August 12th, 2022 | Business, Economics, Practice

Gentle Reader


I started publishing Snippets in 1997 and, over the years repurposed the content and focus thereof to keep track of what readers wished to see, what interested me and what I was able to deliver. This year brought a new challenge … in the shape of a blonde grandma.

Resultantly, you will see more irregular publications of this newsletter with a greater concentration on those issues within economics, business and law which do not age rapidly, and which one tends not to consider in the heat of the moment. Please bear with me.

I welcome any suggestions that you might make to me –








Pipe dreams? You will recall that during last year there was much hot air spewed by politicians around the development of our eastern seaboard at Port St Johns, together with a high-speed rail link from there to Gauteng. Now it appears to be the western seaboard that is targeted with a promised development at Boegoe Bay – incorporating a rail link – just south of Port Nolloth – to promote a Green Hydrogen Cluster.


More taxes? “We want the SABC to be funded from the national fiscus, but [we are] also proposing a broadcasting household levy…” said our Communications Minister, in proposing a public media levy, which is little else than an additional tax for a public utility that had not been able to fund itself.

Eskom wants to re-imagine its tariffs because it is underfunded. The state is considering taking over half of its current debt.

We are told by Salga that South Africa is a water-scarce country, and we need to take collective responsibility for how the distribution of water is managed.

To just halt the decline of our roads would cost in the region of R75bn.


Whichever way you cut this, much of these day-to-day issues including on our existence stem from mismanagement, poor planning and inexperience. All of these will become national issues and taxpayers will have to foot the bill.

The so-called Laffer curve is a simple theory which states that at some point raising taxes result in less tax being collected owing to consumer resistance. The problem with this theory is that it does not give a maximum tax rate but, I suspect that we are on the way to testing its validity as greater taxes is virtually unavoidable.


Good news is that our business confidence is up, despite price pressures and the like.


The penalty for not submitting BBBee reports is 10% of turnover – what does one do with a government that does not comply with its own obligations? Reports hold that only 25% of state entities complied with the obligation to submit such reports. But then, only some 40% of JSE-listed companies submitted theirs – clearly an enforcement chasm!


A mere week ago it was reported that nurses were not being trained and owing to the South African Nursing Council blocking the training of new nurses. Now nurses (dentists and so on) appear on the skills list of those who would be accepted as skilled workers in South Africa, despite the same Minister having drawn attention to the need for such in South Africa. This indicates a lack of paying attention when things matter.


NUMSA is planning a wage strike – yawn… except that the strike might well be extended to fuel stations, which will affect all of us directly.


Much less boring than news which you would have seen, had you paid attention, is the question of how one becomes an expert: we all want to consult one, be trained by one et cetera. How do people become expert? The answer is not quite what you would expect:


Also emanating from the son number 1, is an interesting note on how personal attractiveness and gender affects ones educational grades: the fact is that men “do better” and handsome/beautiful people “do better” than others:





  • The JSC has taken retired Judge Kriegler to task after his publicly (but correctly??) stating that Judge Hlope is unfit to be a judge.
  • The Concourt has ruled that only South African citizens could be admitted as advocate/attorneys. The case is not yet available on Saflii – asked me for a copy.
  • Many divorce settlements include dealing with immovable property after the divorce. These arrangements are often not given effect to, with disastrous results – from time to time even necessitating a court order to rectify the position. A short note on such settlements:
  • Did you know that your rental deposit should earn interest?


Hard news

  • The High Court in Bhisho recently ruled on the non-registration of a customary marriage, in essence the failure to register such a marriage does not affect its validity:
  • Cohabitation and the actio communi dividundo:
  • The most of those of you who read this column will have a retirement investment of sorts. You may be asked to nominate a person to be benefited – what happens if that person is not a dependent and, to what extent is your fund bound to your nomination? I hold an article by De la Harpe on the issue – ask me for a copy.




A new R16bn mixed-use development in Cape Town, named Harbour Arch is in the process of being built. Kudos!


SAPOA has taken on the city of Joburg over its Development Contributions Policy. This is going to be interesting.




It took the local a community burning down the houses of Zama Zamas to attract the attention of Minister Cele who now scoops all the attention for his doing his job: suddenly the cops are all over the show, arresting people and carrying on. The fact is that these illegal miners have been working there for years in full public view and, if not taken on by the locals, would have continued doing so.


I do not propose dealing with the proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act, save to note that asking a minister to set racial quotas per industry will probably result in a Concourt action.


The Witness recently regurgitated an issue which will not lie down until tackled by our government: that the Ingonyama Trust simply took over land control from a British system in 1875 and which imposed a system whereby the then chiefs reported to the government. Land ownership is one of the keystones to building individual wealth and land ownership will have to be given to the current occupants within so-called tribal areas even if it erodes the (now dated) system of tribal governance.


Lighten up — on grandmas:


I asked my grandpa: “ After 65 years you still call grandma darling, beautiful and honey. What’s the secret?”

Grandpa: “I forgot her name five years ago and I’m scared to ask her.”




Author: Midlands Developers Direct



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