Daan's Snippets

Gentle Reader

My fiancé (shortly to be SWMBO) and I are en route to a momentous birthday, son number one’s wedding, and my belated introduction into Spanish art (think Gaudi Picasso and such). With any luck I shall return abrim with newfound knowledge, passion and enthusiasm.

This will result in a hiatus in these publications.

Daan

Practice         

News

·       The constitutionality of the Electoral Amendment Act will be challenged in the Constitutional Court.

·       Justice Mahube has been recommended by the JSC for the post of president of the SCA.

·       Offhand, I cannot recollect having seen this before: the JSC recommended that two judges, who have failed to deliver judgements, be suspended – good.

·       Nummawan says that he holds sufficient facie prima evidence to privately prosecute Ramaphosa; yawn… To think that this man held top post in government here!

·       Law offices are happy places. Legal professionals suffer a very high rate of stress, anxiety and depression. So, tips to make these happier places? https://www.tech4law.co.za/news-in-brief/well-being/how-to-make-a-law-firm-a-happy-place/

Hard news

·       Financial service providers offering advice beyond their expertise: https://www.golegal.co.za/risks-financial-service/

·       A recent case has led to a veritable flood of information in the press on strikes – be wary of locking out employees after a strike has ended – a suspension of a strike is essentially the termination of labour being withheld and you cannot thereafter lock out employees: https://bv-inc.co.za/lock-out/  and http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2023/11.html

·       When is a debt a liquidated demand? The answer will determine whether the Registrar should be approached for default judgement: https://www.golegal.co.za/registrar-court-debt/

·       Anton Pillar applications are not common; a short note on this is interesting: https://www.golegal.co.za/anton-piller-applications/

·       Labour practitioners should note the changes to the CCMA rules: these deal with, amongst others, faxes as filing form; condonation, postponements, picketing rules, and penalties for not attending.

·       Generally speaking, our courts would pierce the corporate veil where an individual abuses the protection afforded to him by the imposition of a corporate structure. In the following case, it was argued that a court should be able to do this even where no unconscionable conduct is involved; the SCA had no mercy: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2023/57.html

·       The issue of the provision of security by a peregrinus is dealt with in this judgement: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2023/54.html

Conveyancing

·       Predictably, the over-hasty move of the Pretoria Deeds Office has caused unhappiness: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/investing/property/conveyancers-up-in-arms-over-problems-at-new-pretoria-deeds-office/?’

·       Contracts for the sale of a property often contain a clause stating that on default of the purchaser, the property may be resold and, if an equivalent or higher price cannot be achieved, the purchaser will be liable for the difference – such a provision is valid and enforceable. https://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAFSHC/2023/65.html courtesy of STBB

Economics/business

I chanced upon a term which wonderfully describes our economic situation i.e., polycrises: a convergence in South Africa of once-in-a-generation risks such as the Ukraine war, the recent pandemic and a confluence of self-disruptions such as electricity, water, services woes and political stupidity.  A wonderful example of the latter is our purported withdrawal from the ICC; hardly had the press announced that the ANC (note not Parliament, which one would have thought would guide decisions!) had decided what we would do to accommodate Putin, than we recant – in fact, as I write this, we have a delegation wooing the USA in an attempt to prevent it from withdrawing our trade concessions. The fact is that our trade with Russia is minuscule compared to our trade with the EU and USA the policy flipflops that followed upon this misguided, to say the least, action, are ridiculous.

The following graph illustrates that our potential GDP growth is such that we can, if we continue on our current economic and political trajectory, never eliminate poverty in this country:

On a more pragmatic note, Nedbank estimates our GDP in Q4 to reach 0.3% with the then €/R exchange rate to be 19.39.

The Zimbabwean dollar imploded dropping by 70% last week.

Recent South African economic (bad) news is:

·       The NSFAS debacle – how can R5bn be paid to students who are not eligible and those involved do not even apologise.

·       Whilst on the topic of education – we are now told that mafias operate within the student accommodation sector; how can those in charge not have acted before?

·       On an equally dismal note, is a report saying that we spend some 2% of GDP on old age benefits compared to 16% in Europe. This is in line with developing countries, and, it should be said, that we have a younger population than there.

·       SARS is the one state department which apparently functions well; however, Kieswetter has said that we are not keeping up with international standards for developing countries and lack of funds undermines SARS’s ability to attract and keep critical skills and invest in technology.

·       We may be the only modern economy with no functioning national postal service.

Business news is:

·       How to do  a CIPC company deregistration: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-podcasts/small-business-conversations/cipc-company-deregistration-how-to-do-it-right/

·       Domestic workers are now entitled to claim for work-related accidents or deaths.

·       You cannot lock employees out after a strike has ended/suspended: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/607/237854.html

·       How does one compare an investment in an EFT with Unit Trusts? https://www.moneyweb.co.za/in-depth/sygnia-group/mind-the-gap-why-fees-arent-the-only-investment-cost-to-consider-when-choosing-between-unit-trusts-and-etfs/

Property

New property indexes are:

1.     FNB’s latest House Price Index showed an average 2.1% yoy home price growth – the lowest since July 2020. The reason for this is declining household income. The result of this is also that households are shifting away from asset-backed credit towards much more obtainable unsecured credit, but which is more costly. In turn, this leads to distressed borrowing and property sales, with lower value property segments being most at risk.

2.     Office vacancy rates are down from its all-time high of 16.7% during Q2/22 to 15.8%. Interestingly, the Cape Town CBD is still attracting office tenants, probably owing to semigration to the Cape in general. The fact is that Cape Town offers lifestyle and business incentives better than elsewhere (and even less load shedding). Consequently, prices in the Cape, remain solid. The trend in work-from-home is leading to an increase of office to residential conversions.

Two large new developments are on the cards – a R2,5bn affordable, mixed-use lifestyle estate next to Sun International’s Carnival City Casino in Gauteng and a R3bn residential-anchored development in Sandton.

You will recall that our government had said that construction mafia would not be tolerated; yet such extortion practices are still rife.

Lastly, and much more fun, is a note on where homebuyers get the most for their money, notably in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North-Western Johannesburg and the Free State: https://propertywheel.co.za/2023/04/sas-provinces-where-homebuyers-get-the-most-for-their-money/

Lighten up

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe.”

Marriage is like deleting all the apps on your phone except one.

A husband is what’s left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted.

Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys
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