August 31, 2019 | Business, Economics, Practice, Property


The Treasury this week published its economic stimulus plan. I cannot speak for the efficacy of the plan but, like I suspect most South Africans, recognise that anything in this respect is better than nothing. For political factions to criticise the plan, primarily because they were not consulted, kinda misses the point?

Stats SA has discontinued the Income and Expenditure Survey for cost reasons: this survey is described by Lehola as the rock bed of the CPI. If Lehola is right that the quality of our future CPI stats will be low, the effect on individuals and our economy will be startling. Two examples: many contracts link rentals and the like to the CPI; the calculation of the accrual values of estates in marriages is linked to the CPI. One needs accuracy and not guesswork.


Diversify, invest overseas as a Rand hedge – on the face of it, defendable advice. Success here does not equate to success over there: Woolworths had so adventured and came woefully short. It currently sits with debts that exceed its assets. Especially worrying is that much of this is in dollar which, when our Rand slumps, hurts.


A tenant called up a pet store and said, “Could you please send me ten thousand cockroaches.”

“What in the world do you want with ten thousand cockroaches?” asked the clerk.

“Well,” replied Rachel, “I am moving out of my apartment today and my lease says I have to leave the place in the same condition I found it.”


Most lawyers would recommend against suing for defamation; by the time you get to court the injury is all but forgotten and the return is dismal. A note in the M&G suggests that our law has evolved in this respect: cases are now brought by way of application and are quickly heard to counter damage that can be done by fast-spreading social media.

Private prosecutions: many years ago, the first successful private prosecution for murder was headed up by Adv Scheltema: he will be publishing a book on the ins and outs of this and what needs to be done in such cases, shortly. Of late, such prosecutions have become all the rage, driven by a public desire for accounting for wrongs past. An en passant encounter with Scheltema brought home the difficulties of such prosecutions. One that stuck in my mind was his statement that S7.1.1 of the Criminal procedure Act requires a substantial and peculiar interest for one to prosecute. What peculiar interest would Afriforum or Gerrie Nel have in prosecuting a politician?

RABS: I was sent a report showing the RAF expenditure for 2017/18: two or three items attracted my attention:

  • advertising and marketing spend: R65.7m
  • computer expenses: R89.3m
  • legal costs: R10.6m

That the RAF is broke is old hat. What does seem strange is that it spends more on marketing than legal costs: I had always been under the impression that money-grabbing lawyers was one of the reasons why the RABS has been mooted as alternative to the RAF. Yet this institution spends R65m in soliciting claims!


Our elder son presented me with an unreadable book entitled Permanent Revolution, a history of the English Reformation and certainly the last book I would ever have bought myself; in desperation, duty-bound, I traipsed around the edges but eventually settled on skimming this – just for show. I became spellbound -what follows forms part of a theme of predestination which the writer says had resulted in a depressed society in England:

In any given society the relation between merit and reward will be a crucial indicator. Meritocratic societies in which the relation is close will tend to be dynamic. By contrast, societies in which the relation between effort and reward is aleatory, and in which widely dispersed effort is rewarded (s or not) by parsimonious distribution of merit, apportioned by impenetrable rules, to an elite few, will usually be characterised by high incidence of depression…

Merit and reward (or the lack thereof) manifests especially in socialist societies: work this out for yourself.



Gavin Watson: sinner or saint? Whatever. I suspect that he, like many others, started as a saint and ended a sinner. If you want to prove yourself a larni, quote someone famous such as TS Eliot i.e. joined the choir invisible. Look at these:

Lighten up

A Protestant is stopped at a stoplight when a Catholic rear ends him.

So, the Protestant, as anyone would do, calls the police. When the police car arrives, out comes a big Irish police officer. The officer looks at the two cars, walks over to the Catholic, and says, “So how fast was he going when he backed into you?”

I don’t have a Protestant work ethic…

I have the Catholic work ethic; in that I don’t work… but I do feel very guilty about it.

What do you call a protestant in love?

A Popeless romantic.

Q: What is the difference between a Protestant woman and a Muslim woman?

A: Protestant woman gets stoned before they commit adultery.

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Author: Dr Daan Steenkamp – Attorney