Daan's Snippets

Economics

A summary of what went down this week:

  • SA has dropped two places to 84th in the Ease of Doing Business 2020 report, fifth in Africa. We implemented a single reform this year and 4 in the past 5 years.
  • SA still holds the top position in Africa in terms of financial markets development.
  • Inflation has eased to 4.1% – below the SARB mid-point target range.
  • Our BER Business Confidence Index for Q3 is at its lowest this year.

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A note by a tax partner at Bowmans caught my eye: SARS is reportedly underperforming. The 2018/19 collections reflect a growth of 5.9% at a time when our nominal GDP was 4.8%. Not too shabby? Yet, inexplicably, the targeted growth in tax collection was set at double the predicted GDP growth. Possibly owing an expectation that the reins would be held more tightly? This

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More than 5 million people, a third of Zimbabwe’s population, will need food aid before April next year.

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The economic Justice and Dignity’s latest Household Affordability Index reports that more than half of our population are living on less than R1230 per month (i.e. R41 per day) with one quarter of our population living on less than R19 a day. Take a domestic worker who works for a minimum wage of R15 per hour, this which equates to R120 per day: divide this into a family of four and you end up with R30 per day. Our child support grant is set at about 25% below the food poverty line. Whichever way you look at this, we have a crisis on hand.

Business

Our common law holds that intellectual property, created by an employee in the course and scope of his employment, is owned by the employer. If this interests you: https://www.golegal.co.za/ip-ownership-employment/

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A hot topic, earlier this year, was the tax exemption for foreign employment income. SARS has now released a note on this topic: https://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Individuals/Tax-Stages/Pages/Foreign-Employment-Income-Exemption.aspx

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The Institute for Timber Construction SA has reversed its resolution to declare itself dormant this. It’s a revival is subject to the introduction of a sustainable funding model and introducing compulsory membership.

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Air cargo is reportedly growing at 25% yoy: roping in this BA at the Dube TradePort is set to drive the growth of airfreight from that terminal.

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If the requirements for constructive dismissal interests you, you would find these at https://www.ensafrica.com/news/detail/1944/constructively-dismissed-or-resigned-on-own-v/

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Some years back a system was introduced to allow struggling matric pupils to complete the exam over two years. The pass rate from the 88,000 participants in the scheme produced only a 7.2% pass. The government is blamed for not providing sufficient support. One cannot help but wonder whether this initiative should be maintained?

Property

Attspace is Atterbury’s venture into co-working (shared office space). The fact is that, with electronics coming of age, permanent office space is no longer a requirement for business.

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The DOJ & CD released an opinion on the sale of property under attachment. Salient notes on this are:

  • An auction may be cancelled prior to the commencement of bidding. Once bidding starts, the auction must be completed.
  • Once attached, the attached property is under the control of the Sheriff and cannot be sold by the owner.

http://www.sheriffs.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LegalopinionSABS17052017.pdf

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Building on last week’s report that the number of bonds being granted was substantially up, is a report that the biggest percentage (44%) of bonds granted in the 12 months to end of September was for homes priced at between half and one million Rand. Whilst encouraging, I would draw the line at agreeing that this trend indicates a bullish property market.

Practice

Our local municipality is still getting to grips with electronic rates settlement: the latest imbecility is that an E-receipt was not acceptable because it was not signed in the original by them! Funny, but my sense of humour wanes with the prospect of the silly season upon us.

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The Master’s office in Pretoria is reportedly in crisis. One of its problems is that some 45,000 files have gone missing owing to storm damage to the building housing these. Apparently only three of the fifteen nationwide Master’s offices are functioning normally, apparently owing to staff shortages and incompetence. Hardly news.

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The latest case involving ESTA and burials allows for the burial of persons, who did not reside on a farm on death, within an ancestral burial site.

http://www1.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/100.html

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The Rules Board has proposed amendments to the Magistrates’ Court Rule 54 and has called for comments. If this interests you, ask me for a copy.

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I do not generally punt service providers: I would be remiss to not bring to your attention the advantages of the Dragon dictating system. It really works and is considerably faster than dictating, having the dictation typed and checking the result. Finding a provider who actually understands the programme is difficult. If this interests you, drop me a note and I will refer you to a gentleman who is really jacked up when it comes to support.

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The National Credit Act does not apply to contracts if the contracting parties are not at arms length. The latest case on this topic is Fourie v Geyer in which to friends borrowed and lent money: http://www1.saflii.org/za/cases/ZANWHC/2019/42.html

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Shifting the boundaries of trust law? Nel, LLD, Nelson Mandela University, challenges what he refers to as the contractual overemphasis of inter vivos trust relationships, hence the stipulatio alteri type of construction and interpretation. He suggests that the source of rights and obligations in trust law should be drawn not from contract but ex lege, referring to the beneficiary rights as an ownership- expectation right or eygendomsverwacht rather than a hope or spes. Still just a theoretical suggestion but interesting: ask me for a copy.

Quotables

Ex the Mercury: it isn’t the mountains to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.

Mohammed Ali

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“It’s nice to have a lot of money, but you know, you don’t want to keep it around forever. I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it’s a little like saving s.x for your old age.”

Warren Buffett

Comment

Old friends: in the past 14 days I met on separate occasions with old friends. Care-worn and some damaged by the exigencies of life. Respect, affection and time make for great companions.

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The endowment effect: people place a greater value on things once they have established ownership. Look this up: one wonders whether this does not provide a reason why homeowners think that their properties are worth more than the market holds?

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“It should be apparent that the real disjuncture in South Africa today is the divide between those who claim to want to fix what’s wrong, and those who actually have a practical plan to do so.”

Morris; IRR

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Watching Baleka Mbete exposed this week past, leaves one with two distinct impressions: firstly, having such an ill-informed person heading up Parliament is reflective of those who put her there. Secondly, exposing her to such an interview is lunacy.

Lighten up

Love is blind, friendship closes its eyes.

– Nietzsche

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My best friend ran away with my wife. I really miss him.

– Henny Youngman

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Friendship is not possible between two women, one of whom is very well dressed.

Laurie Colwin

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Marriage is a sort of friendship recognized by the police.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys
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