January 29, 2020 | Business, Economics, Practice, Property


An auction gone wrong: auctioneers are encouraged to read the case referred to below; this judgement sets out the obligations of an auctioneer and the relationships involved in an auction. Certainly worth a read: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2019/577.html

(courtesy of STBB)

On 14 January the Makana municipality was dissolved by the Grahamstown High Court for failing to promote a healthy and sustainable environment with the community. A first in our legal history and one suspects the precursor of many such applications.


An interesting note on the subject of municipal profitability comes from Moneyweb: imagine a business, which has no competitor, has a captive market and guaranteed price increases: think municipalities. On top of this, taxpayers subsidise these ex the Fiscus by 40% of municipal turnover. The problem is shrinkage, inefficiency and freebies.

The Land Bank’s credit rating has, unsurprisingly, been slashed to junk. So much for cheap loans to farmers, unless subsidised by the taxpayer. Giveaways of the past are coming home to roost.

A so-called cool coating (of paint) can drop the indoor daytime temperature of a corrugated-iron house by 9°C. Interested? Take a look: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/cool-coatings-can-help-make-living-in-low-cost-buildings-more-bearable-2019-12-06/rep_id:4136

Can anything good come out of Camperdown? Grindrod has begun construction of a 270,000 m² state-of-the-art AutoPort that would initially accommodate some 4,700 vehicles under cover and eventually some 19,000.

Estate agents are surely overjoyed that the EAAB had done an exceptional job (says the EAAB boss) in the issuing of FFCs for this year: absolutely no hint of the possibility of underperformance! Jolly good show chaps.


Res judicata is legal shorthand for the principle that one may not re-litigate on the same dispute; an abuse of process. Two litigants sued the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development; the issues and both are similar. When the Department raised the same defence in the second case that plaintiff pleaded (I thought quite bravely) res judicata. A discussion and a reference to the case may be found at https://www.golegal.co.za/litigation-res-judicata/

Pension funds and divorce orders: do make orders against pension funds clear and include, where relevant, a reference to provident funds also: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/185.pdf

There is a distinction between shareholders’ losses and those of the company in which they hold an interest. Failure to bear this in mind will be fatal: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/144.pdf


–          The parol evidence rule holds that where parties reduce a contract to writing, that document becomes the exclusive memorial of the transaction and no evidence may be led to prove its terms other than the document itself. Make sure that your contract includes all terms agreed upon.


–          The difference between suspensive and resolute conditions are formulated in the case that follows. That case also deals with the retrospective validation of acts of a company which has been deregistered and re-registered.


If but a portion of what is reported on JP Hlope is true, then he is clearly not fit for office. On the face of it, our Judicial Conduct Commission is not doing its job assiduously – our W Cape JP has been in the news for conduct unbecoming since 2004.

The practice for the application of copies of title deeds to serve as original, is crystalising: the Pietermaritzburg Registrar of Deeds will accept such applications after the advertisement has run and will accept multiple properties/titles dealt with in one application.


Stakeholder Capitalism: described as a catch-all for general corporate goodness, is upon us. Business must save the world, be nice to its employees and those it does business with and still make a profit! If you can swing this, everyone would want to employ you.

Happiness is: how you spend your free time, not how much you have (of either money or free time): https://www.businessinsider.co.za/millionaires-happier-active-leisure-time-wealth-building-2019-12

Our SOEs are in trouble and rationalisation must follow; if that word carries any reference to rationality. Unions want solutions but not that rational solution. We all know that this must happen; but our politicians need votes.

Survival of the fastest: Aerotropoli are said set to make inroads in the transportation business. What I found interesting was that non-aviation revenues of such institutions i.e. retailling and car parking, account for half of all airport income worldwide. No wonder airport taxes are virtually as costly as the tickets.

Are comission only employees, ’employees’ under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act?  Probably, see https://www.golegal.co.za/commission-only-employees/

Borrow pits? I have little doubt that few of us would recognise the term – used for unlicensed pop-up quarries: now said to threaten the licensed quarry industry.

The Payments Association of SA has introduced rules that are to come into effect in May that the maximum cheque that may be accepted is R50k: the intent is to encourage e-banking.

An interesting aside, raised by the Maverick is that section 75 (1) (e) of the Municipal Financial Management Act 2003, requires municipalities to place all service delivery agreements on its website. Apparently the City of Cape Town refuses to do so. Perhaps it behoves us to take a look at these contracts that have been entered into by our local municipalities?

The CSIR has said that our electricity supply shortfall for the next three years is likely to be worse than expected. Yawn..get PV.

They who stand guard (and profit from) over my pension, informs me that South African shares are not regarded as a value trap. This, they explain, refers to shares so low in value that they cannot possibly recover. I tend to agree but my faith is wavering.


The Mercury described SAA as having gone into a death spiral. Understandably, who wants to book on a plane that might never fly. This will definitely get worse.

It appears that the downgrade of our credit rating to junk status is virtually a certainty. The good news is that this has been priced into our market! It is said that investment managers will abandon our stocks in such an event but those (read speculators) who are looking for higher returns, move in. Volatility awaits us.

The SARB’s leading business cycle predicts a very modest economic recovery in the third quarter of this year.

Desperate for money: our Prez supports the investigation of prescribing investments for pension funds. An easy income for our state built on promises.


Nothing will work unless you do.

Maya Angelou


This week saw a lot of adverse publicity attracted by two schools which had suffered deaths of pupils. Yet at initiation schools for black children, the December death rate ran into many multiples of this: one wonders why this attracted so much less attention? Because those who died were black or because of custom? Because we have become so accustomed to such casualties that it is not newsworthy? Any cultural practice which is harmful should not be sustained.

Our minister of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has hired an ex-spy boss and (disgraced?) former head of the Prosecuting Authority as advisers at R1.9 each. What could these worthies possibly contribute to water affairs? What the Prez says and what his minister does about baantjies for boeties, do not gel.

Extreme PC: our minister of Higher Education, Science And Technology, Blade Nzimande, adopted a take by Prof Maree of the UP who said that the word fail had no place in current society – we should rather use the phrase insufficient achievement.

Lighten up: labour

  • I complain to HR, “Sorry Ma’am, but the salary doesn’t even remotely match the effort I put into my work.”

HR nods, “I know, but we can’t let you starve to death.”

  • People are still willing to do an honest day’s work. The trouble is they want a weeks pay for it.
  • Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.

Drew Carey

Still looking for your dream home. Feel free to give one of our developers a call today.

Tom Eastwick – The Gates, Hilton and Garlington, Hilton | 072 297 2699 | tom@devdirect.co.za
Janet Channing – Waterford Residential Estate, Howick | 082 570 5834 | janet@devdirect.co.za

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Author: Dr Daan Steenkamp – Attorney