Readers’ Comments 20 May 2019

Staff Writer | May 20, 2019
This will be a periodic feature to showcase comments on articles by our readers which add information to the debate.

1. Comment on Andrew Kenny’s article ‘Difficult questions, easy answer: Caster Semenya’  ( 

v_3 writes: minor addendum: Turing virtually invented "computing" as a (sic) abstract concept before such machines were possible. Cracking the Enigma code had a far greater effect thatn (sic|) Kenny mentions, it was part of the Allies counter-strategy against the German submarine "wolf packs". WWII was largely about whether the USA manufacturing machine could keep Britain supplied or whether the German subs could cut the flow of merchant ships carrying supplies to UK to enable it to carry on fighting. Thanks to the codebreaking, the Nazis were defeated. Perhaps WWII changed the zeitgeist of sport, too. For centuries sport was the realm of amateurs. literally "lovers of the game"; then the advertisers and professionals stepped in. The weekend hacker is no more able to compete, in general, with the professional who practices 8 hours a day and receives expert coaching. But for many years the "shamateur" system was maintained, with top players receiving "travel stipends" or jobs with liquor manufacturers which allowed them major time off to practice. One suspects a similar shadow activity, particularly in the former Soviet bloc, regarding drugs like steroids. Whatever the  case, all are NOT equal, no matter how unfair "normal" [physically average?] competitors may feel.


2. Comment on Frans Cronjé’s article ‘Will South Africa reform and what would a reform agenda entail?’ (

Roger Pacey writes: ‘While the investment community is good at expressing favourable platitudes, in private, threats to property rights are flagged as a primary obstacle to investment.’ My hobby-horse example is mining exploration. Outwardly, the Minerals Council supports the latest version of the Mining Charter. In practice, the mining industry in this country spends 2% of its capex on exploration, against a world norm of 10%. Some of my customers, who serve the local exploration industry, are on short time and laying off staff since the latest version of the charter was released. Investors NEVER announce when they are not investing; you only find out when you compare your FDI with other countries.



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