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.

The Shiceka Syndrome and the Corrupting Power of the Status Trap

Saliem Fakir - Political misdemeanours don’t come with a light touch but are systemic problems engulfing the entire governance of state and electoral politics. The indulgence sees no end and whether it will end depends on whether the ANC values its party and the people who support it. What it confesses in public, as a set of beliefs and morals, live far apart from the reality of its practice. It is clear that just being a struggle hero alone is insufficient a credential for the self-policing of...

Who Will Pay for South Africa's New Electricity Plan?

Picture: Pibmak Saliem Fakir - Two weeks ago Cabinet approved the new 20-year electricity plan also called the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010-2030). Without getting into too much detail about the new plan, simply put - coal is down, while nuclear and renewables are up. The IRP, like all plans, is changeable subject to the vagaries of our political economy and the availability of public finances to pay for the new fleet of power plants envisaged by the plan. The unsaid, though, is who’s going to pay and how for...

Whatever Happened to Batho Pele (People First)?

Picture: Saliem Fakir - Recently I walked into a public hospital and experienced first-hand rudeness and disdain from the staff when enquiring about the whereabouts of an ill friend. I ask for directions to the emergency ward. I am given a half-hearted answer at the reception. The person’s directions are unhelpful. They are just waves and wild gestures, as if I were a nuisance who arrived at an inconvenient moment. It is as if I never should have asked. Eventually, I come to a ward. I ask a...

Oil Dependence Is a Risk to Our Economy and Threat to South Africa's Poor

Picture: Kevin Dooley Saliem Fakir - Oil has become the bedrock of South Africa’s economy. But our economy is highly dependent on foreign imports of oil. About 60% of our transport fuel comes from overseas imports of crude, most of it from the volatile Middle East.  Recent and on-going upheavals in North Africa have had a marked effect on oil prices. Oil is now trading at just above US$120 a barrel.  This is of concern because a 10% increase in the oil price can lead to a drop in GDP of as much as 0.5%. The...

Rising Food Prices Require Political Response

Picture: World Bank Photo Collection Saliem Fakir - The world finds itself back where it was in mid-2008 when food prices skyrocketed causing untold harm to the vulnerable. In the last six months there has been a massive increase in prices for most essential food commodities. Food and being able to eat properly is going to be the single biggest political issue in the next decade. None other than economist, Paul Krugman, noted this in an op-ed in the New York Times. His tone was one of alarm and grave concern. Interestingly, Krugman pointed...

Lessons for South Africa from England's Messy Public-Private Partnerships

Picture: Saliem Fakir - As we embark on transforming South Africa’s health care system through a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, the question will arise as to how we fund the scheme and support facilities to accommodate the growing demands on the system. South Africa will have to build new hospitals and other support infrastructure. How we do that really depends on whether the government digs into its own coffers - for which the national debt level will increase - or funds new infrastructure...