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.

Nationalisation of Assets Versus Socialisation of Wealth

Picture: Zadi Diaz Saliem Fakir - A while back, Deputy Minister of Transport, Jeremy Cronin penned a column in Umsenbenzi, the online publication of the South African Communist Party, where he wrote that perhaps we should be thinking about the ‘socialisation’ of wealth, rather than the nationalisation of assets. Cronin was positing the idea that the nationalisation of assets, for all intents and purposes, is not the only device for dealing with income inequality, unemployment and widespread poverty. He...

Corporations can be Deadly to Your Well-being and Health

Picture: backseatstreet Saliem Fakir - The Aurora debacle – the mining company taken possession of by President Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma - has earned the ire of workers and the public as a whole. It is of great relief to workers that Aurora has finally been liquidated and the liquidator himself fired. How a company, for so long, could wrought such extensive damage to people’s lives and health as well as do so much damage to the environment bears testimony to the impunity companies are able to act with. It...

The Inside/Outside Strategy of COSATU: It May Just Save Us All

Picture: GCIS Saliem Fakir - There may be some scepticism about COSATU’s noise on corruption and its criticism of the ANC. Some may be thinking that COSATU’s strategy is to create the façade of a critical alliance partner. It was all done to play to the public gallery and soften the blow of those outside of the tri-partite alliance through a process of civic engagement, as the ANC has lost its foothold in civil society. The extent to which COSATU has to continue playing the “insider” role...

The Coffee Paradox: How Farmers and Consumers are Held Hostage by the Market Dominance of a Few

Picture: Umair Mohsin Saliem Fakir - About 2.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Culture and coffee are treated as synonymous. Ever since the first coffee shops opened doors in the Middle East, around the 15th century onwards, coffee culture spread like wild fire in the western world. Coffee houses are places where artists, writers, intellectuals and those seeking the pleasures of good conversation are meant to hang out. However, this image of civility belies the real world of coffee trade, which is far more...

Food Insecurity: Who Will Save Us, the Smallholder or Large-scale Farmer?

Picture: World Bank Saliem Fakir - Land reform in South Africa is back as a lead item on the government’s agenda. It is a tacit admission that the process over the last seventeen years was a failure. The issue must also be seen in the light of growing food insecurity, as food prices seem to only go up rather than down. South Africa’s land reform policy is not only a way to redress past loss but also an attempt to diversify farming as mainly white farmers dominate farming. However, in opening up the space...

Brazil's Social Grants System and Its Relevance for South Africa

Picture: Saliem Fakir - The social grant is a wager with time. Its aim is to catch the indigent - those who have no chance of ever finding a job - within a social welfare net to soften the blow of poverty. For others, it’s a respite during hard times. It lifts the spirits of those waiting for their fortunes to change. Well planned and executed social grants should also help break inter-generational cycles of poverty. The thought that social grants create “dependency” is largely dictated by what...