Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Saliem is an independent writer and columnist for SACSIS based in Cape Town.

He is currently active in the sustainable energy field and works for the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Saliem was previously a senior lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and associate Director for the Center for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at the University of Stellenbosch (2007-2008) where he taught a course on renewable energy policy and financing of renewable energy projects.

Saliem previously worked for Lereko Energy (Pty) Ltd (2006) an investment company focusing on project development and financial arrangements for renewable energy, biofuels, waste and water sectors. He also served as Director of the World Conservation Union South Africa (IUCN-SA) office for eight years (1998-2005).

Saliem has served on a number of Boards. Between 2002-2005 he served as a chair of the Board of the National Botanical Institute. He also served on the board of the Fair Trade in Tourism Initiative, and was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Reporting Initiative, based in Amsterdam.

He currently serves on the advisory board of Inspired Evolution One, a private fund involved in clean technology.

Saliem's qualifications are: B.Sc Honours molecular biology (WITS), Masters in Environmental Science, Wye College London. He also completed a senior executive management course at Harvard University in 2000.

Old Allies Building New Relations BRIC by BRIC

Picture: President Jacob Zuma with President Hu Jintao of China at the third BRICS Summit courtesy GovernmentZA/Flickr. Saliem Fakir - There is the usual chorus of loud voices, “What is South Africa doing in the BRICS, and does it even belong there?”  Such observations are inconsequential to the evolving fate of BRICS and South Africa’s place within it. Whether it belongs in BRICS or not is a wholly irrelevant point by now. The question that really matters is, “What is South Africa doing with its lofty position in the BRICS?” A feat partly accomplished by the ANC’s historical...

Adapting to a New Normal: Climate Uncertainty and the Implications of Hurricane Sandy for Our Economics

Picture: Hurricane Sandy from the International Space Station courtesy NASA via Wikimedia Commons Saliem Fakir - Hurricane Sandy demonstrated how a large-scale catastrophic weather event, like Hurricane Katrina of 2005, is not a once-off incident, but a recurrent phenomenon. Extreme weather has the potential to set off other crises and disasters too. Japan’s tsunami was quickly followed by the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown magnifying the scale of the disaster from a single extreme event to a multi-crisis economically transformative event -- demonstrated in Japan now debating the use of...

Tweaking the Old or Building Something New? Dealing with the Troubled Political Economy of Mining in SA

Picture: Pouring gold courtesy The Puzzler/Flickr Saliem Fakir - In many respects “Marikana” represents our own ‘Arab Spring’. After the massacre the wave of wildcat strikes in other sectors outside of the platinum industry, had they gotten much wider popular support, could have fundamentally shaken government as well as the complacent and disinterested business community. This is not the first time that miners have turned against an oppressive system of rent. It’s happened many times before in our country -- the most...

The Productivity Debate, Marikana and the Struggle to Create an Inclusive Economy

Picture: United Nations Saliem Fakir - Sometimes economic speak merely arranges the technical as a substitution for the moral. The technical itself becomes slanted by a polemic of legitimation. The debate as to whether South Africa’s economy is productive or not often has a convenient scapegoat - the problem of the unproductive worker.  Workers don’t work hard enough for the wages they earn, so they shouldn’t expect more because there is always somebody else willing to work for a lower salary, is the...

The DA's Economic Plan: The Shift from Socialising the Economy to Liberalising It

Picture: The Democratic Alliance/Flickr Saliem Fakir - The Democratic Alliance (DA) released its “Working for Change, Working for Jobs” economic plan for South Africa a week ago. Where the ANC’s economic plan lacks a united front and coherence - as demonstrated in a recent ANC policy conference - the DA hopes to capture the public imagination with its own image for the future and by taking the gap created by a faltering ANC. Where the ANC is mesmerised by the virtues of the state, the DA is mesmerised by the virtues of the...

Turmoil or Opportunity in the Mining Sector?

Picture: Wikimedia Commons Saliem Fakir - Is the mining sector in crisis? It was a source of lively debate at a conference titled, “Mining Dialogue 360 Degrees”, hosted by the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) from 10-12 July 2012 and sponsored by the Royal Bafokeng (disclosure: the author was one of the moderators at this event). The post-1994 accord that was bridged in Lusaka with business and the multi-party negotiations process led to a compromise. The private sector would be...