Skills: a note written by Bernstein, head of the Centre for Development and Enterprise, attracted my attention: she wrote on what was necessary to prime the virtuous cycle of growth. Our politicians, in seeking to attract votes, make wild promises which can hardly be met. The fact is that economic growth off our current base is not going to be that easy. One of the issues dealt with by her is skills: she notes that appointment processes that pay little attention to skill, competence and experience, and which overemphasise the goals of transformation, need to be revisited. Further, we are to get serious about fixing our skills pipeline. One cannot but agree: the damage done by cadre deployment (Afrikaans has a wonderful term for this: baantjies vir boeties), especially in our SOEs, is there for all to see.

One of the more depressing things one can do is to consider the affordability of retirement; take a look, but pour yourself a dop first: Reference

I was lent a copy of the latest SA Survey by the IRR: these guys have a truly amazing publication and list a range of statistics which is almost beyond belief. Won the heartening statistic is that our population growth is starting to level off.



“Corruption Watch has found that there is a severe lack of transparency around the negotiation and conclusion of mining royalty agreements with mine-affected communities including the conversion of mining royalties arrangements from one form to another such as the conversion from D-accounts for beneficiaries to equity sharing with communities, as well as the withholding of mining royalties by companies.”

The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index (a measure of confidence in the construction sector) is at its lowest level ever. Essentially the Fiscus has tightened the public purse-strings and the public sector is holding its political breath. The government held out in the Budget Speech recently that it was prioritising resources towards infrastructure – I seem to recall that I’ve heard this before.

The ongoing issue of the impact of previous empowerment transactions, are to be revisited in a legal challenge by the Minerals Council to the provisions, dealing therewith, in the third Mining Charter. It appears that, under the new charter, companies who have met the previous 26% BEE levels will not retain their BEE status when mining rights are renewed. The new minimum mining rights are 30% BEE shareholding.



The SCA ruled in favour of the Mount Edgecombe County Club Estate that roads, within its estate, are not public roads and the Home Owners’ Association can make rules regulating the conduct thereon within the estate. This includes penalties for breach of such rules. The acceptance of rules in such a scheme rests on contractual arrangements. The case is not available to the public yet.

FNB reports that emigration home selling (of total sales) had risen from 2% in 2013 to 10% by the end of last year. It appears that, of those so selling, 85% are White, 5% are African and 10% are Indian. The bulk of these sellers are between the ages of 25 and 44. SA Stats’ last survey showed that of these 12% had moved to Australia, 12% of the UK 6.5% of the US and 4.6% to New Zealand. Such selling is expected to accelerate owing to 3 factors: namely, political violence, a rapid increase in crime and economic uncertainty.

A real estate agency was registered as a CC with the Estate Agents ‘Fidelity Fund; which entity issued the estate agency with a Fidelity fund certificate. Unfortunately… that agency had converted to a Pty Ltd some years before. It was argued that this did not matter as the CC/Pty Ltd was essentially the same entity. The Free State High Court would have none of that argument and sent them packing.

We quite often deal with properties against which a prohibition on the sale thereof for a time, had been imposed in terms of the Housing Act. If such a property is sold in contravention of such a prohibition, is such a sale valid? No. Does such invalidity affect the transfer that followed in contravention of that prohibition? In this respect one should mention that our courts follow a so-called abstract theory in the transfer of property (and movables!) the application of which result in formal contractual defects being cured by successful transfer/delivery. The court unfortunately did not clearly deal with this question as it found that the sale in question had been tainted by fraud and thus ordered the cancellation of the transfer.

For a graphic display of the Pietermaritzburg property trends; take a look at the following website: Reference

Will crowdfunding work in order to float property developments? I confess to being sceptical: property developments require a lot of expertise, time, lots of determination and very deep pockets. Having access to money, by itself, will not make a development successful. Reference

Lightstone data shows that some 35% of SA properties purchased in the last 12 months was bought for cash. Interestingly, of the four biggest provinces three show stats of around 40% of purchases being for cash, whilst Gauteng lags at 22%. Lew Geffin opines that most cash buyers are investors.



The New Nation Movement had brought a case in the Western Cape High Court this week in which it argued that the omission in the Electoral Act to provide for independent candidates to stand for national and provincial elections was constitutionally invalid and that there was no reason why any citizen could not stand as independent candidate. There is some doubt whether this case will be finalised before our elections; a positive judgement would change our political landscape dramatically.

What does a landlord do when it finds its property in the possession of a company undergoing business rescue – especially where that company is not making ongoing payments of rent? If this interests you, ask me for a copy of an article by Prof Cassim, UP on this topic.

Referring to the IRR statistics above: I had not seen the divorce rates for South Africa for some time; they are, for registered marriages in 2016, as follows:
civil marriages 139512
customary marriages 3978
Interestingly both civil/customary marriages are in decline from a high point in excess of 180 000/18 000 per annum to the 2016 figure of 140 000/4 000.
On the same subject, civil marriages make up 97.2% of all marriages whilst civil unions (i.e. same-s*x marriages) represent the balance.



“The ANC is not in great shape … I think to strengthen the ANC it needs a surgical overhaul from where it is now. It is worse than it was in 2017,” Motlanthe



I was quite amused by Andile Ramaphosa maintaining that he had contracts with Bosasa unrelated to politics. It was clearly only his exceptional skills at… something… unexplained by him… that drew in the money at the rate it did.

It’s not me it’s …: One of the primary reasons why our taps run dry, is blamed on outdated infrastructure. Failing to maintain or budget for replacement are lapses of governance, not a justification for lack of service.

Have you ever wondered how the Incas managed to so perfectly fit masonry that separate blocks appears to have almost fused? The following theory is very plausible and suggests that the Incas had an understanding of physics much better than one might give them credit for: Reference