Lessons for SA from South America

Posted 04 August 2015

A tourist takes a photograph of the city from Cerro de Monserrate in Bogota, Colombia, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Colombia's fiscal deficit will widen next year to the most since 2010 amid lower crude prices, according to the government's latest financial plan. Photographer: Cassi Alexandra/BloombergTwo South American countries - Colombia and Venezuela - offer lessons in governance that we would do well to heed. Colombia is now one of the fastest growing economies in South America. Venezuela, ravaged by a drop in oil prices, is moving in the opposite direction.

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Did SA man mastermind the world's biggest Ponzi scheme?

Posted 02 August 2015

Cobus Kellerman.JPG
A Miami-based website that exposes investment fraud and Ponzi schemes has put out a warning about Mauritius-based Belvedere Management, which is partly owned by South African Cobus Kellerman, for falsely inflating its investment returns.

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To save lions like Cecil, let hunters have their way

Posted 30 July 2015

The killing of Cecil the Hwange lion by a US dentist is tragic, but what we really need is protection from the wildlife lobby and its counter-productive lobbying for bans on the trade in animal parts. Europeans telling Africans how to run their wildlife resources has yielded a surge in trade for illegal rhino horn. 

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"Unconstitutional" Expropriation bill will spook investors

Posted 28 July 2015

The draft Expropriation Bill gives government the right to expropriate land in what it deems is the public interest, paying "just and equitable" compensation. The Bill has been attacked by the banking association and the SA Institute of Race Relations.

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The hidden costs of SA's race-based rule

Posted 27 July 2015

The ANC's commitment to race-based policies is relentless, regardless of economic consequences. Foreign direct investment (FDI) tells the story. SA companies are investing abroad at ever increasing rates while foreigners are less than enthusiastic about SA's prospects, no matter what government tells us.

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SAA is a national disgrace protected by courts and government

Posted 22 July 2015

Comair recently lost its case in the Pretoria High Court challenging SAA's latest government bail-out. The national carrier has received no less than R30 billion in government money over the last two decades, and has sunk no fewer than 10 start-up airlines in the process. SAA is a national disgrace, argues Leon Louw.

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Govt plans to do to farming what it has done to mining

Posted 20 July 2015

The government plans to do to farming what it has done to mining. In terms of new legislation now before parliament, government would take custody of all farming land for the benefit of all South Africans. The SA Communist Party's fingerprints are all over this one.

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NCR to investigate all attachment orders from debt collector Flemix

Posted 15 July 2015

The National Credit Regulator will investigate hundreds of thousands of emolumernt attachment orders obtained by debt collector Flemix & Associates after a devastating judgment was handed down that makes it illegal to obtain such orders without a court hearing by a judge, according to Personal Finance.

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Is this the worst case of injustice since democracy?

Posted 14 July 2015

A judge hearing the case of Nigerian trader Emeka Onkonkwo says it is the worst he has heard since the advent of democracy. It is a shocking indictment of police behaviour, abetted by the Department of Home Affairs, and reveals an ugly disregard for immigrants, writes Carmel Rickard in Legalbrief.

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Who really owns your home loan?

Posted 09 July 2015

Four out of four securitisation audits so far conducted in SA apparently prove that the home loans have ended up thousands of miles away in Asia. Yet the banks still cling to their argument that they are the lawful owners of the loans, according to Moneyweb.

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SAPS operates as a self-protecting arm of the ruling party

Posted 06 July 2015

The South African Police Service, like its master the ANC, has become adept at protecting its own in the face of serious accusations of criminality, fraud and nepotism. To this extent, it is behaving like the ruling political party, writes Gareth van Onselen in Business Day.

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Calls for national minimum wage puts SA in cloud cuckoo land

Posted 01 July 2015

SA's unemployment rate at 26% puts us behind Greece. That takes some doing, but we managed it. But this has not stopped the ruling party throwing its weight behind calls for a national minimum wage, which places us squarely in cloud cuckoo land, writes John Kane-Berman of the SA Institute of Race Relations in Business Day.

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Nedbank CEO Mike Brown to challenge subpoena to appear at liquidation inquiry

Posted 25 June 2015

Nedbank CEO Mike Brown says he will challenge a subpoena calling on him to appear at an inquiry relating to the liquidation of Waterkloospruit Projects in 2001, when he was in charge of property finance at BOE Bank, later acquired by Nedbank. BOE picked up 137 stands for R100,000 in what is claimed was a sham auction, according to this article in Moneyweb.

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You think home repossessions is a middle class affair? Welcome to Cosmo City

Posted 23 June 2015

The financial crisis has percolated down to first time home buyers in Cosmo City near Johannesburg, many of whom claim they have been evicted irregularly after having their homes repossessed. Scores of Cosmo City residents have been tossed out of their houses after falling into arrears on their bonds. Maxwell Dube of Cosmo City Chronicle decided to investigate and found 23 of these - all of them bonded with Absa - ended up in the hands of just one investor. The more he dug, the fishier the whole thing smelt.  

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Ostrich farmer from Eastern Cape shows court his mortgage loan is now in Taiwan

Posted 21 June 2015

An ostrich farmer from Grahamstown has thrown the local court into a spin by apparently proving that his mortgage loan with Standard Bank has been on-sold to an investor in Taiwan. This is the first time a securitisation audit has been presented in a SA court. On the basis of the evidence presented, the farmer says Standard Bank has no right to be in court.

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Shuttleworth loses Nkandla-size court battle

Posted 18 June 2015

The Constitutional Court has ruled against internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth in his challenge to overturn the R250 million levy deducted by the Reserve Bank when he exported his earnings more than a decade ago, according to Times Live.

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800 years after the Magna Carta, the fight for liberty is being lost

Posted 16 June 2015

800 years after the signing of the Magna Carta, the fight for individual liberty is far from secure, argues former US assistant treasury secretary, Paul Craig Roberts. Governments everywhere are attempting to peel back the liberties for which humankind has fought since before the time of King John in the 1200s.

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SA in the Stone Age when it comes to home repossessions

Posted 11 June 2015

South African laws are in the Stone Age when it comes to home repossessions according to a recent study. SA law specifically prevents repossessed homes being sold at auction with a reserve price in place, which is the opposite of what is required in other countries.

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Online portal for government tenders will promote transparency

Posted 10 June 2015

National Treasury has launched a new online portal aimed at making it easier to register for tenders at all levels of government. It will also promote transparency and combat tender irregularities.

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Free speech upheld in defamation case brought by Bitou municipality

Posted 09 June 2015

Can a municipality sue for defamation? Bitou municipality in Plettenberg Bay thought it could after being defamed by two individuals in a previous court case. Judge Jeanette Traverso of the Western Cape High Court slapped it down.

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Concourt ruling means a sea change for banks

Posted 03 June 2015

The Concourt handed down a ruling in March that delivers a major blow to lenders. It suspends, once litigation has commenced, the operation of the so-called in duplum rule, which means lenders cannot then charge more than double the outstanding capital on a loan, according to this article from Werksmans.

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Visa rules to be softened to encourage visitors

Posted 01 June 2015

Government is back-tracking on tighter visa requirements for visitors to South Africa after China cancelled planned direct flights and the tourism industry warned of chaos at the airports, according to Independent Online.  

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Why the new e-tolls system will not work

Posted 28 May 2015

Government has misjudged the level of public opposition to e-tolling, despite its ridiculous claim that e-tolls are not unpopular. It seems most people will continue to refuse paying the tolls that were foisted on them.

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Resistance to e-tolls is not about money

Posted 25 May 2015

Attempts by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to put fresh lipstick on this pig called e-tolls are doomed to fail. South Africans have had enough of e-tolls, Eskom, Nkandla and anything else this government is trying to sell, according to Neels Blom writing in Business Day.

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Here's one of the worst proposed laws you'll ever read - problem is, it could be coming to SA

Posted 21 May 2015

This is what happens when you put bureacrats in charge of policy - you get mind-numbing idiocy in the form of the Draft Online Regulation Policy vomited out of the Film and Publication Board (FPB). The Mrs Grundys at the FPB want to police your Youtube videos and reserve the right to report you to the Board's Classification Committee, according to Jeremy Malcolm at Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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