Daan Steenkamp Snippets

Economy - Can Gordhan sell SAA off or close it down? Leich (Daily Maverick) opines no. Who would buy a terminally ill airline?

For starters, one would have to write off debts to the tune of some R30bn; by the time one has settled the aircraft leases (keep in mind that SAA leases its aeroplanes and has no real assets), its CFO estimates that it would cost another R10bn, excluding severance packages, for 10,000 employees. Hobson’s choice.


Business

A recent WEF report, ranking South Africa as worst in the world in terms of labour-employer relations, is out of touch, says the International Labour Organisation. The foundation for this opinion is the bad light that we see ourselves in, especially as a result of historical and current racial inequality. Its representative, Joni Musabayana, by way of example, says that we have quite advanced collective bargaining systems compared to other countries. He is probably right; the question is how one changes such a perception.

The Department of Basic education is reportedly considering implementing curriculum streaming in that pupils would be able to choose between an academic, technical vocational, or technical occupational stream. The latter includes agricultural studies, arts and crafts, office administration, hair-dressing and beauty care, and hospitality studies. Technical vocational refers to construction, woodwork, electronics fitting and machining, welding and so on. The thinking is that this would reduce the high failure and dropout rate and make it easier for grade 10 pupils to seek admission at one of the TVET colleges. Plus ca change.

An interesting article was published by the Times on the topic of becoming a professor by prof Jonathan Jansen: he holds that political and regstellings pressures lead to professorial appointments which are not deserved and which ultimately undermines higher education. He calls this fraud: competence does not matter and standards are irrelevant. Eina. I cannot send you a link if you are not subscribed, but, if you ask me for a copy, I would be happy to supply this.

Sappi is said to be benefiting from an increased demand for dissolving wood pulp: I was curious; dissolving pulp sounds like something which is not. This turns out to be a solution which can be spun into viscose or similar. Look it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolving_pulp

Another term that I came across was gig economy: it is said that the trend towards such an economy has begun and it behoves us to understand what this means. Apparently, the term derives from the French gigue which means to dance: https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/gig-economy

Duke Corporate Education has been ranked as the best in Custom Executive Education in Africa and the second best in the world by the Financial Times.

So, what is your organisational purpose/raison d’etre? Purpose in a corporate environment works as a(n) motivator/accelerator/aligner of teams. Essentially this incorporates the core of who you are and provides vision forwards. If jargon is your thing: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelchavez/2018/04/30/crafting-your-business-purpose-beware-of-the-authenticity-trap/#3af002161c8e

 


Practice

A Times report holds that Nummawan’s Stalingrad legal campaign may be stymied by a refusal to pay legal costs by the state. As things stand, those who act for the state tend to live dangerously when it comes to their being paid. This will be worse, as somehow one doubts that loyalty will carry the day. Acting against a state unwilling to pay the costs of suit against itself will take great commitment. This is going to be great fun to watch and, unless Ramaphosa is politically threatened, I cannot see that this will go down. Schadenfreude.

Black man: our Constitutional Court has held that calling another a black man is derogatory and racist, as the starting point of such an enquiry is that we should take into account our history. Rustenburg Plat Mine CCT 127/17

Proxi Smart: few lawyers would not recognise this name: this company took on the Law Society in an attempt to gain the right to do, what it terms as non-reserved work,  within the conveyancing process. The North Gauteng High Court gave it short shrift. Amen.
It is interesting that the distinction between reserved and non-reserved work, in South Africa, was introduced by Dr Bobbert (ex Naudes as they then were) in his thesis published in, if my memory serves, the mid-80s. He argued that attorneys did work which encompassed both reserved and non-reserved work: the latter may be seen as form filling, administrative tasks and the like whilst the former forms the core of its business such as, for instance, litigation. 
The fact is that (and my statistics are no longer current but I would be surprised if it were not still so) that income from conveyancing often accounts for 60% of a practice income, rendering the services that Proxy Smart were wanting to render, highly lucrative, if it could breach the prohibition against rendering conveyancing services by non-conveyancers. Do note who acted for the applicant: Brave?http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2018/333.html


Property

A recent case Loggerenberg v Maree is going to be particularly interesting to watch; more so because it involves a serial insolvent and his largely successful attempts to avoid the consequences of his insolvency.

L formed a trust to hold his farm whilst insolvent to protect his family’s interests. He farmed via two close corporations and, when these also ran into difficulties, the farm was sold to M who " at execution, purportedly acting for the benefit of a third party on the back of an oral agreement that he would buy and resell to a new trust to be created to protect the interests of L and his family. He resold for R5.2m to another which L wishes to avoid.
The issues that arise are whether:

  • a contract for the benefit of a third/stipulatio alteri is a transaction that is prohibited by the Alienation of Land Act (this act says that the sale of land must be in writing); and,
  • an agreement to agree is enforceable.

I confess to having some sympathy with the lawyers involved. Attempting to dress a re-sale as something else when your client is in a corner, was possibly the only option available. Furthermore, the machinations engaged in must surely discomfort counsel, or maybe not? The matter was referred to the High Court for trial.

Certainly worth a read: https://www.stbb.co.za/wp-content/uploads/stbb_plu10-2018_s1.pdf

Loosening the purse strings: in March, 60% of bond applications were granted; up from 47% last year. Coupled with a drop in the prime rate this must serve as an indication that the property market will pick up.

A massive R3bn mixed-use development in Rosslyn, Pretoria, kicked off last week with a planned R50bn Tshwane Auto City to be developed on some 7100ha of land.

Cape Town yoy house price growth is down…to only 10% per year…Betterbond reports a 5.3% yoy average house price growth for April, compared to the 1st quarter averaging around 2.7%


Comment

Dire predictions regarding the ANC’s prospects in the 2019 general elections are rife. What is probably/hopefully true is that coalitions will become more prevalent in future. But seriously: who can one vote for in the circus that is South African politics of late?

Guptaneuvers: Mr Manyi acquired ANN7 from the Gupta’s via vendor financing – the seller lent the money to the purchaser buy the seller’s assets!. He now, purportedly on his own behalf, is claiming damages of R144m from the SABC. Legally this may well fly but one’s gut feeling is that a shlenter is involved.


Lighten up

Q: What you call a smiling, courteous person at a bar association convention?A: The caterer.

Q:  What’s the difference between an accountant and a lawyer?A: Accountants know they’re boring.

Q: Why did God invent lawyers?A: So that real estate agents would have someone to look down on.

Litigation: a form of hell whereby money is transferred from the pockets of the proletariat to that of lawyers. McKinney Hubbard

dispute resolution

Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys

22nd May 2018

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