July 11, 2020 | Business, Economics, Practice



First World hopes, Third World money: the ambulance scooter project is now under investigation. Yes, charging R96k for a bike outfit, that cannot cost a third of that, is outrageous. However, getting to a hospital on a sidecar, or not at all, is Hobson’s choice.


A basic coffin, delivered to your door, is a snip at R4900 – alternatively a do-it-yourself version is only R2600: at Takealot! I checked; seven workdays for delivery – possibly one should order in advance?


With the ongoing debate around school reopening, Prof Jansen’s suggestion some three months ago, that the school year be abandoned, starts making sense?


What do you do when you cannot afford to pay a co-morbid employee, whom you cannot accommodate in the workplace? https://www.cliffedekkerhofmeyr.com/en/news/podcasts/2020/Downloads/Vulnerable-Persons-Podcast.mp3

The DA has raised the spectre of the Compensation Fund, which it says is in a worse state than the UIF, not coping, as we move into the eye of the Covid-storm.


Kinda sounds the wrong way around: in but not up… Why is there a gender gap between women making associates in legal firms and women becoming partners? Women get pulled-sideways more often, whilst men get pulled-up: take a look https://voxeu.org/article/gender-norms-and-leadership-roles-legal-profession




B4SA, supported by BBC, and BUSA, made a proposal that infrastructure forms the flywheel of our financial recovery to the tune of R3.4Tr.  What is true is that such development would create jobs and multiply the value of the sum spent considerably. Our problem, in the unlikely event that such a plan finds state favour, is that SA continually trips itself up in grand schemes for several reasons, corruption, policy and inefficiency being some.

Further on national development: the Economic Transformation Committee of the ANC re-awoke the spectre that pension funds assist in such developments. In principle this is a wonderful idea, in practice, for the caution above, probably not. The fact is that our state is incapable of economic efficiency and, I, for one, would invest everything possible elsewhere, if the rate for of investment is such that it might impact meaningfully on my pension.


Another great idea… Is the implementation of the basic income grant (predicted when the R350 temporary Covid-grant was introduced)– this would cost SA in the order of R200bn annually and the obvious source of the funds would be “recouped” by levying extra taxes on those with jobs (easy peasy – back by popular demand).


On a more immediate note, Oxfam has added South Africa on its list of global hunger epicentres. Seen from this perspective, the proposed basic income grant appears to be the logical response?


Seen sequentially, the above all makes sense, provided only that our government gets its act together – pigs might fly.




The industrial property market, recently held out to be the least affected of the commercial property class, is subject to a weakening of demand, with properties spending an average of 19.7 weeks on the market prior to sale. In comparison, office space and retail space remain on the market an average of 23.5 and 29.5 weeks, respectively. Loos/FNB.


The EAAB has produced a set of guidelines for property viewings: the recommendation is that no more than two people should inspect and only when the buyer is definitely interested… I am sceptical – how does one know when a buyer, who has not seen the property, is definitely interested?




The SA Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights (not kidding – schoolchildren do not all enjoy basic human rights, yet prisoners should) is not pleased with the progress that has seen only 5,400 of the intended 19,000 prisoners being released under the Covid-Prez-promise…


Not proper? But wait there’s more! I have little doubt that old-timers (I, for one) regard the ongoing blow-by-blow unpleasantness surrounding Judge Hlope as definitely infra dig. That a judge, primus inter pares, should be embroiled in such BS…

Whilst on suitability for the bench: an article by Cachalia J in Advocate 4/2020 was passed on to me by a colleague. He says that an overemphasis on race and other factors, at the expense of skill and competence, has led to our bench being denuded of skills. I recall distinctly that some appointments to the bench caused a splutter of indignation amongst barristers some 20 years ago, but such protests have largely died down. For this to come from the Bench itself…

But wait, there is even more! The latest example of judicial misconduct may be read at http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2020/84.html


The saga surrounding the recognition of Muslim marriages is, I believe, misdirected: why is the issue directed at Muslims? Why is faith, or the lack thereof, the issue? Surely an adult has the choice whether to register a marriage or not to obtain civil law privileges? If one decides to shack-up, then the way you do so should determine the result, be it informal, tribal, or religious in origin. We seem to want to protect women but in the same breath recognise them as equals: is wanting to protect women legally not indicative of not recognising them as equals?


Is business slow? Do consider a short e-course: UCT, for example, has an introduction to trust law coming up this week (and there are many other legal topics to choose from): http://www.lawatwork.uct.ac.za/lw/courses


May you sell your water rights? No (Courtesy STBB): http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2020/252.html


Can a party to litigation be released from providing security, after the security has been provided? Yes. http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2020/81.html


An interesting case on the renewal of rentals was sent to me by Adv Crots: the lease could be renewed on six months’ notice and rental was to be agreed, failing which, a third would determine the rental. Notice was duly given, agreement did not follow and, before the third could determine the rental, the current contract lapsed by way of effluxion of time. The court found that the foundation of the determination of rental fell away as the contract had lapsed before the rental could be determined: be careful when drafting such contracts to ensure that a continuance clause is provided if delay occurs. http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2020/85.html


Ongoing insanity: the Pietermaritzburg Deeds Office closed for three days last week, owing to a conveyancer’s staff member being diagnosed with CV19. A tad over-the-top? I believe so. Why deep clean a whole deeds office when someone, once removed, has tested positive? By the time the test comes out, the documents, handled by the potentially-positive conveyancer, would have been handled by many and are probably into scanning and capture. Three days later the paper involved would be clear of viruses anyway. Surely, a quick afternoon wipe-down of the surfaces where the conveyancer might potentially have gone, would suffice? Probably half of the staff at any deeds office will pick up CV19 – to close for three days on each occasion will produce paralysis.




“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”



“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”





Undone: the brightly-burning social rage, on the topic of white privilege, let me to look up the word undone, and, to my surprise, found that the secondary meaning of the word that I had held dear for many years, is decidedly sectoral. My mother – a missionary of sorts – held very Victorian views and one of them found expression in the phrase “I am undone!” a figurative use meaning a woman (sexually?) ruined. Neither Websters nor the standard Cambridge dictionaries listed this meaning. I found references to this in (and a critique on) TS Elliott’s The Waste Land.

So, were all blacks scr@wed over? Can and should this be undone? How and for how long? Can a minority marginalise a majority? Interestingly, gifted and talented persons are also amongst those listed as marginalised – how does one deal with that? A UN paper carries a heading: indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities; marginalisation is the norm.

At best and interesting debate, at worst, inflammatory.


Should a country become involved in the struggles of its neighbour? Radicals are reportedly active in Northern Mozambique and the lucrative gas fields there are under threat: this week, reports that South Africa has involved itself in that struggle, has surfaced. Should we involve ourselves, considering that such involvement may bring radical retaliation within South Africa?


Lighten up


Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”



Some of these jokes are in bad taste, some indecent and a few obscene. But we are talking about lawyers…


Q: Why did God make snakes just before lawyers?

A: To practice.



Author: Dr Daan Steenkamp



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