What an awful budget - Roodt

Posted 23 February 2018

Many words were used to describe the budget. They include “balanced”, “difficult but fair”, “understandable”, “conservative” (a major bank), “the price of the Zuma-years” (an analyst), “we had no option”, “balanced act under circumstances” (SACCI), “inevitable and enough to prevent a downgrade” (Raymond Parsons and PwC), “stabilise debt” (a journalist), “necessary bitter pill” (OUTA), “tough but hopeful” (the minister himself).No. It was far worse than that, says Dawie Roodt, chief economist at The Efficient Group.

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SA's medieval legal system among the most expensive in the world

Posted 22 February 2018

The late Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, formerly Inkatha Freedom Party’s justice spokesman, was a Constitutional expert and an advocate for sweeping reform of our justice system. In this article he argued that the comraderie between competing lawyers prevents them from properly representing their clients. He also called for an end to the practice of using advocates as sit-in judges on exactly the same grounds - they are likely to go soft on their legal collegaues at the expense of justice. Sadly, Oriani-Ambrosini passed away in 2014 from a self-inflicted gun wound, his body wracked with cancer. He made an indelible impression on SA's Constitution and legal landscape. He called for an end to the split bar system of senior and junior counsel, one of the reasons why SA lawyers are among the most expensive in the world.

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Budget 2018 highlights

Posted 21 February 2018

A summary of some of the key highights from Finance Minister Gigaba's Budget speech today.

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Nedbank client takes his case to the Jersey court

Posted 21 February 2018

Ian Brakspear of Durban has been fighting his case against Nedbank for the better part of a decade. It all started when the bank foreclosed on a R7m loan he says he neither asked for nor received. A bizarre court case in Durban found in favour of the bank. Now Brakspear's mother has taken the case to the Jersey courts in search of justice. The Bailiwick Express reports on the latest developments.

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What to expect in the Budget

Posted 20 February 2018

A possible increase in VAT, fuel levies and allowing income tax brackets to remain as they are - a way for government to increase revenue by not adjusting these brackets for inflation - are some of the things to expect in the upcoming budget. Also expect to hear if government will start selling off State-owned assets such as Telkom to generate further revenue. Treasury will also outline how it intends to fund free university education for the poor, according to this report from FNB's Economics Department.

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Former CIA director admits the US meddled in other countries' elections

Posted 18 February 2018

Former CIA chief James Woolsey appeared on Fox News to push the narrative of how dastardly 'dem Russkies' are in their meddling with the sacred soul of America's democracy. He also let slip that the US has been doing exactly the same to other countries. Zerohedge looks at the scorecard.

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We say goodbye to Morgan Tsvangirai, a brave and iconic leader

Posted 16 February 2018

Morgan Tsvangirai passed away this week in South Africa after a long struggle with cancer. He brought hope to the people of Zimbabwe and should rightly have been president of the country had Robert Mugabe not stolen the elections from him and his party, the Movement for Democratic Change. Writing in The Conversation, David B. Moore, Professor of Development Studies, University of Johannesburg, looks at the life of this iconic leader and the opposition movement he led.

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Good riddance Zuma

Posted 15 February 2018

It is with an overwhelming sense of joy and relief that SA can say goodbye to Jacob Zuma. His rule, at the helm of our country, in the highest office in the land — which all citizens should respect — has been a mockery of democracy and our Constitution. There is no other way to greet his departure than to say: "Good riddance."

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Ramaphosa to be elected president on Thursday - if chief justice is available

Posted 14 February 2018

It seems the knives are out for outgoing President Jacob Zuma. His own party will join the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in a vote of no confidence in their leader, according to Business Day. If all this goes as planned, and the chief justice is available for the swearing in, tomorrow will see the first day in office of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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Jordan Peterson - pilloried for speaking common sense

Posted 12 February 2018

Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at Toronto University, has become something of a rock star for his evangelical approach to common sense. He first gained notoriety when he refused to abide by the University's edict that transgender people should be addressed by pronouns of their choosing, such as ‘zhe’ and ‘zher’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’. He went on Channel 4 to debate the issue and delivered a master class in common sense, rendering the combative interviewer speechless at one point. It's worth saving for posterity, if only to show how crazy these cultural wars have become. The Left needs to wake up to some of the nonsense being propagated in their name.

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Believe it or not: Zim was once the freest economy in the world

Posted 10 February 2018

Zim was once the freest economy in the world, says Zimbabwean parliamentarian Eddie Cross. It happenbed between 2009 and 2013 when an opposition MP took over the finance ministry and lifted exchange controls and scrapped price controls that had been implemented by the previous government. All manner of economic restrictions were lifted, resulting in an economic flowering the likes of which had not been seen before or since. This all came to an end in 2013 when Zanu-PF regained absolute control of the government. But there is a lesson here for all Africa countries. If we in SA follow the Zimbabwean model (indeed, should Zim follow its own example), a new era of economic prosperity would eventuate.

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Mining charters are unconstitutional and must be scrapped - lawyer

Posted 09 February 2018

Mining lawyer Hulme Scholes has brought an application before the Johannesburg High Court to have all three versions of the Mining Charter set aside on the grounds that they are unconstitutional. The government needs to replace the charters with law which will remove political interference from the policy process.

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How Bank of Baroda's misadventures dragged it into SA's political crisis

Posted 07 February 2018

A scandal involving Bank of Baroda’s South Africa operations, a cabal of businessmen of Indian origin, and South African President Jacob Zuma, has undermined the reputation of India’s second largest bank and resulted in an unprecedented penalty by the South African Reserve Bank.

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Zuma reaches his Rubicon

Posted 04 February 2018

President Jacob Zuma could trigger a Constitutional crisis this week should he proceed with his plans to deliver the state of the nation (Sona) address to parliament. Opposition parties are united in their call for a postponement of Sona, while prosecutors and police prepare for a trial which may see Zuma face 783 charges of fraud, money laundering and racketeering.

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Michael Komape died because he was a rural African child

Posted 02 February 2018

Michael Komape drowned in a pit toilet outside Polokwane in 2014. Such a death could only occur to a rural African child in a school where neglect and indifference were standard. The family is suing the province's Department of Basic Education, seeking more than R2m in damages and a court order that will force the government to attend to the shocking state of sanitation in schools across the province.

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Prison inmates go 20 hours between meals

Posted 30 January 2018

Fourteen inmates of Johannesburg “Sun City” Medium B prison yesterday told the High Court that they were going up to 20 hours between the last meal of the day and breakfast. Fourteen inmates of Johannesburg “Sun City” Medium B prison yesterday told the High Court that they were going up to 20 hours between the last meal of the day and breakfast. The case cast an interesting light on conditions in the prison, with allegations that prison guards are dealing in drugs. 

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Capitec Bank is the latest target of the sleuths at Viceroy Research

Posted 30 January 2018

Viceroy Research, which last year highlighted accounting irregularities at Steinhoff and brought it to its knees, has this time shone a light on Capitec Bank, calling it a “loan shark with massively understated defaults masquerading as a community finance provider”.

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Zuma deserves humiliation

Posted 29 January 2018

In his first major interview as leader of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa was at pains to emphasise that President Jacob Zuma’s early exit should not be a humiliating experience. But that is exactly what he deserves, says Mondi Makhanya, writing in City Press.

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Unsecured lending: SA sitting on another Steinhoff bubble

Posted 26 January 2018

With unsecured lending approaching R18bn, it is only a matter of time before another corporate implosion occurs, according to Glen Jordan of IMB Financial Services.

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Could Jubilee debt forgiveness be reintroduced today?

Posted 23 January 2018

As Michael Hudson and Charles Goodhart argue in this article, the Biblical concept of Jubliee debt cancellations had a stabilising effect on societies through the ages. In particular, it provided security of tenure over land for indebted farmers, which had beneficial impacts in generating future tax revenue for the rulers. Here, the authors aruge that debt cancellations could indeed be reintroduced today, albeit in a different format, to create a property-owning democracy, and to make it possible for students to attend higher level education without being crippled with debt upon graduation. Perhaps it is time to start a real discussion, backed by solid research, on the pros and cons of debt forgiveness.  

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Inside the Gupta grand heist

Posted 23 January 2018

A sensational preservation order granted this week against Gupta-owned companies has exposed a grand conspiracy by the family to steal money from the state with help from senior politicians and government officials.

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Lessons for SA from Zimbabwe

Posted 21 January 2018

South Africa has a tortured history of land ownership. Under apartheid, black South Africans were denied freehold title to land, but were allowed to reside in townships like Soweto under 30 and then 99-year leaseholds. Yet tends of thousands of residents lose their homes each year to the banks. As Lungelo Lethu Human Rights Foundation points out, repossessed properties should be returned to the local government, not the banks. Black South Africans, experiencing their first taste of property ownership, may well wonder whether this is the freedom for which they had hoped. Now ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa now wants to take land from white farmers without compensation. Zimbabwean member of parliament Eddie Cross explains that this is a rapid route to ruin, and one need only look north of our border to understand why. Here is a lesson from Zimbabwe and how land reform should be done. 

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SAA's new CEO tolls airline's death knell

Posted 17 January 2018

If SAA were a privately-owned company, it would be shipped to the knackers' yard. It is hopelessly insolvent. The airline's new CEO Vuyani Jurana outlined to parliament's standing committee on finance, and it was not a pretty picture. Even after getting another R10bn lifeline from Treasury in March, the airline will have outstanding debt of R13,8bn and expects to post another loss of R5,6bn for 2018. Perhaps it is time to wind it up and sell the brand to a more competent airline operator. 

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NPA about to move on Guptas, sets sights on assets worth R1,6bn

Posted 15 January 2018

The Asset Forfeiture Unit, part of the National Prosecuting Authority, is preparing to make a move against the Gupta family and has its sights set on assets worth R1,6bn. This is the first time the state has taken action against President Jacob Zuma's friends, says City Press.

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Important notice for Acts Online users

Posted 12 January 2018

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