Economic review


Our Public Service Administration minister says that our government is on track to cut its salary bill by R25bn in three years. I would not hold my breath.


 Mixed signals: a harbinger of times to come is new vehicle sales which is shrinking alarmingly. At the same time there are those who say that our economy is on the cusp of recovery. Certainly uncertain times.


With the ever-growing shortfalls in our state income, it would appear to be almost inevitable that a VAT increase will be called for. It is said to be more efficient (with a 1% increase yielding R9bn in extra income) compared to a 1% across the board hike of personal income tax, which would yield only R3bn). I fear that politics will determine the outcome of this.


RIC? Philani Mthembu, an executive of the Institute of Global Dialogue, has suggested that the economic difficulties experienced by the Brics countries might well lead to discord and the unbundling of this partnership.


Business review


E-Tolls: Outa may well have effectively closed down the intended toll roads in Gauteng, but the knock-on effects thereof is already starting to show: the upgraded freeways in that province have reached their carrying capacity; yet uncertainty over the future of e-tolling has resulted in planning, for new highways, grinding to a halt.


Post offices: 221 post offices have been closed, following on another loss by the SA Post Office. This is no surprise. When last have you posted a letter?


Geologists have reported a number of small tremors near the San Andreas fault. They predict an earthquake but are coy on when.


An interesting concept is being developed by the Land Forces in Australia. A tank is covered by a conducting polymer, which changes colour as electrical charges are passed through it. If the development is successful, a tank could change colour to suit its background.


Do check before you travel to Africa. Visas are now increasingly required for visits to African countries, including Nigeria, Angola and Ghana.


WhatsApp has announced new features such as one that allows the sender to draw/add on (to) photos that will be sent. These features will be rolling out on android phones now and shortly hereafter on iPhones.


The Treasury has barred the levying of performance fees and extra charges on tax-free savings accounts. These accounts allow a once-yearly sum of 30k to be saved tax-free by investors.


Last week I had mentioned that King Shaka airport was not living up to expectations. A reader called and explained why: large airports (and as I understood it, situate more than 3000 km away from the airport of arrival) require a diversion airport. In the case of King Shaka this is Oliver Tambo. Planes simply have to carry too much fuel to be able to divert effectively. For this reason there are no direct flights to Europe from King Shaka despite there being a huge demand for this. He also suggested that the reason why an alternate airport to the East of Pietermaritzburg is not being proceeded with, is that the Treasury is protecting Airlink which solely serves this very lucrative route.


Property review


The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act comes into effect this month. Amongst others, the following changes need to be taken note of:

  • aside from the standard short-term maintenance contributions, a 10-year maintenance reserve fund must be provided for;
  • contributions to the Community Schemes Ombud will have to be budgeted for;
  • registration with the above service will have to be effected;
  • changes to levy contributions and scheme rules must be certified in writing;
  • trustees need to appoint a managing agent to run the property; and
  •  voting rules and quorums have been changed.


Loos reports that house price growth for the last month has slowed further to 3.4% year-on-year. This is the fifth consecutive month in which house prices have slowed, compared to prices a year ago.


Practice review


VAT and contingency fees

May one charge a maximum of 25% contingency fees plus VAT? No. If you wish to see the article from which this comes, ask me.


The Chief Registrar of Deeds has issued a circular on the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, 13/2016. If you have not received a copy, ask me.


Cases and such


Amendment of deed of sale of land


If one wishes to amend a deed of sale of land (which has to be in writing) via a court order, a two-stage enquiry has called for: were the formal requirements met? If they were, has a proper case for rectification been made?

Tamryn Manor


Does the High Court have jurisdiction to hear an appeal against the judgement of a Consumer Affairs Court?


In this case a party appealed to the High Court in Bloemfontein from the Free State Consumer Affairs Court. The respondent was of the view that only an appeal to the National Consumer Tribunal was in order, i.e. that internal remedies should be exhausted first. The court disagreed and found that it had such jurisdiction.

Imperial Group


Breach of promise to marry


Our courts have shown increasing resistance to compensate (mainly women) who wait for long periods for marriage that never manifests itself. Generally speaking, the advice that would be given to such a complainant, would be that such claims have ceased to be actionable. I hold an article by Epstein & Zaal which might persuade you that there is hope. Ask me for a copy.


Fiduciary duties and section 163 of the Companies Act


A director has a fiduciary duty towards the company on whose board he serves. Likewise, a holding company has such a duty towards its filial company which it controls. I hold an article by v/d Linde on the relief that may be obtained, following on the Omar v Inhouse case. Ask me for a copy.




Food is kind of like dark humour. Not everyone gets it.




A call has been made in Egypt for virginity testing before women are admitted to University. Truly, we are not alone when it comes to crazy.


Useful idiot: that is what McBride called his replacement in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. One may debate the correctness of the epithet, but what is probably certain, is that his political career is over.


Lighten up


Black humour

  • How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman? Zero.
  • What's the difference between John Wayne and Jack Daniels? Jack Daniels is still killing Indians.
  • What's the difference between a Taliban outpost and a Pakistani elementary school? I don't know, I just fly the drone!
  • I for one, want Donald Trump is president. It’s been a while since we’ve had a presidential assassination.