Daan's Snippets

Economy
Engineeringnews ran an article by Bloomberg, reporting that foreigners are ditching SA bonds and stocks at the fastest pace on record (i.e. since 1998) and outflows are accelerating. You must love how this is explained: SA’s fundamental picture remains very challenging with a ballooning fiscal deficit and structurally low growth.

Some heartening news: we have had a trade surplus for two months running.

A litmus test for an economy is car sales: ours is down substantially, with a drop of 7% in the number of new and used vehicles financed in Q2:2019. The outlook is stagnant.

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Our dire economic news of late is alleviated somewhat by the Absa PMI increasing from 46 to 52 point in July. There appears to be some doubt whether this improvement can be sustained.

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A report held that Glencore profits had been hurt by Cobalt’s price collapse: why have prices crashed? Internationalbanker reports that the expected demand from the electric-vehicle industry had caused prices to rocket which in turn boosted production. The expected demand did not live up to its expectations and the rest is history.

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Why? Consider the following statement by Duarte (arguing that if the mandate of the Reserve Bank is independent of shareholding, then does it matter who the shareholder is): … it is our desire that the SARB be in the hands of the people of SA. On the mandate of the bank she says that does not change and cannot change just because of who the shareholder is.

But, don’t worry, the nationalisation thereof will be done responsibly, says Magashule!

Technically it probably does not matter who owns the Reserve Bank. The fear, that the opponents of the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank harbour, is that one of the last bulwarks between us and banana republic status might be lost.

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GAFAS (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) gaffe: France proposed a tax on GAFAS; Trump retaliated by threatening to tax French wine. Moronic – everyone knows American wine is not better than French wine!

Business

Are you a tough ouk? Then you probably need a tough phone; look: https://crosscall.com/en/

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The capital city of KZN has asked its big sister to help assess a fix of its electricity system. Sure, why not? Having to ask help is indicative that PMB has no competent staff of its own: one wonders who keeps that managerial seat warm.

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Real men own cattle and buy brides with them: if you don’t own a farm (yet), try this: https://www.livestockwealth.com/ Shares are Complicated. Cows are easy

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The SA Grocery Retail Market Inquiry has published its preliminary report: a very brief summary if this interests you:

  • exclusive lease provisions are criticised but will probably remain;
  • a discussion about the rental differentials between small and anchor tenants concludes that this phenomenon is a commercial reality; if parity is enforced anchor tenants would probably avoid such malls;
  • a discussion on the big four (Shoprite, Pick and Pay; Spar and Woolworths) shows that their market share is not nearly as large as one might think.

Take a look: https://www.fasken.com/en/knowledge/2019/05/grocery-retail-market-inquiry-key-preliminary-findings-and-recommendations

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A regularly recurring question is whether the guy who works for you is an independent contractor or an employee. I have a note on the topic written by a member of the SA Institute of Tax Practitioners as well as interpretation note 17 by SARS. Ask me for a copy

Property

Industrial property is outperforming the office and retail segments of that market and eThekwini is perceived to be the best-performing Metro in the sphere of industrial and retail property. The JoBurg & Ekurhuleni metros are the weakest.

Time on the market for such properties is 12.8 weeks in Cape Town, 10.5 weeks in eThekwini and a whopping 35 weeks in JoBurg. Affordability and a move towards online retail is blamed.

FNB: Loos

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The Rawson Property Group has, again, been rewarded by Global Brands Awards with three highly coveted awards; take a look: https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/property-group-achieves-triple-win-at-awards-2019-07-17/rep_id:4136

Practice

If you are looking for a job, there’s a Joburg-based firm which has lodged 112 medico-legal claims against the KZN Health Department. The funny thing is that instead of fixing our hospitals, the SIU was asked by the Minister to investigate that firm! That’ll teach ‘em.

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There is a debate regarding the lowest age for marriage in South Africa: the Marriage Act allows boys to get married at 18 and girls at 15; the Civil Union Act does not allow such marriages under 18. The suggestion is that a minimum age of 18 be stipulated across the board.

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The PMB High Court this week ruled that labour tenants and farm occupiers, in the uMungundlovu district, must be provided with water sanitation and refuse collection services. The case was not available at the time of writing. Whilst laudable, the fact is that most municipalities are practically speaking broke, owing to the reach of their services having been extended beyond sustainability. I could not help but wonder how this will translate into future action. 

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Does one join a big firm or a small law firm? Golegal flighted an opinion that the encroachment of technology will seriously dent large practices and that the two choices above should be supplemented by a third i.e. Newlaw, meaning thereby, alternative legal service providers who are more efficient and cost-effective. Judge for yourself: https://www.golegal.co.za/biglaws-death-newlaw/

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(Kill the) Boer! The use of the term Boer at work might get you fired: https://www.cliffedekkerhofmeyr.com/en/news/publications/2019/Employment/Employment-alert-29-july-No-more-Boers-allowed-in-the-workplace-.html

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If you’re feeling brave and the law of succession and joint liability interests you, I have a wonderful article by Sonnekus on the subject. Ask me for a copy – for the brave only. 

Quotables

“If you arrive at the interview and only the boss has the fancy car in the car park; go home, it’s the same old sh*t.”

Computer nerd, semi-friend of mine

Comment

I saw this week that a period (full stop) had been the subject of scientific study, headlined The Passive-Aggressive Period. Consider a text reply to the question: are you mad at me? This could be responded to as either no or no.; The second response is thought harsh – women, do take note: https://www.jigsawllc.com/2017/01/12/the-passive-aggressive-period/ or https://www.ricemedia.co/culture-life-full-stops-passive-aggressive-texting-punctuation/

Lighten up

For old f@rts: I’m not as good as I once was.  But I am as good, once, as I ever was.

Toby Keith

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Here’s some advice (mostly for my son): At a job interview, tell them you’re willing to give 110 percent. Unless you’re applying to be a statistician.

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When my co-worker answered his phone, the confused woman on the other end asked, “Who is this?”

“This is Steve. With whom did you wish to speak?”

After a pause: “Did you just say whom?”

“Yes, I did.”

The woman replied, “I have the wrong number,” and hung up.

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Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? You do all the work and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit. 

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Wife: Why are you home so early? Husband: My boss told me to go to hell. 

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An organization is like a tree full of monkeys, all on different limbs at different levels. The monkeys on top look down and see a tree full of smiling faces. The monkeys on the bottom look up and see nothing but @ssholes.

Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys
LinkedIn Profile

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