Daan's Snippets

Economics

The governor of our Reserve Bank expects an economic growth of below 0.8% this year. On the matter of economic growth, the IMF predicts a 3.2% global economic growth with a sub-Saharan economic growth of 3.4%. Its projection for South Africa is down to 0.7% this year and 1.1% for next year. This the IMF attributes to strike activity, energy supply issues and weak agricultural production. Other emerging markets are expected to grow at 4.1% this year and 4.7% next year.

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Despite the above Allan Gray, at its Investment Summit, says that SA is still an attractive investment destination. Really?

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The practice of awarding a Nobel prize for economics is now 50 years old. Economics was not one of the five fields chosen by Nobel to honour those whose contributions offered the greatest benefit on mankind. Interestingly, the country, whose citizens received the most scientific laureates, 377, is the USA.

Business

The KZN capital city is in chaos and was consequently placed under administration, again. The list of woes is impressive, all attributed to poor appointment practice at all levels, political infighting and meddling, which emasculated the administration. We were promised accountability; who does one hold responsible when most general managers have been investigated for maladministration; who would hold a political party accountable?

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Sky pies: politicians speak blithely of broadband connectivity for all, yet cannot organise our digital migration owing to lack of funds.

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The investment by a farmer in sun-panel farming is expensive but is said to have an ROI of 38%, if you can survive the first five or six years that it takes to repay the investment. Quite impressive.

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How do you know that your accountant has an outgoing personality? He looks at your shoes rather than his own. A vignette of a profession not known for flair: to see accountants go bananas whilst retaining demeanour is quite funny: Saica is accused of usurping the role as the voice of the profession by Saiba, Saipa, Cima, and Acca on the issue of transformation, of all things.

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DCMN has released the results of a world study which found that South Africa has the highest rate of employees, who are open to leaving and who are actively planning to leave their current employment, at 40%. Some of the factors said to influence employees are flexible working hours, the possibility of working from home and receiving subsidies for further education/personal development. As regards personal development, only 18% of South African companies probed, offered free personal development courses and 21% gave subsidies for further education.

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Masonite (as it was known), a once household name and one of the biggest hardboard makers in the southern hemisphere, has been placed in voluntary liquidation. This turn of events is attributed to our economic turbulence, cheap imports and a strike. The latter was the last straw.

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Discovery Health published a list of the top 20 highest-rated private hospitals – based upon patients’ sentiments. The reaction to this was scathing, saying that one is judging a doctor by his bedside manners. Discovery has not published its data on hospital outcomes and has declined publishing the names of the worst performers!

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Are you gatvol of power disruptions and contemplating solar (green) rather than a generator: take a look:
https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/sessa-warns-consumers-to-choose-wisely-when-hiring-a-solar-pv-system-installer-2019-07-23

When contemplating this, keep in mind that this summer might bring outages again:
https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/eiug-flags-summer-load-shedding-risk-as-it-welcomes-r59bn-eskom-bail-out-2019-07-24/rep_id:4136

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We have had SALT, SKA, Meerkat and now, the Hirax, in the Karoo:
https://hirax.ukzn.ac.za/

Property

The NHBRC is all about consumer protection and anyone building a home must register and pay what may be termed insurance, based on the estimated sale value of the property. On selling, the homebuilder must declare the actual selling price to the NHBRC, whereupon a revised insurance must be paid if the actual price differs from the estimate. Where this becomes of importance is that section 18 prohibits the registration of a mortgage bond by a bank over such a newly built home, unless the builder was registered with the NHBRC and had paid the required fees. The case below is illustrative of this.
http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2019/211.html

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Purplebricks, a fixed-fee low-commission group running a hybrid model charged an upfront fee whether the property dealt with sells or not, has become unstuck in the US and Australia, to the delight of traditional agencies. Does this hold good elsewhere? Possibly not: in the UK, that entity has 3.5 times the market share of the next largest UK sales agency (and took only three years to get there) with an 11.3% EBITDA. There appear to be arguments for both sides of the fee divide.

Practice

Taxpayer revolt: the general perception is that our state is not using our tax money as it should, hence bodies like OUTA. May such an institution call for the withholding of tax payments? The short answer is, don’t: I hold an article on the subject by Fritz & van Zyl ex the UP; ask me for a copy.

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Sotto voce: it’s a pleasure. Stowell’s, when I was, relatively speaking, young, employed a receptionist as who, when putting you through, would simply say its a pleasure in deep husky, sexy voice. She mesmerised me, I plucked up courage and drove over to take a look, finding an old hag. Apparently, there is an explanation for such as she: women’s voices have become deeper by 23Hz over five decades, a change of pitch attributed to the changing power dynamics between men and women. A deeper voice projects authority and dominance…ooh!
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20180612-the-reasons-why-womens-voices-are-deeper-today

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It is reported that the Cabinet (following on a Concourt order) has approved an amendment to the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act which will give women, who entered into monogamous and polygamist customary marriages prior to 1998, equal rights to marital property. One wonders how this will go down with their men? The original report by the SA Law commission may be found at
http://www.justice.gov.za/salrc/reports/r_prj90_cstm_1998aug.pdf

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Of late, much has been said about the extension of a sectional scheme, where the extension does not quite follow the intended development. I hold an article on the subject by Prof v/d Merwe SU; ask me for a copy.

Quotables

Boris Johnson on colonialism:

The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more. (Eina)

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Sir David Ormsby-Gore (British ambassador to the US in 1962) on colonialism:

In the end it may well be that Britain will be honoured by the historians more for the way she deposed of an empire than for the way in which she acquired it. (True).

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As an aside: Prime Minister Johnson is generous with promise but is a man whose dark side bodes ill: Boris is the life and soul of the party, but he’s not the man you want to drive you home at the end of the evening. Funny thing that: flair is spectacular in politics, but reliability is probably better. 

Comment

Both above quotes on British colonialism reveal painful truths.

Britain’s acquisition of colonies was both repressive and uplifting: a difficult mix to judge. Think of the difficulties encountered by Ms Zille when casually commenting on this.

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King Zwelithini cannot get by with R66m and the income from extensive farming operations – but expects his subjects to do so on a minuscule portion of those resources. Diderot had said that man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. Woes and certainly overstated but which quote does capture the then (mid 1700s) disenchanted view of the French monarchy (and others who govern our souls). My perception is that King Zwelithini’s constituency does not resent his governance, but that white taxpayers do? Comment?

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Politicians act in the best interest of the country, right? When a governing party, sporting nomenclature reminiscent of war, refers to its own as known enemy agents (much as the old Nat government did on swart gevaar) that government certainly does not accept that any other could possibly govern. Alternatively, a call on historic loyalties?

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Jus bro, get your teeth into this:
https://select.timeslive.co.za/ideas/2019-07-26-juno-its-moerse-kif-getting-your-teeth-into-some-exploded-ds-and-ts/

Lighten up 

The curve is mightier than the sword

Save a boyfriend for a rainy day – and another, in case it doesn’t rain

Don’t keep a man guessing too long – he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else

She’s the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong

Mae West

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The US is not known as a colonial power, but it did flirt with such in its conflict with the Spanish which conflict bled into the US/Philippine war:

Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys

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