I recently went overseas. When I booked I was paying R11.25 to the €. On my return, the Rand/Euro exchange rate stood at R15.25. Just before I left one wag suggested that the shortest joke in South Africa was “the Rand”. When one returns to South Africa and looks at things afresh, the “political economy” of South Africa is dismal. It is clear that political prosecutions by the NPA, schooling, and much of the by now customary problems are out of control and underfunded. I note that a report on trading in credit default swaps indicates that investors believe that SA will follow Brazil into junk investment status. Tony Leon even equates the state of our rugby to the state of our nation – very obviously a non sequitur, but still very depressing.

The Consumer Goods Council estimates that some 30 – 40% of consumers are using Capitec-type credit to buy food.


An interesting development is that Ernst and Young (UK) has dropped degree classification from its entry criteria for hiring professionals. It says that it has found no correlation between success at University and professional achievement. Instead it has introduced online numerical and strength assessments to judge the potential of applicants.

It is reported by the Institute of Tax Professionals that SARS is under a lot of pressure to reach targets, resulting in it becoming increasingly aggressive in its collection strategies. This has led to tax practitioners feeling that they are being investigated as criminals, leading to a definite breakdown of trust in relationships wit SARS.

The demerit system is to be implemented across our countries’ roads from April.

A Scottish company has developed a material made from sugar beet waste which is twice as strong as carbon fibre.

Our Minister of health has resuscitated its “certificate of need” requirement before the opening of a medical practice, in the latest White Paper on national health insurance. The NHI initiative is clearly still firmly on the government agenda. At the same time the Hospital Association of South Africa says that there is no immediate hope of further funding for health care. Make your own deductions.

Microsoft Office 2016 is now available. The focus is on continuously updated software which is cloud-connected. Like it or not, this is the future.

Discovery is to launch a virtual consultation website. A visit to the site plus accompanying advice would be free. A face-to-face virtual consultation costs R50. Discovery members will also be able to obtain genetic tests for $250. Members would further be restricted to a network of doctors, specialists, hospitals and the like or face co—payments. This had to come.

MBA move over. MIM; Masters in Management is set to become the prime business degree.

It is reported that the first planting of Wema drought-tolerant maize hybrid has resulted in double maize yields. This is the way to go!

Our firm will be hosting a BBytes Live talk on the practical implications for employers of the recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act, in Pietermaritzburg, on October 14 at 16h00. This will include a beer tasting. Ask me if you wish to attend.


FNB’s John Loos says that there is a noticeable slowing in t residential property activity levels. Property price growth is currently only 1.2% above our GDP growth. He speculates that this might be an indicator of near term economic growth weakening.

On the other hand, the local commercial property finance market remains buoyant; despite a sense of caution creeping in – Nedbank.


I recently saw the Facebook page of a candidate attorney where that person posted a photograph of the speedo of the office car doing 170, complaining that the car wouldn’t go faster. One asks oneself whether a person that obtuse should practise?

The Hawks are probing the Road Accident Fund following on charges laid by the DA. One of the alleged misuses is a practice whereby the fund sues itself in order to stop prescription of claims.


Interpretation and ostensible authority

In the case below there is a lucid explanation of the interpretation of contracts and the meaning of an objective interpretation by the court. Objective refers to the intent of the parties rather than a totally uninvolved approach. The case also deals with the perennial problem of the ostensible authority of persons entering into a contract on behalf of a company. Such authority is inferred from the conduct of the parties and the circumstances of the case.
Novartis v Maphill SCA 20229/14

Business rescue and section 133 of the companies act

Section 133 of the Companies Act provides for a moratorium on legal proceedings against a company under business rescue. Is arbitration such a proceeding? Yes. The purpose of section 133 is to give the business rescue practitioner breathing space and a broader interpretation, to include other fora, is warranted. Is the failure to obtain the business rescue practitioner’s consent before proceeding with arbitration fatal to its outcome? No.
Nationwide Electrical SCA case 20323/14

Incarceration and the weight to be attached to the accused being the primary care giver of young children

I do not propose to discuss this case, save record that this may be useful for practitioners involved in this type of work.
De Villiers SCA case 20367/14

Act 70 of 70 (the Subdivision of Land Act) and options to purchase – are they prohibited?

I had thought that this matter had been put to bed – clearly not. In this case the court found that an option to purchase a portion of agricultural land, before obtaining ministerial consent, was invalid.
Four Arrows SCA 20470/14

Unconscionable behaviour by the State

When one reads this case one can but wonder at the disingenuous argument lofted by the State representatives in order not to pay an account. It argued that it could not pay the balance of a payment due for road rehabilitation as that payment was not budgeted for and therefore contrary to statutory provisions. Short shrift was given to this argument.
Free State Provincial Government versus Terra Graphics SCA 483/13


Resent Africanisation? Get used to it. This is not new; take a look at These guys still hate each other 100 years later.

“At places like Wits, common thuggery (by protesting students) has long displaced progressive protests and this has serious consequences for democracy.” Jansen

“Now listen you, people of NATO. You’re bombing a wall, which stood in the way of African migration to Europe, and in the way of al-Queda migrants. This wall was Libya. You breaking it. You’re idiots, and you will burn in hell for thousands of migrants from Africa and for supporting al-Queda." Gaddafi


Gynaecologist... roofkyker.

Destinesia... When you arrive in the room where you intended to go, you can’t remember why you were going there in the first place.

At my age I realise that
my people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance of idiots that needs work.
Money isn’t everything – but it keeps you in touch with your children. Attributed to Getty

Has the victory over Samoa expunged Heyneke Meyer's sins? To hear him say that keeping the Bok captain in the team was the hardest decision he has had to make..piffle!