This week our Minister of Finance will explain his budget to us. Have you ever wondered why we trail comparable countries in development? Consider the graph below: a hundred years ago, we were more or less on par with other colonial countries, yet we lag their development substantially. Why?

We all know that our GDP will grow at approximately 1.4% in the next year as opposed to what the IMF says we can achieve, which is 3.6% by 2025, if we implement the changes that it says we should. Will that happen? Not on your nellie. Blame it on politics and the absence of what the IMF refers to as hardened budget constraints.

Everyone carries on about consequences but no one here is ever held to account politically: take the latest amazing insight by our Transport Minister who says that our roads have not been fixed and maintained, despite this problem having been identified more than 10 years ago. He says that funds had been provided to, for instance, the Eastern Cape but had “disappeared”. The same sort of thing has been happening in Johannesburg. What consequences have you seen attributed to anyone?

Take the latest scandals – the PIC having dropped billions of Rands into failed investments, with it being alleged that Zweli Mkize received a R6m backhand and the latest nonsense from Cele insisting that our security cluster is fully functional (with what planes, what army and what police force?). The reports on these are damning but I would eat my underpants if anything changes.

Oh yes, our deputy finance minister says that our government is making progress in transforming the structure of our economy in key areas such as energy and infrastructure. Amazing, and we were not noticing.

The fact is that our personal income tax base is shrinking owing to emigration of the skilled and weak economic growth; hardly a scenario that will found the NHI, BIG and so on. Quite probably a qualified VAT increase is the logical but politically unacceptable step.

The answer to the above question is, politics,




The ANC wishes to increase the disclosure threshold of donations made to political parties to R100m annually. Its statement says that: “Once we receive additional funding, we will start the process of dealing with our debts”. So much for acting in the interests of South Africans – this is about that party being able to receive donor funding which is currently not possible for fear of public backlash. Nondisclosure is a fertile breeding ground for corruption. The difficulty is that the ANC cannot otherwise survive; it says itself that its own members don’t think that they should “put their money to run the ANC”. Few would be sympathetic, other political parties cannot control who gets what contracts and therefore must make do with its members funding it.

Eskom’s move to allow the private sector to generate electricity but to retain control of the distribution of power, is a smart move.

A few new proposals hove into view this week:

our indigent already qualified for a monthly free 6000 L of water, 50 kWh of electricity as well as sewerage and sanitation. Our Communications Minister has now promised 10 GB of data for every household.

Two new universities are in the offing; a University of Science and Innovation at an undisclosed location and a second, focussed on crime detection in Hammanskraal.

Post-apartheid cities: Mpumalanga announced that an R8bn, smart, agricity would be developed adjacent to the Kruger National Park , comprising RDP houses with adjacent land parcels integrated into the design. This is in addition to the smart city planned for the Wild Coast between Port St Johns and Margate…

News, this week, was that semi-state debtors have been taken on by municipalities who insist on payment of outstanding dues. Good, high time. What pleased me most was that SARS had to cough up; an institution which gives us little time to pay our dues but does not do so itself! On this tack: in Pietermaritzburg we have housing developments on our municipal fringes which are clearly serviced but which cannot possibly be rated. Of course, our municipal manager does not deign to respond to queries from ordinary folk – but neither does the KZN DA! Those dwellers use city facilities but made no contribution to it: this also should be addressed.





The so-called nasciturus fiction holds that, for succession purposes, a beneficiary of a deceased is deemed to be alive on conception,. For most of us this simply means that you should draw up a will once ma has a bun in the oven: Reference

The ongoing sagas of both Judge Hlope and Mr Zuma have had a writer link these two persons to the Arms Deal, aka the Original Sin. I am not sure of her justification for this but, what is true, is that the antics of both has cost our judicial system dearly.

On a much more fun note, is a Wall Street Journal article that holds that if you marry young and do not cohabit, you are less at risk of divorce. Perhaps your mother was right?

A short article on ADR, may be of interest: Reference

One of those affected by electricity cut-offs, for non-payment, was the Deeds Registry in Tshwane; ‘nuff said.

Hard news

Minority shareholders have recourse against a company where the actions of their company has led to conduct which is unfair or oppressive to those shareholders; take a look: Reference

Whilst on this topic, Old Mutual is accused of just such conduct by a minority shareholder: Reference

Conveyancers are often confronted with badly drawn divorce settlement contracts. Be sure to comply with the Alienation of Land Act when drawing these: Reference





FNB says that residential property prices should stabilise at slightly lower average levels than last year. This is attributed, in part, to expected higher interest rates, especially for those sensitive to price.

Rental inflation is starting to normalise, with an average annual increase of 2% projected for this year.

Lightstone holds a different view on residential property prices, in that it says that average house-price inflation is sitting at 4.35% whilst the inflation rate for the low value segment is some 9%. I found the site that follows quite interesting, especially on page 7, which reflects the annual inflation of low value houses. Do look: Reference

There are two reports which you should note:

a case in which a property needed to be sold below its reserve price –

the case: Reference

the soft version: Reference

Propertywheel ran an article, dealing with off plan purchases of residential buildings, in which it says that transfer duty exponentially increases the cost of buying a house, as opposed to sales without such duty. What it neglects to say is that transfer duty runs at quite a modest rate whilst properties bought from a developer usually carries VAT at 15%, which is dramatically more expensive. The only real difference is that you can readily finance the VAT (as it forms part of the price) but must pay the transfer duty out of your pocket, as part of costs, which are not financed.




The French Revolution and French Republic motto is liberté, égalité, fraternité. Isaiah Berlin held that liberty and equality are irredeemably in conflict: one cannot be equal and at liberty to be yourself if you are not actually equal. The course, we water these down by saying, for instance, that we should all be given equal opportunities and so on. Factually, however, those who cannot fully compete, for whatever reason, on an equal footing, are given a hand up which the stronger are denied. It is this hand-up, in the sense of , for instance, BEE that still causes discomfort to some.



Ludite: eunt anni more fluentis aquae …