Economic review


Soros that the debt-fuelled Chinese economy is at the onset of a financial crisis and that a hard landing there is practically unavoidable.


The Brics grouping is looking to set up their own credit-rating company with the ultimate goal of lowering borrowing costs. One wonders what they do not understand. What credibility will a tame rating agency have amongst the lenders that they target?


Brexit will prove an interesting exercise. The immediate drop in values has scared many and the proposed exit has been called into question. On the other hand there is the take that Britain, freed from bureaucracy, can become Europe’s centre for innovation, knowledge-based industries and into premiership. The EU is said to not really be a free trade area anyway. It is a customs union with tariff walls that applies to certain products. It will be most interesting to see how this plays out.


Business review


The Department of Home Affairs has launched a green paper calling for comments on a policy which holds that asylum seekers will no longer be able to live and work in local communities whilst waiting for their application for refugee status to be processed. It is said that 90% of migrants, entering South Africa, have an economic motive and the new arrangement should assist in differentiating between real asylum seekers and those who simply wish to achieve a better life.


The practice of medical schemes to encourage their members to use certain pharmacies by requiring a co-payment if not using a designated pharmacy, is being investigated by the Competition Commission on the basis that this may be an undesirable business practice.


Further to last week’s vehicle rankings: the industry average for problems for new vehicles is 105 problems per 100 vehicles. One notch down is Volkswagen; at the top is Kia followed by Porsche and Hyundai. The bottom is occupied by Land Rover, Volvo and Fiat.

If you are buying a car for your child at university you may wish to look at this:


NHI: much has been made of our intended National Medical Health scheme. At the end of the day this is tantamount to a tax on the wealthy. At present, medical assistance for the poor is to be had at the cost of quality and delay. Changing the system will not solve the cost problem. The current shortfall in finance is estimated at R200bn.


A friend of mine is on the cusp of retirement. One of the interesting things that he mentioned was that Panama is one of the prime retirement spots in the world. On the subject of Panama, the new canal will up the previous maximum tonnage of 76,000 200,000. This does not sound much but is said to be tantamount to a saving of $8m per ship for (by way of example) beans.


Public transport in the Gauteng cities is set to change following on government approval of the establishment of a single transport authority for that area.


Property review


Standard bank says that affordability of houses for first-time house buyers has bettered over the past ten years, in that the median income of such buyers is growing faster than the median price of houses, which that group would probably buy. The median instalment, for such properties, is currently R6345 per month.


DDOP: the Durban dig out initiative has been put on hold.


The response, to the proposal by King Goodwill Zwelethini to provide land titles to communities living on traditional land in KZN, was guarded. The elephant in the room is how to deal with the dilution of power that this may bring to the traditional authorities.


History is replete with examples of economic sectors brought to their knees by changes in technology and sentiment. Factually, estate agents’ fees are high (compared even to that of the conveyancers dealing with the transfers – which is really saying something!). Online trading can save homeowners, who wish to sell the properties such fees and this trend is accelerating. The latest KZN online property portal is CallOwner. The main difficulty faced by sellers, is not the technical stuff; one can hire a lawyer, engineer etc. for a pittance, nor is finding a buyer – the Web will take care of that. The problem is pricing: what most people do not know is that even this can be accessed by drawing down comparable prices in an area at a price.


It is interesting to note that, whilst business confidence is worse in KZN than other provinces, our commercial and residential property, in nodes such as Ballito (the fastest growing town in South Africa) and in the N3 transport corridor, are substantially outperforming other areas in the province.


IOL reports a significant (14.5%) drop in year-on-year mortgage lending for the first quarter of 2016. This, and the tough economic conditions has reflected in an average reduction of purchase price of 0.5% in property purchases for May.


Practice review


A Durban attorney was penalised by the CCMA for delaying a matter and persisting with a patently false version of events fielded by his client. The penalty took the form of a cost order against him personally. The gentleman took umbrage and appealed to the High Court. Mercy came there none. To be learnt from this is that one cannot rely on the excuse that one is presenting a client’s case when that case is ephemeral.


Cases and such


May one cancel if a purchaser pays late?


We repeatedly have the following type of scenario in conveyancing: a party to a contract,, for the purchase and sale of land does not deliver. He is put on terms. He pays two days late. Can you still cancel even though payment has been made this? Generally speaking, yes. The Cape Town High Court considered this and reiterated that a delay in exercising a right of cancellation, which had vested, does not deprive the party of the right to cancel. What usually happens is that the seller is happy to wait to three days rather than start afresh and therefore issues such these are infrequently taken up.



Reciprocal duties of landlord and tenant


A landlord of an upmarket building let out a flat and proceeded to re-develop another flat directly one floor below the one that was let. The tenant objected on the basis that he had a newborn baby and that the noise would be intolerable. The landlord ignored his representations and the tenant abandoned the flat. The court held that a tenant and landlord have reciprocal duties and that if a landlord does not provide peaceful and undisturbed occupation, than tenant could, on reasonable notice, vacate.



Parties to an application to set aside business rescue proceedings


The non-joinder of other creditors in an application, to set aside a business rescue plan, is fatal to the granting of an application.

Ettienne Naude SCA case 569/2015




Brexit is a shining example of politicians not being frank with citizens about what can and cannot be changed. The wrath of disillusioned voters will play out in the months to come. Much of this applies to South Africa also…


#Hlaudi must fall: resistance to the Hluadi Blackout/Sunshine Journalism (pun intended) at Auckland Park is picking up speed and it will be interesting to see who wins this battle. One suspects that those resisting the ban are possibly overreacting, but the actions taken by Hlaudi against dissenting staff was particularly ill-advised. I would love to know who his labour advisers are – if any. Choice nonsense is his comment that censorship is an English concept; heck, even the Boere engaged in it.




“I have become increasingly used to the Tory party mimicking our policies and phrases in a desperate effort to pretend to their members they are still Eurosceptic.” Nigel Farage


Lighten up


Speed cop to seductive victim: “You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets? You’re right, we don’t. Sign here.”


If you say “gullible” slowly, it sounds like “oranges”, try it.


On Brexit:

  • I guess the EU now has one GB of free space.
  • India is blown away now that you can get Britain to leave by voting.
  • Say goodbye to croissants, people. Delicious croissants. We are stuck with compass FOREVER.
  • Who knew Brussel sprouts could be even more disgusting?
  • George, I don’t want you playing with Pièrre, Műller and Miguel. Do you hear me?
  • 'Brexit' to be followed by Grexit. Departugal. Italeave. Fruckoff. Czechout. Oustria. Finish. Slovakout. Latervia. Byegium.