Economic Review


The Standard Bank PMI index has dropped to 6-month-under-50-point mark. The prediction is for further deterioration in business conditions. Sacci recorded an arrest of the decline in its BCI but notes that this may not signal a turnaround. Business confidence is still lower than in the same month last year.


Randgold Reserves, our best performing producer of the metal over the past 10 years, has said that we shall soon see “survival mergers” amongst gold miners. Merge or die.


Judge Kenneth Davis has warned that if the government does not tackle corruption and spend taxpayers’ money wisely, we are risk at of a tax revolt. If only. This comes hot on the heels of a further call for VAT increases which is said to be inevitable. It is only the timing that is in issue – when is our next election?


The European commission has cut its growth and inflation forecast for the next year in that zone from 1.92 to 1.8%. China has now set its growth target at 6.5%.


You will recall some time ago that, especially our trade unions, bleated for Rand weakening to be implemented. The intent was to stimulate our exports. The Rand has now weakened yet our exporters are not profiting from this slump. Why not? Prof Malikane (Wits) proffers the following theory: the private and foreign ownership of strategic industries is responsible for stifling the growth and competitiveness of the local manufacturing industry. Reason being that they sell locally at hugely inflated prices. One remedies this by nationalising these companies. Like Agrippa, I’m almost moved…


NPC chairman, Jeff Radebe, is nothing if not optimistic. He has set our growth target for GDP at 5.4% annually  … by 2030.


Business Review


A new, not much emphasised page in the VW saga, is that it has also fudged its vehicle fuel consumption figures. The scandal is en route to spreading to Porsche also. The first scandal may have upset governments. The second, I have no doubt, will truly upset its hangers on.


Comes March 1, if the Treasury has its way, one will no longer be able to draw down one’s entire savings from a provident fund. This provision is intended for consumer protection.


The fees shortfall, to cover the additional funding required for universities, will be covered by funds “from existing allocations and surpluses”. There you have it, it was there all the time. Radebe had, after all, said that the money will be found: “I assure you the money will be found. This is government.”

On the same topic, Blade says that the fee-free higher education model, is built upon the current National Student Financing Aid Scheme cost sharing and recovery model. Yet, you will recall it was reported two weeks ago that only 4% of the sum spent had been recovered. Go figure


The Mexican Supreme Court has backed the right of individuals to use marijuana. Sitting in the sun will be much better in future.


Three years after adopting a 30-day payment policy, the PSC reports that Provincial Departments have failed to pay 21,847 invoices and the National Government 3470 invoices. Government work is attractive but payment is often a problem.


Property Review


Usually the top-end market property gains more and loses more in variable economic circumstances. So-called township house prices tends to be more stable. This sector’s house-price growth has slowed but still stands at 10.7% for the 3rd quarter of this year. Another characteristic of this property market sector is that transaction volumes tend to be low. Think again. Township transaction volume was 140.5% higher in the 1st 6 months of this year compared to that at end 1999.


PGP expects our housing market to remain resident despite our national economy floundering. It would though, wouldn’t it?


BlackRock urges us to invest in property overseas. It says that emerging markets overall are not as attractive as developed markets, property wise. According to Catalyst Fund Managers our listed property index achieved a 15.26% return in the first nine months of this year. Europe, by way of example, had returned 27.92% and the world average was 15.43%.


Practice Review


The Pietermaritzburg High Court has confirmed a conviction for fraud against a woman who had handed her employer a falsified sick note. As sentences go this one was light: R5000 of which R4000 was suspended. If really offended this may well be the way to go rather than a discharge?


The rule of law: a doctoral candidate at Stanford has examined the degree to which our government complied with Constitutional Court orders during the period 2005 – 2011. He found that the government complied fully with only half of these orders because of inertia, incapacity or purposeful intent.


Cases & Such


Latent defects


“If a buyer wishes to avoid the consequences of a voetstoots sale, he must show not only that the seller’s knew of the latent defect and did not disclose it, but also that he or she deliberately concealed it with the intention to defraud. Where a seller recklessly tells half-truths or knows the facts, but does not reveal them, because he or she has not bothered to consider the significance, this may also amount to fraud. But fraud will not llighly be inferred, especially when sought to be established in motion proceedings.”

Ellis [2015] ZACHC 145


Spoliation & home owners Association


In terms of the rules of a scheme, no electricity would be provided if levies were outstanding. The homeowners association restricted that supply. The owner responded with a spoliation application. Spoliation is a remedy in which the court restores the position of the disputants to where it was before any action took place that deprived one of the disputants of something by he other applying self-help. In this case, spoliation was refused on the basis that the parties were free to contact and that the actions taken by the Association, was not unlawful as it acted within the rules of the agreement.

Van Rooyen [2015] JOL 33597


Sequestration and abuse of the proceedings


It is trite law that the sequestration of a debtor’s estate must be to the advantage of creditors. Often sequestration applications attempt to circumvent this requirement. Typically this happens where the costs of the sequestration exceed the benefits to be had. I have an article on the subject, written by Mabe, a lecturer in the Department of Mercantile Law, Unisa. Ask me for a copy.




If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry. Chekov


Weird & Wonderful


“There is no doubt that SA’s rugby is on the decline, if one looks at the performances of the Springbok team over the last four years. One out of eight victories over the all Blacks in the last four years, tell the whole sorry tale.” Ex Springbok captains


Recently the news portrayed police executing a criminal. This caused a media storm. Popcru, in response, has called for a go-slow and threatened not to attend any life-threatening call-up. These “ “Hugely worrying” is no way to describe the attitude of those, turned vigilante, who often stand between us and death.


Last week I commented upon a construction company called Waco…really. This week there are reports about Google launching an effort to deliver Internet services from connected air balloons. The project will be termed ‘Loon”. I rest my case.


The Pietermaritzburg landfill guardians will be issued with pellet guns in order to shoot those who pick trash. These guys may be poor but they are people too. Wait for the gnashing of teeth when we blind one.


The air-wing contract that is to assist in combating rhino poaching in the KZN was awarded the contract after expiry of the old. That worthy has done nothing. He complains that the existing (read previous contractor) has refused to help him…. Eish!


“We reject the new direction that the General Synod has taken, with the full sad contempt it deserves.” Kokstad DR Church on what it describes as the General Synod’s decision to break the sola scriptura principle and allow gays to preach.


The tripartite alliance is dead: Long live the tripartite alliance. Mothlanthe’s Damascus moment has landed him in hot water. Predictably a lot of spin emerged. There was much speak of healthy tensions, open commentary, forthrightness and so on. Somehow one does not see much a future for him in politics?


Lighten Up


Het spijt my enorm, mijnheer, maar de firma wil niets meer leverenalvorens u alle oude rekenen hebt betaalt.

Zakeman: Schrap mijn bestelling danmaar. Zo lang kan ‘ik er niet op wachten.


An elegant woman passenger on an aircraft is wearing a huge, stunningly beautiful diamond ring. The man sitting beside remarks on it.

“Yes this is the Klopman diamond. It’s beautiful, but it carries with it a terrible curse.”

“A curse?”

“Mr Klopman.”


De ideale echtgenoot is hij die begript wat zijn vrouw niet segt.


A fellow walks into the bar of the Poona club.

“I’d like something tall, ice-cold and full of gin’”

Retired Col at the end of the bar: “Sah! You’re talking about the woman I love!”