Daan Steenkamp's Snippets

News:

  • An article, by Friedlander, on virtual practice is worth a look: https://caf.co.za/2022/02/25/the-rise-of-virtual-litigation-courtesy-of-covid-19/
  • PER published on:
  • This week brought a note on the Malema prosecutor said to have resigned over fears of being branded a racist: if you are that delicate, you shouldn’t be in that position. Both judges and prosecutors should understand what they do might be unpopular; an understanding that goes with the job.
  • Whilst on the NPA, our Minister of Justice has said that we will never have enough funds for the NPA to prosecute all the corruption cases identified by the Zondo Commission: Eina!!
  • Our Pretoria High Court has struck down a part of the Children’s Act which did not recognise both parties in a life partnership as parents of a child conceived by way of artificial insemination.
  • Ever hopeful? The chair of the RAF (which has been technically insolvent since 1981) announced that the institution has made great strides in its turnaround strategy – I enquired, and practitioners have not seen the strides made. Same old.
  • Mr Zuma, our habitual appellant, took to the SCA against his loss in the KZN High Court on the issue of the removal of his prosecutor; the state did not even file a response, implying that his case was so weak that it did not even require a counterargument. Where I come from, you simply did not act when your client was being an idiot.
  • Stats on crime conviction rates in South Africa appears to be good but the difficulty is that prosecution rates are low:

Hard news:

Ø  Our Constitutional Court turned down the attempt by unions to enforce an agreement to give them an agreed to salary hike that would have cost the state some R30bn, on the basis that the budget deficit could not be foreseen and that the increase was unaffordable – at paragraph 104: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2022/6.html

Ø  Pacta sunt servanda and Ubuntu – enforcing contracts which are immoral or contrary to public policy is central to this argument. Look: https://upjournals.up.ac.za/index.php/pslr/article/view/3672/3440

Ø  West has published a note on the procedure to reinstate a finally deregistered company for registration purposes in the Deeds Office – ask me for a copy

Economy

Four things greater than all things are women and horses and power and war. Kipling

I’m a sporadic reader of the history of war and my understanding is that, generally, the crowd with the deepest pockets wins. The below graph, drawn from the World Bank, is interesting in this respect:

Good news? Our GDP expanded last year by 4.9% – the difficulty is that the pandemic-induced contraction was some 6.4% of GDP which means that we are still not back where we were.

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Our JSC is not doing well: in 2019 there were 24 delistings, the year after, 20 and, last year, 25. This year PSG will probably leave the JSC, and reports hold that more delistings are expected. Hand-in-hand with this is a PwC report that, last year South Africa suffered a 73% reduction in equity capital raised, compared to the year before.

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SWKE introduced me to the term, output gap: defined as an economic measure of the difference between the actual output of an economy and its potential output. The following graph illustrates that we have potential to grow but are not getting there, encouraging but also depressing:

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Crypto currencies will probably be regulated in future as our government has proposed that crypto asset service providers be listed as accountable institutions within FICA and declaring such assets a financial product.

Business

A number of capital developments is in the pipeline and may be seen at: https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/567304/the-major-new-projects-planned-for-south-africa-including-a-gold-mine-and-a-massive-data-centre/

Reading this one is encouraged about especially the data centre mentioned, but surprised that its power will come from Eskom…

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An interesting note on car purchases, was published by Businesstech: the essence of this is that generations X and Z will drift towards shared use of vehicles rather than outright personal purchase. https://businesstech.co.za/news/banking/566052/subscription-model-will-replace-buying-cars-in-south-africa-ceo/

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Old but worth recycling: Gallup reports that only some 20% of employees globally are engaged and motivated within their workplaces – look: https://www.tech4law.co.za/business/practice-management-d58/what-motivates-employees/

(I know attorneys whose take is that employees should be thankful for the job and, if they don’t like it, there are five hungry others happy to take their spot).

Property

Not much new has happened on the property front – a question top of mind for most was dealt with this week i.e. what would be the effect of the Ukrainian strife be on our property market: https://propertywheel.co.za/2022/03/the-ukraine-crisis-and-its-potential-indirect-impact-on-sas-property-market/

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For the public at large: what are the functions of a conveyancer:  https://www.golegal.co.za/conveyancing-divorce-transfers/

Quotables

“We’re pedalling our bicycle as a country but to be honest we’re going hell of a slow here; we’ve got to pedal harder as a country,” 

Pullinger 

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“My view is now that we are practically a failed state. It starts with inequality and poverty.”

“This is not a mining issue; this is a national issue. This is a lack of leadership. This is a lack of people at the highest levels taking proper action against lawlessness, against crime, and it filters all the way down through the system. But, ultimately, because there is no economic growth, people are poor, people are angry, and, of course, there is a lack of capacity to deliver services.”

Froneman

Comment

Much was said in the week past regarding public lack of trust in our government. So, do you believe the following statement, by our Minister of police addressing this very issue: “As ministers tasked with ensuring national stability, we want to reassure the public and the world at large that we are committed to maintaining law and order in South Africa.” Of course, you must – the mere fact that he ignores that we cannot prosecute those who overstep legal boundaries because of lack of funds, should not attract from your belief in him at all…

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My passport is full. I drove to an outlying centre which was reputed to not be busy to find that it had ceased issuing passports. I had tried the much-vaunted e-application system to find that Nedbank has no branch that issues such in KZN and that RMP/FNB did, but had no open slots – that was at the beginning of this month. You cannot call the banks because they don’t take calls and both banks either did not respond to any enquiry at all or were of no assistance whatsoever in terms of advice et cetera. The result was that I had to bribe someone to go and queue for me. They guarantee service within 3 hours, and I must be there at 6.30 a.m. sharp!

Seriously: you cannot run a country like this. 

But then, I understand that Tom Cruise is here making the latest Mission Impossible flick – presumably on the above topic?

Lighten up

Two lawyers were standing in a queue at a bank. As they were chatting, some masked robbers came into the bank and demanded everyone hands over their wallets.

The first lawyer calmly takes his wallet out of his pocket, takes R1000 out of his wallet and hands it to the second lawyer and says “here you go, this is that R1000 I owe you”

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I was in the petrol station queue and there was a bloke in front of me his right arm was browner than the other…

He saw me looking, so I nodded to his arm and asked if he was a taxi driver.

He replied, “No. I’m a vet.”

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Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys
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