Resistance is futile
25 March 2018 01:29 (South Africa)

TRAINSPOTTER: Waiting for Charter at Mining Indaba

  • Richard Poplak
    Richard Poplak

    Richard Poplak was born and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He trained as a filmmaker and fine artist at Montreal’s Concordia University and has produced and directed numerous short films, music videos and commercials. Now a full-time writer, Richard is a senior contributor at South Africa’s leading news site, Daily Maverick, and a frequent contributor to publications all over the world. He is a member of Deca Stories, the international long-form non-fiction collective.

    His first book was the highly acclaimed Ja, No, Man: Growing Up White in Apartheid-Era South Africa (Penguin, 2007); his follow-up was entitled The Sheikh’s Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop-Culture in the Muslim World (Soft Skull, 2010). Poplak has also written the experimental journalistic graphic novel Kenk: A Graphic Portrait (Pop Sandbox, 2010). His election coverage from South Africa’s 2014 election, written under the nom de plume Hannibal Elector, was collected as Until Julius Comes: Adventures in the Political Jungle (Tafelberg, 2014).  Ja, No, Man was longlisted for the Alan Paton Non-Fiction prize, shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Literary Award and voted one of the Top-10 books of 2007 by Now Magazine. Richard has won South Africa’s Media-24 Best Feature Writing Award and a National Magazine Award in Canada.

    Since 2010, Poplak has been travelling across Africa, seeking out the catalysts and characters behind the continent’s 21stcentury metamorphosis. The coming book, co-authored with Kevin Bloom, is called The Shift

Photo:Workers underground at Lonmin Rowland Shaft setting up for drilling and later drilling. (Greg Marinovich)

Mazda MX-5 RF: When more is less

By Deon Schoeman

Honda Civic Type R: Wolf in wolf’s clothing

By Deon Schoeman

Tried and Tested: Audi RS5 Coupé – Rock Me Gently

By Deon Schoeman

Land Rover Discovery HSE: Swapping boots for brogues

By Deon Schoeman
Jaguar E-Pace

Motoring: Jaguar E-Pace – more sport than utility

By Deon Schoeman
Photo: Ajay and Atul Gupta

amaBhungane & Scorpio #Guptaleaks: SAP’s investigation finds 'irregularities' and 'question marks'

By amaBhungane & Scorpio

Motoring: Geneva Motor Show – is the world’s most glamorous auto expo losing its lustre?

By Deon Schoeman
Photo: A Sumatran Tiger (Panthera Sumatrae) in the Zoo in Frankfurt Main, Germany, 22 January 2018. EPA-EFE/ARMANDO BABANI

Op-Ed: South Africa’s involvement in export of Asian tigers and link to trade in tiger products

By Adam Cruise
Photo: A worker walks past stacks of sugar at Tongaat Hulett factory in Triangle, over 400kms south of Harare, Zimbabwe, 09 February 2018. The company, which is South African owned, produces 220,000 tons of sugar annually of which 70% is for local consumption and 30% exported. The company's sugarcane is currently being planted on 29,000 hectares and 17,000 is being held by small-scale growers. Photo: EPA-EFE/AARON UFUMELI

Op-Ed: Sugar and poultry industries could boost Ramaphosa’s jobs drive

By Francois Baird

Viceroy under fire for ‘reckless’ Capitec claims – but others have also raised alarm

By Rebecca Davis

Viceroy v. Capitec: It’s Complicated

By Rebecca Davis
Photo: Piyoosh Goyal, right.

amaBhungane and Scorpio #GuptaLeaks: Meet the money launderers

By amaBhungane & Scorpio
Photo by

amaBhungane and Scorpio #GuptaLeaks: Liverpool company owns 49% of Indian firm implicated in kickback scheme

By amaBhungane & Scorpio
Photo: Lord Peter Hain (EPA)

Scorpio: Hogan Lovells declares 'disappointment' at Lord Hain accusations


SARS Wars: KPMG ‘rogue unit’ independent inquiry grinds to a halt

By Marianne Thamm

Op-Ed: Cryptocurrencies – Digital gold, a bubble or an investment case?

By Daniel Polakow, Nico Katzke & Onno Huyser
Photo: This cliff at the Tormin mine on the West Coast has collapsed. File Photo (from February 2015) supplied

GroundUp: Setback for giant West Coast mine project

By GroundUp
Photo: Power lines come out of Eskom's Ankerlig power station in Atlantis outside Cape Town, South Africa, 18 February 2015. Ankerlig is an Open Cycle Gas Turbine power plant using Diesel to generate its capacity of 1327 Megawatts. Photo: EPA/NIC BOTHMA

Op-Ed: Can Eskom avoid a financial death spiral?

By Piet van Staden
Photo: President Jacob Zuma greets Chairman designate of Naspers Koos Bekker after addressing a Team South Africa meeting on the margins of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, 20-24 January 2015. (Photo: Department of Communications)

The Way of Gupta? Pressure mounts for Naspers as MultiChoice faces fires on multiple fronts

By Rebecca Davis

amaBhungane: The McKinsey Dossier, part 5 – How Transnet cash stuffed Gupta letterboxes

Photo: A general view of barrels of red wine in a cellar at La Motte wine farm in Franschhoek on 25 August 2015. Photo: Nic Bothma/(EPA).

South Africa fails to exploit free trade agreement access to massive EU market

Photo: BLSA members’ logos. (By BLSA)

Spring Cleaning: With Eskom and Transnet given the boot, business gets serious over corruption and incompetence

By Rebecca Davis

Op-Ed: UK companies must distance themselves from Bell Pottinger after SA malevolency

Original photo of the Gupta brothers by Gallo Images.

Take that, Bell Pottinger: Guptas’ PR firm given UK’s harshest industry smackdown

By Rebecca Davis
Photo: Cooperative banks are 100% owned by their members and can be used by citizens to service and uplift communities in disadvantaged areas. Photo: Kim Ludbrook/(EPA)

Notes from the House: What happened to the roll-out of co-operative banks in SA?


Scorpio & amaBhungane #GuptaLeaks: TRAINSPOTTER – How the Canadian government helped the Guptas buy their private jet

By amaBhungane & Scorpio
Photo: Rooi-Els Beach House, Western Cape, South Africa (Christopher Griner via Flickr)

Op-Ed: Tourism can re-ignite the South African economy

Photo: Minister Malusi Gigaba, Deputy Minister Sifiso Buthelezi, South African Revenue Service Commissioner, Mr Tom Moyane, 3 April 2017 (Photos GCIS)

Tax Season: Systemic IT glitch raises red flags at SARS

By Marianne Thamm
Photo: President Jacob Zuma conducts a monitoring visit to SAA, 6 May 2016 (GCIS)

Op-Ed: The Endgame for SAA?