO of TSAM, did the honours.
    Sep 01, 2017 The Phoenix

    When the Going Gets Tough

    During its hosting of the State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) event on 8 August 2017 at its headquarters at Wesco Park in Sandton, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) announced the creation of the Toyota Empowerment Trust (TET). Quite an impressive… more...
    The Phoenix 761
  • 23 Silver Linings
    Jul 27, 2017 The Phoenix

    23 Silver Linings

    In the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of aBr I indulged in a bit of numerological whimsy when I said that the number 23 would play an important role in 2017 in getting this country the leadership it deserves. Well, that pesky number 23 came up again at the… more...
    Editor 642
  • A Ray of Hope
    Jul 05, 2017 The Phoenix

    A Ray of Hope

    In these times of frustration with the appalling levels of corruption at the highest levels of government, and the depressing realisation that most of the ruling party are on the Gupta gravy train, it is always good to come across decent human… more...
    The Phoenix 695
  • Here We Go Again
    May 26, 2017 The Phoenix

    Here We Go Again

    15 August 1985 is seared in my memory. This was the day that PW Botha made his infamous Rubicon speech, which while cocking a snook at the international community and world markets, it precipitated the decline of the National Party, the unbanning of… more...
    Editor 631
  • A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma
    Apr 12, 2017 The Phoenix

    A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma

    During March I attended an automotive workshop, convened by the Competition Commission of South Africa, looking for solutions and remedies in addressing the vexing issue of improving access to the automotive aftermarket’s products and services. This… more...
    The Phoenix 733
  • The Four Hoarse Men of the Opaque Lips
    Mar 03, 2017 The Phoenix

    The Four Hoarse Men of the Opaque Lips

    At the beginning of each year, the nation awaits with anticipation two seminal events. First, the state of the nation address, eventually delivered by an insipid and uninspiring president after an hour of two of EFF inspired pandemonium. Then, a… more...
    The Phoenix 655
  • Numerology to the Rescue
    Feb 06, 2017 The Phoenix

    Numerology to the Rescue

    2016 was not a great year, by any measurement. Not for the world, nor for South Africa. And 2017 is not shaping up to be any better. What to do? We in our little economy on the southern tip of Africa can do next to nothing about what is going on in… more...
    The Phoenix 711
  • My Xmas Wish List
    Nov 02, 2016 The Phoenix

    My Xmas Wish List

    Since this is our last issue for this year, I thought I would compile a Xmas wish list. So here it is: Dear Santa I have a Xmas list that is quite unselfish, as what I want is for the country, and not for me personally, except for wish number 15. A… more...
    The Phoenix 962
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place
    Oct 03, 2016 The Phoenix

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    The extraction of crude oil from the deep bowels of Mother Earth requires drilling down between rock and hard places, and this is good and well, because nothing in life should come easy. It is also ironic that humankind is taking from the planet to… more...
    The Phoenix 1102
  • A New Dawn?
    Sep 06, 2016 The Phoenix

    A New Dawn?

    The September 2016 edition of aBr is significant in that it represents eight years of ground breaking journalism in the automotive aftermarket space. aBr’s phoenix like rising was a classic example of the law of unintended consequences, with Words… more...
    The Phoenix 1133
  • Conflicting Agendas
    Jul 04, 2016 The Phoenix

    Conflicting Agendas

    On 24 June 2016 I attended the celebration of the contribution of the Toyota Hilux and Fortuner to the South African economy, which was held at the company’s Prospecton plant. The function was attended by high level dignitaries from all spheres of… more...
    The Phoenix 1079
  • Is this the cat who got the cream, or is it today’s automotive aftermarket participant?
    May 27, 2016 The Phoenix

    Silver Lining

    The saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison gains massive traction in today’s South African automotive environment. This came home to me whilst reading a recent press release from WesBank, which shows an interesting trend towards… more...
    The Phoenix 1138
  • Confidence in Africa
    Apr 28, 2016 The Phoenix

    Confidence in Africa

    On 5 April 1652 three ships came into sight of land, known then as the Cape of Good Hope. The three ships were the Dromedaris, the Rejiger, and the De Goede Hoop. On board the Dromedaris was Jan van Riebeeck, whose mission was to oversee the setting… more...
    The Phoenix 1271
  • Vat die BTW
    Apr 03, 2016 The Phoenix

    Vat die BTW

    Pravin Gordhan’s 2016 budget presentation in late February seems to have pleased all and sundry. I could hardly find a negative pronouncement in the media. Deutsche Bank economist Danalee Masia’s comment encapsulated the general feeling, “It looks… more...
    The Phoenix 1212
  • Sluggishness with a Volatile Mix
    Feb 25, 2016 The Phoenix

    Sluggishness with a Volatile Mix

    Every quarter Econometrix presents an economic analysis to its clients, and the information supplied plays an important role in the business decisions and strategic direction of these clients, for the short, medium and long term. aBr attended the… more...
    The Phoenix 1143
  • What Lies in Store for 2016 – a Female Perspective
    Feb 02, 2016 The Phoenix

    What Lies in Store for 2016 – a Female Perspective

    From most perspectives, 2016 is threatening to be a tough year. Most pundits are having a field day predicting all sorts of economic pestilences that are to be visited upon us. This is particularly harsh for us hard-working and industrious folk, who… more...
    The Phoenix 1188
  • Our Enormous Black Swan
    Feb 02, 2016 The Phoenix

    Our Enormous Black Swan

    Harold Wilson, British prime minister in the 1960’s and 1970’s, is quoted as saying that “A week is a long time in politics”. Ironically this quote came in the midst of the sterling crisis in 1964, and long before the UDI (Universal Declaration of… more...
    The Phoenix 1218
  • The Resilience of the South African Automotive Industry
    Oct 27, 2015 The Phoenix

    The Resilience of the South African Automotive…

    There was an old joke in the 1970’s, which is still applicable today. It goes something like this: God was busy with the creation of Earth, and he was directing his assistant in pouring minerals onto the continents. When they came to southern… more...
    The Phoenix 1343
  • Seven Years of Redemption
    Sep 29, 2015 The Phoenix

    Seven Years of Redemption

    I am writing this editorial 30 000 feet above sea level on flight BA 6275, bound for Windhoek. It is 16 July 2015, and I am pretty laid back, with a glass of dry white wine in my hand. My thoughts turn to 22 July 2008, when I was also on a flight to… more...
    The Phoenix 1376
  • It’s a Scaaaaandal
    Sep 29, 2015 The Phoenix

    It’s a Scaaaaandal

    During June 2015 I attended a function in Kempton Park, when Bridgestone handed over a cheque for one million Rand to PinkDrive, a breast cancer Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), which educates the public on breast cancer, with a specific focus on… more...
    The Phoenix 1339
  • The Rand on a Precipitous Slide
    Sep 29, 2015 The Phoenix

    The Rand on a Precipitous Slide

    Anyone who has been reading the Phoenix for any length of time will know that I am an avid currency follower. Exchange rates can tell you so much about the state of affairs of a country, and you can identify specific events just by what the exchange… more...
    The Phoenix 1274
  • Carpe Diem
    Sep 29, 2015 The Phoenix

    Carpe Diem

    In the May 2014 issue of aBr I reported on my visit in April 2014 to the Automec show in São Paulo Brazil, and the broader part of my visit, in investigating the Brazilian automotive market, in many of its aspects. I was also there to see if there… more...
    The Phoenix 1379
  • In Search of Potholes and Broken Robots
    Sep 29, 2015 The Phoenix

    In Search of Potholes and Broken Robots

    I recently spent close to two weeks in London. I had many reasons to be there, and one of these was to have a look at the condition of London’s roads, and the efficiency of its robots, or traffic lights. My purpose was to see if Johannesburg is… more...
    The Phoenix 1327

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