Sinking like a brick? To certain extent the vagaries of currency markets reflect the belief others hold in one’s currency and business. Our political inconsistency and public management disasters seem now point the way to investments in South Africa are being degraded to junk status; inflation and lessening capital inflows are sure to follow.

Of the virtue of rewarding effort and the vice of inequality’s injustice: “Contrary to conventional wisdom, the benefits of a higher income are trickling up, not down.” Lagarde. The OECD now believes that lower inequality boosts growth and benefits, even for the rich.

In an apparent effort to justify the imposition of toll roads, our government published a spread in local newspapers: in this it is proclaimed that a fuel levy is not a dedicated tax that pays for roads. It is simply a tax that goes into the general revenue pool – there is no guarantee that an increase in fuel levy would materialise into funding for roads. BS, if nothing else. This was sold to us as a tax to subsidise roads (the user pays) and what goes with automobiles. What drives the allocation of this tax is simply political will.

It is reported that the price inflation of expensive products has outstripped that of cheaper products by far. It is said that the CPI of products the top 25% of products available increased to 17% as opposed to 4.7% for cheaper products.

Our working-age population has grown by 11 million people since 1994. This profound demographic shift should be translated into growth, but is not.

One of the changes to our social security system that is being considered, is compulsory retirement savings. Another is the introduction of a universal child grant. Great ideas, but affordable?


Prof Jansen, the UFS vice-chancellor is well publicised as a result of what he says. His latest comment on access versus success to/in education comes from statistics that 6 years ago that university’s undergraduate pass rate was amongst the lowest in the country. Today it boasts a pass rate of nearly 90% – achieved by raising the bar for admission. This action he says is not to the detriment of formerly disadvantaged students? Another pearl from him: “Training gives you skills. Education tempers your passions.”

A new government unit has been created that will investigate, mediate and resolve late payments to service providers by the State. A cheaper option would be to fire a couple of DGs.


FNB reports that house price growth in the former black townships continues to outstrip that of the former white suburbs. These prices grew by 17% year-on-year in the 2nd quarter of this year as opposed to the 7.4% for the house price index for the major metro regions.

JJL reports that the Johannesburg office vacancy rate improved to 11.3% in the 2nd quarter of this year. This improvement is driven mainly by A space where the vacancy rate fell to 8.8%. It is said that rental growth should be maintained in the larger regional and super-regional malls whilst smaller centres might struggle.

The house price growth for holiday towns has increased by only 1.9% in the 2nd quarter of this year.

Sanlam says that listed property in South Africa is currently overvalued and that direct ownership is more likely to bring strong returns.


A perfect storm: the best thing to happen to the profession since the Seventh Commandment! The latest salvo in the release of information from an infidelity website is reported to be great for business; think lawyers, therapists and cyber security.

Jibberish: Those who govern us seem unable to understand that appointing persons tainted in controversy simply does not work. The appointment of adv. (her current title…but wait) Jiba in the NPA, simply ignores the slew of negatives surrounding her and a judge’s finding that she had been economical with truth.

Aside from having foreign lawyers draw legislation (think the Companies Act) we have reasonably successfully resisted the importation of overseas terminology into our law. Our current Minister of justice is set on introducing a super – lawyer termed the Solicitor-General. He will head up the NPA, AG and such. One wonders whether a more rational approach would not be to address the chronically slow and inefficient State Attorney and NPA rather than add further top structures to those organisations.

For those of you who run estates’ practices it may be worthwhile looking at the Chief Master’s Directive 2/2015.

Our Chief Registrar has issued a circular 10/2015 which deals with the name change of Absa Home Loans Guarantee Company (Proprietary) Limited to Absa Home Loans Guarantee Company (RF) (Proprietary) Limited. In a similar circular 9/2015 a name change from Absa Home Loans 101 (Proprietary) Limited is recorded by the insertion of the same “(RF)” designation.

Striking off: if an attorney is guilty of dishonesty and has failed to take responsibility therefor, striking off is an appropriate remedy.

LS of the Northern Provinces, SCA case 20252/14


Communal property associations, Act 28/96
The latest Concourt decision deals with non-registration of communal property associations and the effects thereof.
Bakgatla Case 231/14

Selling sectional units in an proclaimed development
The case below provides that sectional units may be validly sold in an un-proclaimed development within Gauteng. This is contrary to the intent of the relevant legislation which prohibits the sale of stands in such a township. This lacuna is owing to an argument that sectional title is not an erf as defined in the relevant Ordinance.
Erf 441 Robertsville 2007 (2) SA 197 (W)

Outstanding levies revisited
Is an HOA entitled to compel the payment of outstanding levies older than 3 years old – in other words – which have prescribed? No.
Lukhele [2015] ZAGPPHC 116

Registration for the purposes of the NHBRC
Generally speaking, builders have to register buildings with the NHBRC for insurance purposes. Does this apply when one builds a home for occupation by oneself? In this case, the owner and home builder alleged that he was not in the business of the homebuilding at all and, judging by the text, he might have had a point. However, the matter was not finally decided upon but referred back to the trial court, as the case in hand had been conducted by way of motion. It may well be worth a read for those involved.
Ruiter [2015] ZAWCHC 107

Vicarious liability
An erstwhile member of the sharks team had sustained a rupture of a patella tendon. This was repaired at 1 Military Hospital and the surgery was not a success. The Minister of Defence was held liable. Unremarkable, except that it serves to remind one that the liability brought upon by an employee being negligent, lies also with his employer
Kleuver SCA case 20198/14


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Dr Seuss


Our Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural and Religious and Linguistic Communities… (really?) has announced that it will investigate the finances of houses of religion and illicit practices. This is going to be interesting. How does, by way of example, one distinguish between persuading a member to part with money to finance a pastor with an eye on eventual salvation, walking on fire, belief in healing and eating snakes? Social acceptability; real returns?

It is estimated that dealing with refugees will cost Germany €10bn this year only. Slovakia has announced that it will accept only Christian refugees. Why? Because of the absence of mosques! Aside from being a chicken and egg argument, one must seriously ask whether it is incumbent upon a country to accommodate and deal with the failures of another.

Clever Polly: An 85-year-old woman in India had accused her stepson of training her parrot to hurl obscenities at her. The parrot was duly summoned to a police station where it would not utter a word.

Insight: ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe says that “the legitimacy of the State is fraying.”

Am I hearing this right? Vavi: “I fully agree that people must be employed strictly on merit and not based on political connections. I think our problem is lazy managers who won’t feed or follow procedure to discipline workers when they are not productive or not doing their jobs.”


Never say this to a lawyer:
• Thanks to everything that I read online, I know I have a very good case.
• Can you take a look at this contract I’ve signed?
• Why do you need so much time to do that paperwork?
• Do I have to pay you even though we lost the case?
• Are you going to charge me for doing the paperwork?

Not cricket: What’s the difference between Cinderella and the Aussies? Cinderella knew when to leave the ball.


Gentle Reader,

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed and I will be taking a break which will cause a hiatus of a month in the delivery of Business Bytes.

On matters relating to holidays: Can you remember those ancient risqué seaside postcards? Below follows one for your enjoyment – especially for Andy who believes that Joneses come from Scotland.