Daan's Snippets Don Quijote

Economic review – It has been said that the state needs to nationalise the SA Reserve Bank. One of the arguments against nationalisation is that the bank does not make much money anyway. Judge for yourself: The March profit before tax of that entity was R3.2bn; its governor earns R7m per annum.

I confess that, whilst I do not think that nationalisation is necessarily a great idea, I do have sympathy with socialists on rampant capitalism.

Business review

African Bank has announced that it will differentiate its product by offering primary account holders “pockets”, each of which may have an unlimited number of members who have sight into the activity in the pocket as well as access to the funds. Great idea, especially when one runs a stokvel. I cannot help but wonder how it will handle its multiple FICA compliance that goes with each account: when last did you try and open a bank account?

The flavour of the month is the NHI debate. Our Minister of Health wrote a piece in the Sunday Independent which, if read, is redolent with assumptions which are not entirely true. He is correct in saying that the primary issue is equal access to health facilities. Regrettably equality is a pipe dream which, if followed, can only lead to tears.

Question put to the Minister: will NHI membership be compulsory?

Answer: “We are not compulsory. We are saying it is mandatory…”

Whatever; idealism and reality seldom meet.

Property review

The Property Practitioners Bill follows on a Concourt order dealing with changes to the Estate Agency Affairs Act. This bill provides for inspectors to vet books of practitioners. Much has been said about the inspection powers of inspectors: why would an honest practitioner not want an audit of his books/accounts done?

Employ us or else: The “construction mafia” which harasses and developers for work for its members, is spreading its wings. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this, the fact is that if one wishes to develop, one must consider the local community when employing.

The Building Index confidence indicator slumped to its lowest level since 2012. Building activity levels are down, which also impacts on employment retailers and the like.

The latest FNB survey holds that the average time a home remains on the market before being sold has increased to 16 weeks and 4 days in the 2nd quarter of this year. In Gauteng this period is 14 weeks and one day and, in the coastal metros, 20 weeks and one day.

Land return is all the rage: reportedly some 700 000 submissions have been received in the expropriation of land without compensation debate. Additionally, public hearings will take place. All this leading up to a decision that will be taken by September. Really? If one were to examine these submissions over two months, say a full 60 days, one would have to consider some 11 ½ thousand each day. The initial land claims process was marred by chaos and mismanagement: the current process is well publicised and pitched as consultation, but I cannot see due consideration being given to the very diverse viewpoints that have been raised in the given time.

This process has elicited really bizarre positions: traditional ownership, represented by Chiefs want their rights entrenched: seemingly blind to their stance leading to the parcellation of land by race/tribe and their profound misunderstanding of history. Virtually everybody seems to be on the free hand-up bandwagon: understandable but unaffordable. The latest bunch, the Basotho Petitioners, a group from Lesotho, have even petitioned Queen Elizabeth for the return of land that historically belong to them and which was situated in the Free State, KZN and the Eastern Cape. Why not petition Mr Buthelezi?

Practice review

The new Conveyancing Fee Guideline for 2018 came into operation on 1 June 2018. See the following link: https://www.lawsoc.co.za/upload/files/2018-Circ%2003.pdf

Our Marias are but bakkies, designed for freight, with a metal rear top: why should a detainee (often not yet guilty of anything) have fewer rights of safe transport than anyone else? The High Court in Limpopo has been asked for an order that the SAPS uses vehicles fitted with seats and safety belts when transporting detainees.

UniZulu has been re-accredited for LLB education. That institution speaks of turnarounds, tireless improvements, quality standards and so on, having received full re-accreditation for its LLB programme. Yawn.

Lawyers are at least jokingly, often reviled. This is understandable as especially litigation can be quite an abrasive process. However, the latest report on sky-high legal fees incurred by all and sundry does our profession little good. There is reason for such concern; some legal fees are truly abusive. I had mentioned a leading Gauteng legal practice that sought to charge R2m for conveyancing work which was admittedly a big deal, but certainly not that big! One of the seven deadly sins that Mahatma Gandhi had said would destroy the world was commerce without morality; very often caused by the need to meet targets necessary for bling presence.

Polyamorous, distinguished from bigamous and polygamous; the new reality: a Canadian court  recognised a relationship between two men and one woman to be such as would require parental rights for all three: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/polyamourous-relationship-three-parents-1.4706560

The latest Constitutional Court judgement deals with vicarious liability for servants of the state: an off-duty policeman had shot the applicant and then himself. The High Court held the state was vicariously liable on the basis that the issuance of dangerous weapons created a risk for members of the public which was closely linked to the damages at hand. The SCA differed, saying that the mere fact that the offence was committed with a police firearm was not sufficient to justify imposing vicarious liability on the State. The applicant took this to the Constitutional Court which held that the mere application of an established legal test does not amount to a constitutional issue and rejected the application.



Asad Essa is a sports commentator luxuriating in the World Soccer Cup spectacle. He laments the hijack of the beautiful game by nationalism and capitalism. Perhaps, but one does play for one’s country, doesn’t one? One also plays for money – who else other than filthy capitalists would pay the sums that top players demand?

The ANC is reportedly shocked by the scale of corruption in the State and the ability of “powerful individuals” to loot government coffers for their own benefit. “As the ANC, we will take strong action against any of our leaders found guilty of corruption”. Considering the time that it has taken this once-great party to gain this insight, one must question its resolve. The more one sees politics in action, the more one must be amazed: can you remember that Mr Zuma once headed up the ANC drive for moral regeneration? Recently Tony Yengeni chaired the ANC’s working group on crime and corruption. Wolf skaapwagter..

Al Jazeera refers to Zimbabwe as a failing state in the context of the current unpleasantness that accompanies election campaigning. Failing? That horse bolted many years ago.

By comparison, we kill many more politicians in KZN. And, if you thought this was bad, look at political killings in Mexico – reportedly 1000 since the beginning of the year!

Malema, our home-grown demagogue, on the subject of  “house n****rs” has attracted much attention. Europeans and white South Africans have a painful history of such leaders and are understandably critical of those who seize upon divisive issues to promote themselves. Problematically, many South Africans see benefit coming from such talk and there just is not sufficient maturity amongst our electorate to see the BS for what it is.

No shame: Mr. Manyi voiceless as ANN7 is set to shut down? Another firebrand, erstwhile representative of the Black Management Forum, has felt the sting of associating himself with dubious characters. Great!


The government will insist that this inevitable exodus will be offset by the arrival of skilled foreign doctors eager to work in this country, plus all the extra specialists our universities are going to start pumping out any day now. Because obviously red tape isn’t a thing, and academic hospitals are totally going to keep getting funded by big business once NHI kicks in, and Nehawu will welcome foreign workers with all the traditional hospitality we show people from other countries, and all the wards will be staffed by unicorns and there will be ice cream for everyone.

Eaton on the NHI

Lighten up

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a herd of buffalo?

A: The lawyer charges more.

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and God?

A: God doesn’t think he’s a lawyer.

Has your lawyer said that he practices in order to make a difference?



Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys

1st July 2018


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