Economic review


Public trust demands that the suits (who worked for the banks) responsible for currency manipulation should go to jail. On each occasion the relevant bank pays the find and everyone simply moves on. This ongoing saga of banks transgressing and walking away with a rap over the knuckles simply is not acceptable.


Funny money: It was probably inevitable that the Zimbabwean equivalent bond notes (tradable only in Zimbabwe) would not hold their value. If you pay with greenbacks you get as much as 50% discount over those who pay with bond notes. National chains who cannot discriminate against customers, have simply put up their prices. One cannot make a crisis go away by just printing money. Mind you, this wisdom comes from someone who has seen this happen before in his regime and who says that he would win the next election after his death!


Business review


The latest water-sport thing is a training-style racing bike mounted on two catamaran pontoons. One does about 25 m/m and it is said to be very safe. Boring.


New postage rates have been gazetted. Boring.


Property review


A recent report on City Lodge held that its profit had weakened owing to fewer guests checking in. Why? In Pietermaritzburg, the representative of the local B& B Association says that it is estimated that the local formal B&B sector loses about R500m per month to Air B&B and he complained bitterly that the formal operatives had to comply with all manner of legislation whilst those who offer Air B&B don’t. I am surprised. With that kind of loss, one would think that the locals would get together and launch a class action – if they are indeed a right about Air B&B operatives flaunting our laws, then just their loss for a month would probably equal the cost of such a suit.


We have turned the corner on Land Reform: the government will henceforth purchase land at a value determined by the Valuer-general. What I don’t quite understand is that the report holds that the government had already saved 50 million Rand last year but that the Valuer-general was still drafting the standards that would inform future purchases. He also says that the policy would hold that State land should be transferred free to those who require it (This I cannot see being a problem this at all). What is concerning, is the Minister’s statement that he wants a pre-colonial audit of land done and that thereafter restitution should follow without compensation. Think Zimbabwe.


Lightstone Property says that one in ten South Africans choose gated communities when making a residential property purchase.


FNB says that the Reserve Bank’s leading business cycle indicator has been turning positive which is a pointer for future near-term economic growth and an indicator of new residential mortgage lending growth. Hold thumbs


Practice review


The right thing? Judge Motata, he of the drunk driving case, has asked the Concourt to declare unconstitutional the convening by the JSC of a tribunal to examine his conduct. If this application is granted, he would truly be above the law; a position he should understand is untenable.




The right to privacy: information on one’s cellphone


In Numsa v Rafee an employee had allegedly taken photos of the company’s production line, machines and so on. These were regarded as confidential business operations and when asked to hand his phone over, he refused. After a stint in the CCMA the Labour Court confirmed that information on the mobile phone was confidential. However, this does not entitle an employee to use his personal phone as a camera to capture confidential information belonging to his employer in which it has a proprietary interest. In doing so, he could hardly maintain that his right to preserve the confidentiality of his personal data entitles him to retain data about the company that he had obtained without permission.

[2016] ZALCJHB 512




“Give me the control of the credit of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws.” The infamous boastful statement of Nathaniel Meyer Rothschild, speaking to a group of international bankers, 1912




Legacy issues: this term is used by those who refer to sins past to avoid being held responsible…and who seemingly never get prosecuted.


It is difficult not to be cynical about our parastatals. They seem to be a breeding ground for patronage and even public scorn does not deter those involved. Take SAA and, lately Acsa, where reports hold that the Minister is apparently using her majority vote to protect Acsa’s CEO against being held responsible for contravening supply chain rules.

In fact, it is a hard not to become despondent about South Africa as a whole: even our police and its watchdog are at loggerheads. One would assume that the investigation of possible wrongdoing should be welcomed by both.


No one seems to be exempt from inappropriate behaviour: even Standard and Poor has been fined for misleading investors ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.


Lighten up


 A judge was riding horses one day with a young lawyer friend. They came upon an open stretch of country and noticed a hangman's noose hanging from a tree, solemnly waving in the wind. The judge turned to his riding companion and jokingly said, "Jacob, if that gallows had its due, where do you suppose you would be?" "Riding alone," quickly came the reply.


A millionaire informs his attorney, "I want a stipulation in my Will that my wife is to inherit everything, but only if she remarries within six months of my death." "Why such an odd stipulation?" asked the attorney. "Because I want someone to be sorry I died!" came the reply.


  What's the difference between a lawyer and a trampoline?

   You take off your shoes before you jump on a trampoline.