What’s in a word? Our pretend leaders have this habit of bandying around or repurposing words which I perpetually must look up – the latest crop are:
- Monetisation Not that new but repurposed – a report held that ACSA will have to monetise its non-core assets. I assumed a sale, but no, the intent is to release wealth by presumably letting these out? The concept is not new: the oldest profession monetised that which the lord had bestowed upon them and the ROI is phenomenal.
- Funded as opposed to un-funded budgets I gather that municipalities budget for expenses which they can never pay because they do not have income. Terming an un-funded budget as a pipedream would probably be rude?
- Blended concessional finance Our Prez called for concessional finance to be made available by the IMF and the World Bank to Africans. Read loans extended on terms substantially more generous than market loans; soft interest rates or long grace periods are indicated. The blended is used to indicate a combination of concessional funds with finance on commercial terms. Yes, the world owes us!
- Treasury was rapped over the knuckles by the AG as the integrated financial management system, conceived in 2006, has consumed more than R1bn and has produced nothing because of governance lapses. Even worse, the Treasury pays R67m annually for the support and maintenance of a software system which is not in use.
- A clean-up in the appointment of those leading our institutions is underway and only the able will be appointed – says the Prez. Yet in December the incumbent Treasury CFO was appointed, despite her having been suspended six months before, for substantiated tender and appointment irregularities. She resigned and was never prosecuted. Treasury alleged that it did not know, yet one would assume that one needs top-level security clearance for such a job – what on earth do they check?
- One needs to dream big – right? The Prez announced that government is conceptualising post-apartheid smart cities. Afrikaans has a wonderful term for non-productive dreams: dadels. We cannot provide housing for the poor nor get existing reticulation systems to work, yet we prate of development led by infrastructure investment projects. ‘Struth.
A wonderful windfall is an unexpected revenue overrun of some R100bn this financial year, owing to a commodity price rally. Furthermore, Treasury reported that it was sitting on a cash pile of R378bn at the end of January, partly owing to an “overissuance” of government bonds. Whatever that means – the question is, on what we should spend this!
This week, a report held that a solar installation could produce electricity at roughly half the price that Eskom charges. A home installation, costing some R22k, has an ROI of 8 – 12% pa and will recoup the initial cost in 85 months. Imagine how much better this would be, if you were able to do this for your business and deduct 45% of the cost, courtesy of SARS?
Good news for consumers is that Aspen has been forced to cut the European prices of six blood cancer medications.
- Air Namibia (of course it wants a bailout from the state – boring if it were not for the fact that I had bookings there!); and
- SafariNow is allegedly no longer operational and has developed a payments backlog – be careful (I hasten to add that this has not been confirmed by the mainstream press).
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: Cogta watches over, amongst other things, municipal affairs and is intended “to secure the well-being of South Africans through a revitalised co-operative governance model”. Ms/Dr Nkosazana etc. noted that “our continued path of adverse findings from the AG must be reversed” after this controlling body was found to have inadequate accounting systems, a lack of oversight and the usual money down the drain and so on… And oversight body which cannot do that which it wants others to do.
An interesting insight into the functioning of Eskom’s supplementary power supply, was given by a sidenote that SONA cost R14m, just to keep the lights on for the two-hour address by the Prez. Eskom’s twenty open-cycle gas turbines, providing about one third of Eskom’s total power generation capacity, each consume half a million Rands diesel per hour. No, SONA was not that cheap this year.
Heavens above; wine-timeshare: a fractional, wine farm, ownership scheme has been floated where, in exchange for R1m, you can get a 1% holding in the farm, preferential access to wine, a collective dividend of 20% of the bottled wine produced annually, and a week/two-week free stay in villas to be built. Google Hemelzicht… no pun intended. The sale-price places the cost of the farm at R100m – like timeshare, you buy a facility, but not real estate.
An interesting brouhaha surrounds Property24’s offer to advertise rental properties for landlords who are not using an estate agent to rent out their property. Technically speaking, nothing prevents Property24 from doing this; pragmatically speaking, once it enters the same market as estate agents, it will be seen as a competitor and will possibly not be supported.
Cases and such
- Slapp: an interesting case for litigants is a case claiming defamation in which the defendants raised a plea that the claimants were engaged in an abuse of court process to silence them. Do look: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZAWCHC/2021/22.html
- A short note on pre-incorporation contracts may be found at https://www.mondaq.com/southafrica/contracts-and-commercial-law/1033968/pre-incorporation-contracts-explained
- Many minority shareholders find themselves caught up in the doings of a company wishing to enter into a significant transaction of which they disapprove. Section 164 the Companies Act entitles such a shareholder to be bought out rather than retain his shareholding. The case is not yet available to me, but the following article might interest you: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/companies-and-deals/appraisal-rights-fair-value-fair-rule-unfair-fight
- An interesting case, in which a municipality was held liable for a dog attack, on the basis that dogs were not allowed into an area, but this prohibition was not enforced by the municipality, may be stretching it. However, the SCA pronounced on this – the case is not yet available to me but may be found at CAPE TOWN CITY v CARELSE AND OTHERS 2021 (1) SA 355 (SCA) (courtesy of Legal Notes Volume 2-2021).
- Another case, which is not available to me, is BORCHERDS AND ANOTHER v DUXBURY AND OTHERS 2021 (1) SA 410 (ECP) (also ex Legal Notes) where the validity of a deed of sale of land, signed electronically via DocuSign, was challenged. The court appears to have adopted a pragmatic approach and accepted the signature. Worth a look when this case becomes available.
- Is an adopted child regarded as a child of a parent, for the purposes of a trust executed in 1953, prior to the current interpretation, initiated by the 2005 Children’s Act? I hold an article by Ferreira and Pretorius on the topic – ask me.
When dealing with names in conveyancing matters, keep in mind that the search system does not capture emphasised letters such as umlauts. If you draw documentation off a search, you may find your deeds rejected as the spelling on the title may differ, as the name might contain emphasised letters: you risk an examiner not accepting spelling which accords with the search but not with the title.
A recent shlenter, that my attention was drawn to, is perpetrated as follows: an apparently ranking officer in the police phones you and says that he has prisoners who wants you to represent them in a bail application. He runs out of airtime and requests that you purchase a modest sum of airtime so that arrangements can be made to meet. Of course, the meeting never materialises, and someone ends up with airtime.
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” George Bernhard Shaw
Another mistake? “More worrying is that democratic centralism is now the subject of a commission led by a judge who, with respect, practices [sic] his craft based on the narrow parameters of existing laws. One can only hope that the Zondo Commission is not going to turn our democracy into more of a neo-liberal concoction than it already is; where we all sound the same and do nothing real to transform our society.”
Carnival barker Jesse Duarte (my emphasis)
On principle? Is value/norm the guideline when taking decisions or should one negotiate around issues? A debate/dispute, close to my heart, is the matter of euthanasia. This issue has again gone to court and I truly hope that pragmatism will prevail. The right to life and die with dignity has nothing to do with the state nor religion, and the opposition thereto, I believe, is based on a vague moral perception that to do yourself in is reprehensible. Says who? The Health Professions Council of SA is opposing this on the basis that to allow patients to die is unprofessional conduct, i.e., principle. BS. The suffering, brought about by a life that simply will not end, is indescribable.
An apology and reparations? There is renewed push for a national commission to examine the impact of slavery and reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans in the USA. Slavery was abolished in December 1865. An apology one could understand, but reparations – to whom? On a train, in the American Midwest, I met up with a tall blonde, blue eyed gentlemen who I assumed to be Norwegian/Swedish. He had no job but could afford to travel in reasonable style. I enquired as to his employment, to have my host kick my shin very hard: it turned out that he had something like 15% of Native American blood in him, which entitled him to benefits which were certainly not too shabby. Such persons make up less than 2% of the US population; blacks some 13%. Reparations might come at quite a cost and, determining who the recipients are, is going to be a lot of fun.
Last week there was a commotion in our neighbourhood which turned out to be a somewhat boisterous wake. What tickled me was the abject apology on social media which stated that the death was unexpected and that they would be more considerate next time… I passed this on to a friend who asked: Black or Irish? Sure as nuts, Irish!
“Mrs. Flynn, we have your son,” said the kidnapper. Mrs. Flynn replied, “I don’t have a son.” “Right, then who just asked for warm milk and made us cut the crust off his sandwich?” Mrs. Flynn exclaimed, “Saints preserve us! You have me husband, Paddy.”
Paddy asked his boss, “Can I have a few days off seeing as it’s so close to Christmas?” He replied, “It’s May.” “Right.” Paddy said, “May I have a few days off seeing as it’s so close to Christmas?”
You can’t kiss an Irish girl unexpectedly. You can only kiss her sooner than she thought you would.
May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent.
Author: Dr Daan Steenkamp
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