The protagonists in our annual internecine wage struggle are stepping up to the plate and staking out their bargaining positions. The government is offering about 5% and the unions want 15%. The largest union, Cosatu, is part of the government. A study done by our Treasury last year estimates that most public sector workers were in the top 30% of SA's wage earners. With its continued erosion of political clout, one wonders whether Luthuli House has the will to stick to its guns.

Gordhan has said that one third of our municipalities are dysfunctional. We know this. The scientific viability analysis which was done to determine this, is totally lost on us. Generally, one suspects, few of us care where the municipal boundaries run, as long as the local authority functions. After all, our system of voting on a national level no longer has any relevance to regional political power.

The European Central Bank will launch into QE next week. The current negative EU inflation rate means that one pays for the privilege of lending to Germany, by way of example.

A lovely term, employed by those who budget, is a budget being


I have read of the misconduct of several large companies repeatedly over several months. One such company (to use but one example) is Barclays, which suffered major penalties owing to currency rigging and so on. Yet, other than financial penalties, it, as does our local construction companies and the like, simply soldiers on with its clients remaining loyal and so on. This fascinates me. At best its shareholders might profit from its nefarious activities. Yet the public continues to bank with that institution as opposed to a dishonest individual which would be ostrasized from genteel company. Why?

France will henceforth compell its manufacturers to inform consumers how long they can expect an appliance thereby to last. The intent is to combat so-called planned obsolescence. A similar measure, coming into effect next year, would require manufacturers to replace or repair faulty appliances free for the first two years after purchase. Eina!

The Galaxy S6 will be on sale from April 10.

Refinery profits: an article on the politics and profits of building a new refinery in South Africa attracted my attention. We all assume that, given the volumes of fuel used in South Africa, oil companies would want to rush to invest. Consider this snippet


The IRR has circulated an e-summary of the expropriation Bill. In a nutshell it says that the Bill places pressure on owners whose land is to be expropriated to accept whatever compensation the State might offer; if one does not sue for more within two months, one is deemed to have accepted the sum offered. I cannot comment on this as I have no intention of the reading the Bill until it becomes law.

A somewhat bizarre comment, coming from our Minister of Agriculture, this week past was that the farm limit of 12,000 ha was a


The Women


Passing off/leaning on

Passing off may be defined as




The Idler: