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.

Rethinking the Role of Mining in South Africa: Nothing Changes Until Something Big Happens

Picture credit: A worker in an Anglo Ashanti gold mine courtesy Jonathan Ernst/World Bank Saliem Fakir - Last week the Mining Indaba came and went just like it does every year. Some 7,000 people attended. On its margins, outside of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), a different kind of mining indaba, a people’s indaba, took place in close by Woodstock. This was the 5th Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI), which serves as a counterpoint to the industry event. AMI voices always struggle to find their way into the CTICC, but the chorus from the margins is growing stronger with...

South Africa's Energy Crisis: Renewables for the Rich?

Picture credit: PV Magazine Saliem Fakir - Citizens should brace themselves for a long journey of troubled co-existence with Eskom’s woes. Citizens with higher incomes are likely to become less dependent on Eskom because they can supply their energy needs through alternative power sources like renewables, solar-water heaters, gas and home-diesel generators. But poorer households that cannot afford alternatives will either have to absorb higher electricity costs or live with reduced quality of life. There are several...

How Pragmatism Drove China's Economic Transformation

Picture credit: Inonews Saliem Fakir - Decline can happen rapidly and all before one’s eyes. Sometimes the response to it can be slow and even result in total neglect. First, there’s denial or the inability to speak up. Then there’s some acceptance that things are not going well and finally there may be a belated attempt at collective mobilisation to tame the rot gripping the sinews of political and economic institutions. It can come just in time or be too little too late. China pulled itself out of the ashes...

Using New Energy Platforms for Industrial Capability: Where Is South Africa's Industrial Policy Positioned?

Picture credit: Making It Magazine Saliem Fakir - There are three aspects of energy supply that lend themselves to shifting the diversification of a national economy. The mix of supply should reduce dependence on any source, especially if the source creates a foreign dependence or a systems path-dependence that eventually leads to wider risks for the general economy. In South Africa, coal is becoming too constraining. Our long-term dependence on coal for the majority of our energy, both electricity and liquid fuels, makes it hard to...

From Marikana to the Fall of African Bank: How Unsecured Loans and Low Wages Create a Hollow Economy

Picture credit: Narrow Bridge Finance Saliem Fakir - At first glance the connection between Marikana and African Bank Investments Limited (Abil) may seem tenuous. But there is a connection. “Moneylending” is the unholy connection between Marikana and the position that Abil finds itself in today, revealing the underbelly of a troublesome industry that has become a systemic problem for South Africa. Even the ratings agencies believe so. They have not just downgraded Capitec, a bank similar to Abil with a huge unsecured lending...

Study Reveals Preference for Foreign Black Migrants in Some Sectors of South African Economy

Picture credit: Waiter courtesy Franschhoek Wine Valley/flickr Saliem Fakir - In the city where I live, Cape Town, it’s not unusual to hear a foreign accent or see a foreigner. Foreigners are part of the intricate web, not only of the Cape’s economy, but also of the rest of South Africa. Foreigners arouse one’s curiosity. Some are treated better than others, but there are always questions in people’s minds - how did they make their entry into South Africa? Where did they come from? Why did they come here? Who employs them? Despite our talk...