Economic review


South Africa is a net exporter of capital and we therefore need sizeable inflows of foreign capital to finance the deficit. It is estimated by the UN that our annual FDI inflow dropped by as much as two thirds of late. As counter to the alarming decline in foreign direct investments, a one-stop service for foreign investors has been introduced in order to stimulate our economic growth.


Much has been said about banks ripping off our population. Factually, our banking sector does quite a good job of managing and investing savings and the like. One of the reasons for the stability of these institutions is their ownership by foreign investors and pension funds. This may not be good for transformation, but it has stood us in good stead during some very traumatic financial times of late. A call was made for a State bank to be created. The idea is that such a bank would help alleviate inequality and poverty by making financing available especially for small businesses. In principle this is a great idea. In practice this is not that easy to achieve. The State simply does not run efficient businesses, and one cannot lend at less than the cost of the money of running an organisation, taking into consideration risk.


Business review


Medical tourism refers to the practice of people travelling from their resident country elsewhere to seek medical treatment, generally at a better price or where the quality of the health care in the country of origin may be suspect and to take a holiday at the same time. One example is Mr Mugabe; no prize for guessing why in his case. If the money exported were retained and used to attract technocrats, then medical tourism would become extinct. But then, in our case, there are factors at play that make South Africa a questionable destination for medical practitioners?


Fidget cube: the latest craze, replacing the stress ball, is a cube with buttons, ratchets and so on design to keep idle hands busy.


Durban has been selected the best African city to live in.


An interesting postscript on the chicken import debacle is given by Schussler: he states that South Africans produce chickens cheaper and more efficiently than in Europe. So, why does European chicken meat into South Africa at a lower cost than we can produce it? The answer is that the European poultry industry is greatly subsidised. Yes, this is not fair trade.


The government restrictions on the issuing of forestry and planting permits has reportedly led to a construction timber shortage. It is estimated that, owing to a shortage of suitable land, South Africa will have to import nearly half of its pine structural wood requirements within the next two decades.


Zimbabwe is negotiating a new deal to continue importing power from South Africa. It’s current debt to South Africa for such importation is $40-million. Eskom holds that imports would be paid for up front (one wonders what will happen to the arrears?).


Many companies seemingly cannot change by allowing other gender or racial groups into the bosom of that company. Why? Because it’s safe taking in people just like you and your buddies. This phenomenon is called the buddy syndrome.


Property review


It appears that one of the pointers relating to month-on month house-price inflation has turned slightly positive; an indicator that better economic times and a market strengthening might be at hand. Loos says that the recent “correction” in South Africa residential housing prices has all but wiped out the post-2008 recession gains. The real (i.e. after inflation) house price level January was 0% different from the November 2011 position. Despite this, he says that our house price levels are still high, given that they are some 60% above the end of 2000 level.


The percentage of properties sold below the original purchase price increased to 12% in January this year from 9.8% in August last year.


Practice review


Workers at the RAF have gone on strike, allegedly because the RAF is in turmoil. Indicative of this is an attachment by a sheriff of the RAF bank account earlier this year, as that institution was in debt for R 8.2bn and which obstructed payments of R550m to various stakeholders. A part of the complaint was that the lowest-paid workers come R5k pm whilst the boss took home R5m pa.


A recent report held that private citizens could fix the roads and charge the Government for it. I have not read the case but I gather that an Eastern Cape High Court ordered the Date Department to reimburse farmers who carried out maintenance themselves, subject to conditions such as giving the Department notice and obtaining independent quotes. This would have far-reaching consequences if applied by farmers and civil groups.


Conveyancers would be well advised to take a look at the Electronic Deeds Registration Systems bill published on March 15.


Legal representation of parties in a family advocate enquiry should not be permitted.

WL v SH and another [2017] JOL 37112 (KZD)


Cases and such


Prospecting rights prohibited in protected areas


This is not a case which most would be interested in, except to note that if an area is protected, as contemplated by National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act i.e. the NEMPAA, then it falls to be protected against prospecting within that area.

Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks v Barberton Mines SCA 216/2016


A MOI requiring proxies to be deposited not less than 48 hours before a meeting, is inconsistent with section 58 (1) of the Companies Act. This should be borne in mind when drafting.

Barry v Clearwater Estates NPC SCA 187/2016


Trust assets in divorce accrual claims


A couple married, subject to an ANC which stated that any other asset acquired by such party by virtue of the position or former position of such assets shall not be taken into account as part of the other parties state and form part of the accrual. It was argued that interests in trusts which were funded solely from an involvement in an excluded industry, should the excluded from the calculation of accrual. To be taken from this case is the understanding that wording of an ANC allowing excluded assets to be swapped for another and thus also excluding that asset from accrual, is in order, even though it is a trust interest. Of course, the issue is always one of proof; nevertheless, practitioners should be alive to the possibility of thus wording an ANC. An interesting aside is that a spouse is owed a fiduciary duty by the trustees of a trust in which the other party holds an interest, even though she is not a beneficiary of that trust. A claim does lie against a trust on the basis of the abuse of a trust form by a trustee through fraud, dishonesty or an improper purpose.

M v M


Payment for surrogate motherhood facilitation


Is a surrogate motherhood facilitation agreement valid? Those with any interest in this might look.

HPP and others [2017] JOL 37415 (GP)


Section 163 of the Companies Act


The case below is wide ranging and the conduct of the applicant is truly audacious. There are a few snippets in this judgement which one may well be reminded of:

  • by becoming a shareholder, one undertakes to be bound by the decisions of the majority. Thus, acts which prejudicially affect some shareholders are not actionable, unless the complained of conduct, is not only prejudicial but is unfairly so;
  • in an application, a member of a company, complaining about unfairly prejudicial conduct of the company, must ask relief that will bring an end to the matters complained of;
  • a court should not order the hearing of oral evidence in an application where the probabilities favour the respondent; and
  • the court warned against a habit of bringing controversial applications to court and then to endeavour to turn them into trial actions, gaining an advantage over other litigants who had correctly preceded by way of action and had to wait many months to get their cases heard.

Harilal v Rajman




The whole art of politics consists in directing rationally the irrationalities of men.





Politics and the irrationality thereof: some years back, Matatiele was incorporated into the Eastern Province to the dismay of its inhabitants who (rightly?) feared that it would become a part of a badly run province. Now that the ANC needs votes, it has become politically expedient to re-incorporate that town into KZN. Speaking of flip-flops!


It is ironic that both Trump & Zuma complain that the courts oversee their political decision-making and exceed the boundaries of their mandate. What both seemingly do not understand, is that courts would only interfere in irrational decisions, for which both have a penchant.

Another example of irrationality at home is Zuma’s failing to understand that Dlamini should not be punished for possible failure to deliver grants; she should be punished for not doing her work, not being accountable, being arrogant and inept. One needs to go no further than our Concourt’s decision, published yesterday in which the court undertook the supervision of Dlamini’s Department, saying that her conduct was shameful and undermining of an institution established under the Constitution. It says that it is alive to the need to tread cautiously to preserve the comity between the judicial branch of government and others. But, given the threatened infringements to people’s social assistance right and the lack of accountability by the Minister, has led to it taking on a role which is certainly not of its choosing.


Trump sees the UN as a club for people to get together and talk and have a good time. He wants a cut of the US contributions ($10 bn) to that entity by more than a third. This is going to be interesting.


South Africa and Nigeria have resolved to establish an early warning system in response to xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa. We already have such a system in the guise of our State Security Agency. Or is the intent that another talk shop will be created?


The ANC youth league has called for Hlaudi Motsuaneng to be given a minister’s post. There are repeated calls for clean governance, yet populist leaders who are demonstrably incapable or corrupt, are repeatedly pushed to the fore.


Lighten up.


A rakish cutecucumber? Research has found that rock music turns out measurably larger cucumbers, with attitude. The experiment also included putting the subjects to bed in tiny sleeping bags and adjusting the feed (a mixture of Emu dung, desert soil and yabby eggshells).


'lk ben toch zo bang als jij weg bent,' zegt de bloedmooie vrouw. 'Je hoeft toch niet bang te zijn. Ik ben sneller terug dan je vermoedt.'  'Precies daarom!'


Shades of grey: a young child walks up to a mother and stays at her here. As a mother scarab seditious the gold clears throat that sweetly asks, why do you have some grey hairs? The mother pauses and looks at her daughter. Every time you disobeyed me, I get one strand of grey hair. If you want me to stay pretty, you better obey me, she says. The mother quickly turns to task. The little girl stands there. She clears throat again. Mother? she sweetly asks again. Yes? Her mother replies. Why is grandma’s hair all grey?


On irrationality: