Business and economy

The good news (ignoring angst):

The inclusion of this portion of my newsletter was prompted by my perception, 28 years ago, that most attorneys are ignorant of business principles and the economy that underlies business. I suspect that times may have changed!
In any event, listening to the politicisation of what should be rational economic policy, depressed me to the point where I thought that I should write about good news.
However, there isn’t much that I could find to write about. Alternatively, good news is not newsworthy? What I did find was this:

The expectation is that the South African inflation rate and our bank borrowing rates should soften this year.
Our economy should do marginally better than last year.

There is a possibility that the Reserve Bank’s inflation target will be lowered.
Tourism is up.


Postbank is set to become a fully-fledged banking operation. I confess to being a sceptic.


A stitch in time? A wry note, published this week, held that Eskom could build six of our largest solar farms every year with its annual top-up diesel budget spend.

You will recall that not only power generation had became an issue, but also the capacity of the grid carrying the power generated.

The private sector is may well end up saving the day; Green Transmission Company has stepped into this breach.


This week coming, provisional taxpayers must submit a tax return and, quite probably, have to pay in something to SARS.
The really good news is that taxes are not noticeably higher than it was last year despite our stagnant tax base and burgeoning recipients of grants – now in excess of 28 million people.

You will recall that there was much talk about wealth taxation and so on – do take a look at the following graph, taxation of the wealthy sounds good, politically speaking, but will produce very little real return:

New cars:

I happened across a note by Primedia on when you should replace your car: typically, the advice is, every three years.

The conclusion reached was that this advice is a motor industry construct, based on its need to push products.

The utility value of an older car is considerably higher than its resale value.

Nigeria is possibly our closest economic competitor in Africa. The Naira’s exchange value dropped dramatically from 900 to 1600 to the US$ in the past month and its annual inflation reached 30%.



Roads: the Free State MEC of Roads was held liable this week for a motor vehicle accident, 14 years ago, in which a vehicle left the road owing to the bad condition of a road, grievously injuring the driver.
The case was, at the time of writing, not available on SAFLII. Many more such cases must be in the wings?

The SA Law Reform Commission report on its investigation into legal fees and access to justice is available at (copy and paste this link) chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/

The FIC was ordered by the Equality Court to hand over reports on, amongst others, E0H and KPMG, to claimants who say that banks discriminate on race when it comes to reputational risk. Fun.

I had cause to check the LPC website for the existence of a practitioner whose credentials I doubted. Interestingly, I don’t exist!

The Intercape v SAPS Commissioner saga continues – I would be surprised if an appeal to our courts will produce actual results; keeping buses, which travel on our roads, safe from organised crime, is a virtually impossible undertaking for our emasculated SAPS.

Are you compelled to answer your boss’ calls after hours? Here, maybe; in Australia, no.

The cadre deployment circus produced an interesting side-note that our ruling party sought to interfere in the appointment of judges.

Undoubtedly, more will follow.

Under the Property section below, a note was made regarding email addresses of members of bodies corporate: the same applies to commercial agreements and the like – one can simply not rely on our Postal Service any more for delivery of notices:
One of our premier Gauteng legal practices was in the news this week as one of its members had allegedly stolen R39m and had gotten away with this for years. So much for audits!

Hard news:

Werksmans published a note on the draft regulations under the Employment Equity act:

Long live the common law derivative action (which allows members of a company to take legal proceedings on behalf of that entity where it fails to institute the necessary plans proceedings to protect its interests).

Take a look:

Recently a Canadian airline was held liable for promises to a passenger made by its AI representative. A local article, on the responsibility for pricing algorithms and AI, might interest you:
An article on mass dismissals for strike misconduct is noteworthy for those in that field:

A CDH article on arbitration, and the effect of an email amendment on a contractual arrangement:


An article on the perfection of a notarial bond has come to my notice which you might find interesting: (please cut and paste the link): chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/

Another rather that question crossed my desk this week, and I invite you to call me in this respect: can a ceded covering notarial bond, provide preference for new causes of debt between the holder of the bond and the debtor?



Last year reflected a drop of some 25% in sales volumes for estate agents.
This year? Lightstone and FNB expect little better with the prediction that the market will go sideways.

The result of lacklustre home sales is a booming residential rental market which will, presumably at some point, translate into higher rentals.

Interestingly, Reits are gaining ground.

The following graph reflects residences over 80 m² under construction in South Africa – on a downward trend:

Trafalgar posted a note to the effect that bodies corporate must ensure that they hold email addresses of members – the fact is that our Postal Service just does not work any longer.


Two judges were impeached this week. That it took 17 years for our legal system to get to the point of recommending impeachment, is an indictment against our system. In the case of the Chief Justice involved, the delay meant that many would have appeared before him without the security of knowing that that judge’s credentials were impeccable.