Rory Riordan

Rory Riordan lives in Schoenmakerskop, a little seaside village just outside Port Elizabeth, with his wife Melissa and their two children.

His book, Apartheid's Stalingrad, the story of township revolt against apartheid, particularly in the townships of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage in the 1980s, was published by Jacana.

He studied philosophy at Rhodes University, and in later life has had two spells as a city councillor, firstly for six years heading the finance committee of the erstwhile Port Elizabeth Transitional Council from 1994, and secondly for six years from 2015, the first two of which he was also heading up finance, this time for the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

His first wife, Zoe, lives in Somerset West, and their three sons live in Vienna and Dublin.

Election 2024 – The DA’s rescue plan for South Africa: a review

Rory Riordan Opinion 2024-02-28

"Their concerns about diminishing state debt are well motivated and should be taken seriously, and their manifesto includes much of interest and many good ideas. But the last bolts need tightening, the final budget needs better costing, and they should give us, even if in appendices, much more detail about their thinking."

Election 2024: The Economic Freedom Fighters’ election manifesto

Rory Riordan Opinion 2024-02-20

"Thus, these many commitments are not commitments to study and then decide on action; they are clearly phrased as actions that have been decided on, and must now be seen through. We know where we are with the EFF."

Manifesto: A new vision for South Africa by Songezo Zibi: a review

Rory Riordan Books and writers 2024-02-13

"With his having written Manifesto, his patriotism and determination to make South Africa a better place are indisputable. And his willingness to abandon an obviously successful career to see through his ideals is very unusual in a country now dedicated to 'What’s in it for me?'."

What Maestro by Bradley Cooper did not show

Rory Riordan Film 2024-01-10

"Bradley Cooper has made a grand movie – such a pity it’s the wrong one."

Who will rule South Africa? by Adriaan Basson and Qaanitah Hunter: a review

Rory Riordan Books and writers 2023-12-05

"Maybe it’s good that much of it is now consolidated into one volume – but we’ve heard it so often and for so long that it is hardly now exciting."

To the moon or a crash landing? 2024 election prospects

Rory Riordan Opinion 2023-09-05

"Stop dreaming, take on the issues in front of you, DA, and get back to talking with the ANC. There are a number of South Africa’s biggest cities that are in real trouble (I know, I live in one), and only a determined effort by both the ANC and the DA working together can pull them right."

8115 Orlando West and its people: a review of Winnie and Nelson, portrait of a marriage by Jonny Steinberg

Rory Riordan Books and writers 2023-07-11

"Is this a good book? Yes, it is a bloody good book. Is it a masterpiece, as was A Man of Good Hope? No, its descriptions are, but its analysis is sometimes flawed. Would I recommend it as a purchase and as a read? Without a doubt."

Enter the lacuna: a review of Harry Oppenheimer by Michael Cardo

Rory Riordan Books and writers 2023-06-02

"Two biographies of Sir Ernest are both out of print, and Harry has, until this month, eluded biography."

South Africa’s national election in 2024: exciting times ahead?

Rory Riordan Opinion 2023-04-13

"The ANC is losing ground to the EFF in that vital community, black youth. Young people worldwide are not interested in attending monthly meetings at which elderly people give rambling talks on the proud history of their movement – young people want action, protests, burning tyres, walking on and over the lines of legality. This the EFF offers, while the ANC Youth League is moribund, conceding this cohort of voters to the EFF."

Tár: a movie by Todd Field, with Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár

Rory Riordan Lifestyle and entertainment 2023-03-15

"But, of course, the cream on the cake is the extraordinary character that Field has created in Lydia Tár, and Ms Blanchett’s rendition of her is off another planet. Only vintage Streep could compete with Blanchett as Tár. It is an experience of an exceptional kind to be able to witness this performance."

Is the "big picture" of South Africa really so bad?

Rory Riordan Opinion 2023-02-06

"In 1994, ignorant of this future, and on a national consensus of all political parties, we set out to do something that no country before us had done – we set out to deliver a welfare state to a country with a rapidly growing population, in the absence of an oil bonanza or some such."

Rory Riordan on his book Apartheid’s Stalingrad

Rory Riordan Books and writers 2022-11-29

Why were the townships of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage apartheid’s Stalingrad? What happened in the eighties that left the NP with no choice but to start negotiating?

A library to flee by Etienne van Heerden: reader impression

Rory Riordan Books and writers 2022-10-13

"To have taken such inflammable issues, and to have presented them so inoffensively yet so clearly, is a clear pointer to Van Heerden’s remarkable skills as a writer. In Library, he plunges headfirst into fiction with social issues to discuss, and succeeds beyond his hopes, I’m sure. He has amused us, frightened us, titillated us and informed us."