South African appear to be taking an economic pounding at present. Inflation is at a 13-year high, households are reducing expenditure, including reducing reliance on domestic workers and so on.
On the other hand, things are probably not as bad as one might immediately assume; our Consumer Default Rate seems to be improving (although this improvement is attributed to banks reducing credit to lenders) and debt service costs, as a percentage of income, is stable at about 6% of average income.
More disconcerting is a report on job losses in our lower-income earning sector (compliments of Moneyweb):
retail sales deterioration and the thought that investments (think buying property and retirement planning) within South Africa are waning, owing to the perception that there is no real long-term investment perspective that one can rely upon.
Finally, the eternal optimist prof Jonathan Jansen, has expressed an opinion that leaving the country is becoming an option worth considering against the background of our shambolic governance.
Energy is increasingly becoming an issue in that the government seems not to be able to put together a coherent energy strategy, encompassing fuel, electricity, gas and the like. An example of this is the closure of our refineries necessitating fuel imports and the second Eskom nonsense that our energy minister has embarked upon.
You might recall that I had a go at the subsidies required by the motor industry about a month ago. The following article takes up on their apparent success in our motor vehicle industry: Reference
Eskom approached Solidarity to assist in bringing back experts into that entity. The fact is that experts are still leaving, and it appears that Eskom is not addressing the issue of skills losses effectively: a recent report held that some 60% of technicians leaving Eskom have between 11- and 30-years’ experience whilst those replacing them have less than 10 years’ experience. A part of the problem is that one immediately makes the assumption that those leaving/and those who have left are white, which immediately takes one into racial issues: factually it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that an overhasty introduction of BEE into that entity (and political interference?), at both technical and management levels, has led to the difficulties within Eskom.
Whilst on the Eskom topic: we are used to paying a so-called base availability cost for electricity to our local authority plus use charges. Eskom’s suggestion, that a monthly fixed capacity charge of some R900+ be added to our electricity accounts, will hardly go down well, as the cost thereof will be dramatically more than the relatively modest sums we are used to paying.
Most businessmen know that salary is not everything when employee happiness is considered. What is news, is a new report on a study of Microsoft employees: the message was that collaboration amongst employees is not everything and what is required was more time to work! Take a look: Reference
Whilst hardly news, one might consider the following reminder when the dismissal of an employee is under consideration: Reference
A note on the considerations that need to be taken into account when granting medical parole (ex Mr Zuma’s case), is briefly discussed in the following article: Reference
News24 reported that the BLA backs hefty pro bono requirements in the draft BEE code.
Moneyweb published a note holding that SARS is entitled to collect outstanding tax debts from pension funds also-eina!
A class action against banks, for selling repossessed houses under value, has been in the news for some time – the latest holds that the National Credit Regulator had been taken to court as it wanted damning evidence against banks to be withheld.
Praedial servitudes lapse upon the affected properties coming into ownership of the same owner? Perhaps not: Reference
Locus standi of a parent to claim child maintenance on divorce: Reference
Can a body corporate settle outstanding levies by accepting an amount that is lower than that owed to that body corporate? No: Reference
BEE is an emotive issue in South Africa. The ANC/Ramaphosa wants to strengthen the compulsion to employ and support previously disadvantaged groups in business. Those affected resist this as they point to the deleterious effect of not employing the best there is. The fact is that new legislation is in the offing which will strengthen the BEE compulsion in our country.