The Budget in a nutshell

Posted 24 February 2016

Higher taxes on the rich, a freeze on public sector hiring, a valiant if over-optimistic attempt to rein in public debt - it's all there in the Budget announced today by finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Here are the highlights.

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Budget reaction: smiles and tears

Posted 24 February 2016

Opposition parties were less than enamoured with much of what finance minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his latest budget today. Here we take a look at some of the reaction from Grant Thornton executives.

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The day Zuma handed over power to Gordhan

Posted 24 February 2016

President Zuma's swagger is gone, replaced by a diminished man in trouble. This was evident during his State of the Nation address. As Allister Sparks points out, Zuma has effectively handed over control of the country to his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan.

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Gauteng freeways cost 321% more than comparable roads

Posted 23 February 2016

A new study shows that the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) overpaid by R10bn or 321% when compared with other roads projects completed around the world. There is something grossly wrong with Sanral's road construction, for which Gauteng motorists are being repeatedly flogged. 

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Americans are ready to vote out the bums

Posted 19 February 2016

It's been called the Second American Revolution. Outliers Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are rattling the political establishment in ways that hav not been seen in nearly 50 years. It's a sign that the political establishment is in trouble.

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Can SA escape the boiling pot in time?

Posted 18 February 2016

President Zuma is not having an easy time of it. His State of the Nation address was an attempt to appease the left while pretending to promote investment. If there is one ray of sunshine in this mess, it is that Zuma will actually subject proposed new laws to economic impact assessments, to see whether or not they will do harm or good. 

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Unemployment, not racism, is SA's biggest problem

Posted 16 February 2016

The most pressing problem facing the country in the eyes of ordinary South Africans is unemployment. It is not racism, despite what many politicians would have you believe, according to Anthea Jeffery of the Institute of Race Relations.

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Zuma's state of the nation address insufficient, say analysts

Posted 15 February 2016

President Zuma's state of the nation address was aimed at becalming a troubled country, but it may not be enough to avoid the inevitable ratings downgrade and electoral thumping the ruling party is likely to receive later this year. 

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Morgan Stanley to pay $3,2bn over "flawed" mortgage loans

Posted 11 February 2016

Morgan Stanley is the latest US bank to fess up to its role in the grand heist of 2008 when it fleeced investors and dumped subprime mortgages onto unsuspecting investors. It will cough up $3,2bn we learned this week. Bank of America agreed to pay $16,6bn in 2014.

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Racial inequalities show up in matric results

Posted 10 February 2016

An examination of matric results by the Institute of Race Relations shows whites scoring higher marks than other race groups. This suggests not nearly enough has been done to deliver quality education to black South Africans, according to the Institute. 

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Malema is SA's disastrous Hugo Chavez in waiting

Posted 08 February 2016

Julius Malema has fashioned himself on the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, seemingly oblivious of the fact that one in 10 Venezeulans plan to leave the country of their birth - such is the economic misery visited on them by the Chavez revolution. David Pilling of the Financial Times took Malema to lunch and ended up paying for seven of his comrades.

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ANC veteran Denis Goldberg rips the ruling party a new one

Posted 05 February 2016

ANC veteran Denis Goldberg, friend of Nelson Mandela and a Rivonia trialist who spent 22 years behind bars for his political beliefs, says the ruling party is in for a nasty shock in the upcoming local elections. He also wonders how millionaire Julius Malema can speak for the poor.

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The case for less rather than more regulation of financial services

Posted 05 February 2016

The government is intent on micro-managing the financial serices sector with layer upon layer of regulation. Now it is the turn of insurers. New regulation will be dumped on the sector despite evidence that customers are on the whole rather satisfied, writes independent consultant Gerrit Sandrock.

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You can get fired for racist or offensive social media posts

Posted 02 February 2016

Employees should ralise that they can be dismissed for offensive or racist social media remarks. Nothing posted in this digital age is considered private or irrelevant, according to Werksmans Attorneys. 

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Government using legal sophistry to by-pass the constitution

Posted 31 January 2016

The judiciary has genuflected to Parliament's ongoing assault on property rights. As LLB student Martin van Staden points out, no society prospers where property rights are under attack. The result is inevitable: South Africans will continue securing their property rights in more hospitable climates abroad.

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SA does have a race problem, but not the one you think

Posted 29 January 2016

The witless Penny Sparrow has ignited a racial furore over her offensive remarks about blacks on SA's breaches, and rightly so. But most whites do not think like her. Yet SA does have a race problem, and its source is a government intent on using racial engineering to benefit a few.

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Finally! SA moving out of the Stone Age when it comes to home repos

Posted 27 January 2016

As Acts Online has previosuly reported, SA is in the Stone Age when it comes to home repossessions. The good news is that the courts are considering changing its rules to prevent houses being sold at auction without reserve prices.   

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All this talk of inequality is bogus

Posted 27 January 2016

Oxfam recently put out a report about the supposedly alarming growth of poverty and inequality. Oxfam is an anti-poverty, socialist carry-over from a by-gone era. It thrives on poverty and finds it everywhere, even when the actual evidence suggests otherwise.

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E-tolls: govt can't put lipstick on this pig

Posted 26 January 2016

The ANC is trying to put lipstick on the e-tolls pig, even going to the extent of insulting the estimated 90% of Gauteng motorists who have decided not to pay their e-tolls. This is a mistake the government may come to regret, particularly as local government elections are around the corner.

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Team SA, led by Zuma, make fools of themselves at Davos

Posted 25 January 2016

President Zuma is in Davos with two senior economics ministers, Rob Davies and Ebrahim Patel. A greater deterrent to investment is hard to imagine, which is why no-one is taking Zuma seriously anymore.

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How Nene said no to Myeni, Bashir and Zuma

Posted 22 January 2016

Mail & Guardian reports that axed finance minister Nhlanhla Nene had refused to buckle to pressure from SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni and Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir - wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes - to open a new air route between SA and Khartoum.

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Plans to outlaw public smoking are fantasy

Posted 21 January 2016

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi's call for a ban on smoking in all public places is an assault on freedom and civil liberties. Whether you are a smoker or not, this attack on tobacco (which is not illegal) affects you and your liberties.

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How does SADTU get away with it?

Posted 20 January 2016

The SA Democratic Union (SADTU) gets a free pass for selling teaching posts for R30,000 a pop in a country innured to such outrages. It is a symptom of the decay that has infested the extractive sectors that feed off the labours of others, writes Cilliers Brink of the Institute of Race Relations.

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Court bid to veto Zuma as president could save SA

Posted 19 January 2016

It is not too late for opposition parties to bring an application before the Constitutional Court challenging the suitability of Jacob Zuma to hold the office of president, says Paul Hoffman of Accountability Now. Zuma has demonstrated irrationality in transfering his finance minister and is fatally compromised as president.

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Please call me case ends up in Concourt

Posted 18 January 2016

Nkosana Makate has waged a 16 year battle to get what he argues is his rightful reward for inventing the Please Call Me service while an employee at Vodacom, which has a different view of how the servuce came about. Now the case is about to be decided by the Constitutional Court.

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