This will be the last Snippets for this year – I will resume late in January.
Do enjoy the festive season, take a break, have some beer and, most importantly, be gentle to yourself (echoes of Coelho and Desiderata!).
Past wild claims regarding the cost of corruption in our economy estimated losses in excess of 30% of GDP. The latest on this front is a note from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr which holds that we lose about 5% of our revenue yearly as a result of fraud: be careful.
SA Titanic? Heysteck decries what he refers to as sunshine economists and says that our macro-economic fundamentals have collapsed. Take a look for yourself: https://www.biznews.com/wealth-building/2019/11/18/magnus-heystek-rsa-titanic-groot- (the last word in this link is omitted and is spelt k @ k, without spaces, which I must needs omit as spellcheckers would not allow this to be received)
On a more positive note, Morgan Stanley predicts that emerging markets will grow at 4.4% next year – we have fallen out of this bus.
Wealth tax appears to be back on the agenda: the UCT Vice-Chancellor has called for a discussion on this topic.
Electric planes? Lilium has produced what they term a jet but which is technically a a fan driven electric plane which is both quiet and fast:
Whilst the above sounds good, many of us suffer from soul-crushing traffic jams; the worst are reportedly in Manila where it takes some five minutes to drive a kilometre. On its heels is Bogotá, Jakarta and Tel Aviv.
Whilst on travel: United Airlines will launch a non-stop flight between Cape Town and New York on 16 December.
Bank Zero has launched a debit card which, it claims, offers enhanced security features in that it has three numbers, other than the number printed on the card, and each of which are used for certain purchases – such as “tap” transactions. The other numbers are stored within the chip and magnetic strip.
Christies reports that global cities like London, Hong Kong and New York, which appeared to defy the housing-market cycles, are following the slowing market. This has resulted in a glut of luxury properties. At the other end of the spectrum, affordable units are increasingly in short supply.
One of the changes to be introduced by the new Property Practitioners Act is that a consumer will not need to excuss an estate agent, who makes off with his deposit: all he needs to do is lay a charge and ensure that the agent had a Fidelity Fund Certificate at the time of payment to that agent.
When you change the use of a part of a section in a scheme, what consents are required? Botha, STBB, has written an article on this which I will provide on request.
Front page news is that the Ingonyama Trust was taken on by KZN women who lost their permission to occupy (PTO) rights in favour of leasehold rights. If the Trust loses this case it might well lose the rental rights that it has to a great many such arrangements.
Disputes brought before the Bargaining Council under the LRA are not legal proceedings for the purposes of the Vexatious Proceedings Act. http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/147.html
O if 15 November the Chief Master’s Directive 4 of 201 come if into effect: essentially it deals with suffixes for mortis causa trusts which need to be added in future. The directive may be found at https://www.justice.gov.za/master/m_docs/2019-04_CHM-directive.pdf
CGT and estate duty deductions: when does farmland qualify for a 30% reduction in value for the purposes of CGT and estate duty? If this interests you, ask me for a scan of an article by Dillon.
On the same topic is an article by Botha on CGT on the death of a spouse that was married out of community of property excluding accrual. Again, ask me for a scan.
Creativity is the art of connection
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
Have you ever wondered why North America seems to be more prosperous than South America? Explanations abound: the North was occupied by persons from cooler climes (think relaxed Mediterranean spirit), the North having benefited more from slavery and, the one that interests me in this case, Catholic versus Protestant values. The argument runs that Protestants believed that they were elected by God to the faith and that the visible fruit of this election is works which, in turn, serve to persuade the faithful that they had been elected. This sentiment is repeated in different ways but the first who drew the economic connection between what is termed the Protestant work ethic and religion, is Max Weber, in 1904. He postulated that the Protestant drive for meritocracy led to capitalism. Thus, Protestants worked harder than did Catholics.
I confess to scepticism, reading one’s own works as assurance of salvation is treacherous. After all, Catholics also value hard work as the fruit of faith, as do the Muslims?
Why is Christmas just like your job?
You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.
Let’s both be naughty this year and save Santa the trip.
Father: “Son there is something I need to tell you: Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, that’s always been me.” “I already know, dad,” the son reassures him. “Only the stork, that was Uncle Fred.”