Economic review


Perchance I overheard a radio interview of a respected retired stockbroker. He was asked about the apparent growth in stock markets. His response was that governments had increased liquidity (think QE) in order to combat potential recessions. This resulted in money having nowhere to go but chasing the same stocks with prices escalating solely for that reason rather than increased value. His somewhat bleak prediction was that a dramatic fall in stock prices was inevitable.


Business review


Paywalls: these may be defined as the online payments separating free news from paid-for news. It is said that people are far less willing to pay for online news than for print. The result is that newspapers generate between 1 to 10% of their revenue from online sources. At the same time newsprint is in decline. One of the solutions is syndicated news, as may be found in the offerings by Media 24.


Open plan offices heralded the age of the collaborative co-working. Almost half of the workers in open-plan offices are said to be dissatisfied with noise levels, common temperature control, hubbub levels and the like. The trend is towards activity-based working, where people have a range of spaces within which they work. Private pods as well as project rooms where joint projects are tackled, seem to be the way to go.


Property review


It is reported that South African banks have suffered a dramatic increase in soured mortgage loans for this half-year.


Residential rentals in London has fallen for the first time in six years. The decrease is very small though.


Practice review


TMJ will be hosting a seminar, for estate agents only, at which the South African Real Estate Academy will offer training in:

  • being remembered by potential clients;
  • listing like a pro; and,
  • mandates.


The keynote speaker will be the CEO of SAREA, Adv. Kevin Mullins, a former agent and principal who specialises in management consulting to principals, as well as advising and training in legal and ethical property practice.

Additionally, TMJ will briefly revisit ownership of property by trusts, given the changes in the tax treatment of trusts that are expected in March 2017.

Estate agents will earn 3 non-verifiable points for attendance. Should this be of interest to you, ask us for an invite at


The Road Accident Fund is said to have a R145bn debt… okay, unfunded “liability”..  It’s only recourse is in turning to implement the Road Accident Benefit Scheme. In essence, as is said elsewhere in this newsletter, we simply do not have the money to fund our rather ambitious social projects.




Liens & proof


And enrichment lien may be described as that right of the holder of property,, belonging to another where the holder has expended money or labour on that property, pending compensation by the owner. One typically finds these where parties contract to sell and buy property and the would-be purchaser starts improving the property before the transaction can be registered. The transaction is then cancelled and the holder claims compensation for the improvements. Usually contracts contain a clause stating that the purchaser shall not improve the property of the seller until transfer and, if he does so, he will not be compensated therefor. The case that follows, deals with the question of proof and is a salutary example of things going pear-shaped.

Davies versus Purple Fountain Properties ZAGP




Broadly speaking, our law of contract does not allow one to rely on one’s own mistake if the other party has not made a misrepresentation. If you mistakenly sign a surety where the bank has not misled you, you will be bound.

Nedbank v Antonio ZAECPEHC


Resolutions by a company where the directors have an interest in the matter decided


In terms of section 75 (5) of the Companies Act, where a director has a personal financial interest in a matter being decided, that director must disclose his interest and its general nature to the board, before the matter is considered. That director should be leave the meeting and must not take part in in any further consideration of that matter. Failure to do so will render the resolution invalid.

Cook v Hesber Impala [2016] JOL 36194 (GJ)


Equal pay for equal work


The Employment Equity Act provides that employees of the same employer, performing substantially the same work, of equal value, should be paid the same salary, on pain of non-compliance being unfair discrimination. I am an outsider of this field and would not for venture in. I hold and article from Laubsher on this matter and I invite you to ask me for a copy.


Intestate succession and the treatment of same-sex and opposite-sex life partners.


Currently only the former group qualifies as the interstate heirs of their respective deceased partners. This is clearly an unsatisfactory situation and I invite you to ask me for a copy of an article on the subject, written by Smith.




Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. Oscar Am Ringer’s




The NHI was going to be the cure for our healthcare woes. The assumption was that it would improve the quality of services and reduce costs. We now have free tertiary education on the cards, in addition to free housing, free basic services and the like. Essentially these are socialist schemes funded by capitalist taxpayers. Pragmatically speaking, the NHI is bound for failure unless a reasonably neutral source of new funding can be found – which is not very likely.


I was fortunate to have listened to an address by Max du Preez. He was quite positive about the state of our nation in general. One interesting comment from him was that one should compare this country to others who are our peers; i.e. Turkey, Brazil and the like. If one considers the attempted coup in Turkey, the mass arrests and the like we are probably doing reasonably well.

Another interesting comment by Max dovetailed with a report that I read on the economic impact of universities. The latter holds that there are positive spill-over effects from the existence of universities in terms of direct expenditure and increased supply of human capital, greater innovation and the like. What interested me was Max noting that we had umpteen service protests by hundreds of thousands of people which drew scant attention from government. An uprising by a few thousand students brought immediate and sustained reaction. Why?


“Trust no one.” This was said by the outgoing CEO of the Pietermaritzburg city council to his successor. Perhaps true but hardly encouraging. A smooth economy, says Hartford, runs on trust. He could have added that this also true of politics as of businesses. The mere fact that minor local leaders require a posse of bodyguards is indicative of the malaise of lack of trust in our society. And perhaps elsewhere?


Outgoing municipal councillors in Msunduzi will receive a three-month gratuity to help them find other jobs. I remember the days when such councillors served for a stipend, considering such service a civic honour. The competition for the job was not intense and I don’t offhand recall of anyone being murdered on account of the possible gain or loss of such a position.


Lighten up


America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won't cross the street to vote.


A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.


My favourite mythical creature? The honest politician.


I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn't complain.


Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession and I have come to realise that it is a very close resemblance to the first. Reagan


And for those who fear the end of the world; proof positive: