Last year’ s downgrade of SA Inc has led to R54bn in stocks being offloaded by foreigners. For the past 30 years, emerging markets have provided diversification opportunities for global equity investors. South Africa is listed on the MSCI index which tracks such markets. The following graph tracks us against our competitors: Reference
As you were: how long will it take for GDP to get back to 2019 levels? A consensus forecast holds that, by 2022, SA will not yet quite be there.
Overselling the effort? The talk-up of the “concerted” effort by Eskom to recover R3.8 from 12 individuals, sounds good, but is at once but a drop in the ocean of Eskom’s lost capital and realistically, aside from the Guptas (the only ones with pockets deep enough to repay?) probably a lost cause.
The realisation, that the neglect of dysfunctional municipalities to provide housing for our populace, will impact on private property rights, is starting to sink in: one cannot evict if alternative housing is not found. Reference
Bloomberg has started a new index, which rates economies in terms of inflation and economic expectations and, I am proud to announce, that we are but two spots away from top dog: not really good news, as Bloomberg’s misery index rates us third from the top of the most miserable economies in the world.
Breaking news is a report on the Draft Tax Law Amendment Bill, which has a provision that South Africans, who exit our tax base may not withdraw their retirement funds from the country for an unbroken period of three years. Advice on planning is given: Reference
Uncle Sam must be one of the good guys? How else can you explain that the risk that TikTok may disseminate consumer information to China, must be averted whilst US-based Microsoft, which owns the world’s personal information, poses no risk to anyone?
News, which I had heard before that which did not initially move me to sympathise, was that medical doctors (GPs) were taking financial strain and that the practices of many were on the point of collapse. After all, they at least had an income while most of us had none. After polite enquiry it would appear that there is some cause for concern: GP income is some 40 to 50% down which is, for most, breakeven point or below. The fact is that if these guys closed down in masse, then all of us will be reduced to going to hospital – which, in South Africa, can be a dicey experience.
The SABS has it covered: did you know that we have a national standard anti-bribery management system? Yep, Google Reference
Mundane but all pervasive: do look out for new electrical plugs ( SANS164-2) and inscriptions on connectors, which is meant to dissuade one from plugging multiple connectors into each other.
Black empowerment lobby group TRSA is reportedly set to haul some of our big banks before the Equality Courts, on allegations of black-owned businesses being sidelined from the government’s multi-bn Rand stimulus funding. My knee-jerk reaction was that this complaint would not be sustained; one assumes that banks would be happy to lend to anyone who qualifies: on enquiry from black colleagues, it appears that there may be some truth in this. The outcome of this will be interesting – hard to prove though?
Why are we loath to move on when a partnership/relationship does not work? If this interests you, do take a look at the article on sunk-cost-fallacy run by Time: Reference
Yesterday’s darling: listed property is down 40% over the first seven months of this year: if you are bullish about our future, you might wish to buy now.
A ray of hope in a otherwise dismal property landscape, is news that the accelerating (one could even say exponential) trends of e-commerce, indicates a future need of warehousing (for near the market storage of goods) and the growth of demand for data centres.
There is movement in the property market in South Africa – this has been reported on quite extensively. A note by Seef, reported on by BusinessTech, holds that there is a renewed interest from foreign buyers, in especially the Atlantic seaboard, as well as those looking to escape to the coast during the CV 19 pandemic.
An interesting article in the latest De Rebus deals with the invalidity of contracts in contravention of tender processes: ones knee-jerk reaction is that such contracts are invalid. However, if one is misled by the government, can you rely on estoppel? Worth a read: Reference
The RAF has just appointed a former CEO of PRASA, one Mr Collins Letsoalo: he was fired from PRASA for bumping up his own salary from R1.3m to R5.9m pa. He maintained that his discharge, from that entity, was owing to him having uncovered corruption within that structure. One wonders what the truth of this really is: on the face of what may be regarded as proven, Mr Letsoalo’s appointment is questionable.
David and Goliath: on the topic of questionable lawyers – I remember well a leading commentator having referred to one of our leading company practitioners as the oleaginous Mr Katz. Noseweek had reported on this gentleman (dubbed Lenny the liquidator) based on the allegations by Mr Brakspear that Katz, in cahoots with Nedbank Investments, had conspired to sell a Winelands farm. The action commenced in the Western High Court with Mr Weltz (Noseweek) representing himself against a glittering array of counsel. Fun with a probably predictable result.
An interesting article, published by CDH, deals very briefly with assets and price calculation when purchasing a business. Reference
Section 34 of the Insolvency Act provides that, if a trader transfers the goodwill or goods, forming part of his business, he must publish a notice of his intent in the Gazette and newspapers, that transfer will be void against his creditors for six months and against a trustee of his estate, if his estate is sequestrated within this period. An example of such a case was brought to my attention by Alan West: Reference
In a similar vein is a judgement dealing with the protection afforded to pensions and whether it operates if the pension benefit is paid out before sequestration. The case is interesting as the recipient entered into a sham divorce in which virtually all the conspirer’s and would-be insolvent’s assets were transferred to his spouse! Reference (courtesy of STBB)
Rentals and leases: you cannot renew a lease, if the rental for the renewal, has not been fixed or agreed: Reference
Of late, the issue of director misconduct and the dimunition of the value of shares has been in the news. In the case at hand, the claimants threw in a claim against auditors alleging a failure to properly discharge its duties for good measure. Certainly worth a look: Reference
The frenzied feed of the pottami (as popularised by Tito Mboweni): the tender procedure is designed to pick the best offeror of the services or goods at the best price. In order to manipulate a tender, one needs at least the offeror and an insider working in cahoots. Politicians do have ultimately public knowledge upfront and can therefore prepare better for tenders to be advertised and one would therefore expect some sort of preference – if the related provider had been in the relevant business prior to the tender. If not, one has reason for suspicion. The recent spate of accusations of tenderpreneuring, levelled against the family of high-ups, does seem to have some substance to it. Interestingly, such accusations seem to embarrass only some of the ANC and others not (think of Mr Magashule’s children) and, hell yes, the SA Council of Churches’ mobilisation of societal response against corruption, is reflective of how we all feel. But then, political memory is short, this very body opposed apartheid…
The Prez’s response in appointing a cabal of politicians, to investigate corruption, smacks of what a friend termed, making the fox hen-house keeper.
So, are there municipal failure issues in Orania? Whatever one’s take on this town, you have to admit that things work there. Is this a shameless challenge/a festering boil on the face of social cohesion or simply surrounding oneself with equals? If I surround myself with financial equals in a gated estate, how does this differ from surrounding myself with those who speak the same language? Fodder for an interesting, if heated, debate?
For those to whom much is given, much is required.
There comes a time when the moral depravity of some in positions of authority…undermines the very notion of nationhood.
General secretary, SA Council of Churches