Huge relief as SA relaxes visa rules

Posted 25 October 2015

The visa debacle that drove an estimated 150,000 tourists away so far this year at a reported cost of R2,6 billion to the economy has finally been relaxed. Visitors applying to travel to SA will no longer have to submit biometric information in person at our embassies. 

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Happy, patriotic news is now official govt policy

Posted 23 October 2015

SA's press is becoming more lapdog than bulldog. The SABC wants 70% "happy, patriotic" news and the government is using its financial clout to muscle in on other areas of the media, as this article from The Economist makes clear.

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Orania is not a home for racial bigots

Posted 21 October 2015

While some newspapers refuse to publish anything positive about Orania on the grounds that it might offend some, Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation went there and found it clean, hospitable and tolerant.

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Is there a better tax system than the current monstrosity?

Posted 18 October 2015

Is there a better tax system than the current monstrosity? Stephen Meintjies and Michael Jacobs put forward a bold alternative in their newly published book Our Land Our Rent Our Jobs: look at the high growth economies such as Singapore and Hong Kong and follow their lead by imposing a "resource rental" on land.

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Western Cape court disallows garnishee orders issued outside province

Posted 18 October 2015

The days of debt collectors going "forum shopping" by searching out friendly magistrates courts are coming to an end. A recent decision in the Western Cape High Court made it illegal for debt collectors to obtain garnishee orders outside the province. This will almost certainly be adopted by other provinces. 

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Government's visa mistake cost R2,6bn, but relief is on its way

Posted 16 October 2015

A study by Grant Thornton suggests the government's new visa regulations will cost the economy R2,6bn and 5,800 tourism sector jobs this year. Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba reckons the drop in tourist arrivals to SA is the result of a slowing world economy. In any event, relief is on its way in the form of softer visa requirements.

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Etolls about to collapse

Posted 13 October 2015

Etolls are nearing the end of the highway. As predicted, monthly revenue is down to R60 million while bond repayment obligations are R260 million a monthy. This is a situation which cannot survive.

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There's a debt collection frenzy underway

Posted 11 October 2015

Consumers are being hounded by debt collectors who have bought debts from the banks - a practice which will become virtually impossible under the amended National Credit Act. Consumer Watch advises on how to avoid having to pay debts older than three years - do not admit the debt, and instead raise prescription as a defence.

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Smoke and mirrors of the debt industry

Posted 09 October 2015

A recent case in the Cape High Court highlighted some of the more questionable practices going on in the debt industry. Such cases appear to be proliferating, prompting the courts to refer to it as a "fledgling cottage industry" as voluntary liquidations are apparently the new way to go.

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How SAA shot down its rivals with taxpayer money

Posted 05 October 2015

Competition never sat easy with SAA, which used R30 billion in taxpayer-funded bailouts over the last decade to shut down a string of competitors, from Sun Air to Trek and tiny Flitestar. No competitor was too small to overlook. Now its demons have come to haunt it in the form of two court challenges that could cost the airline over R6 billion in damages.

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Credit blacklisting at an all-time high

Posted 05 October 2015

The SA Communist Party has come out swinging against profiteering financial institutions over recent news that 11m out of 19m South Africans with access to credit are over-indebted.

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Why state enterprises will never be fixed

Posted 30 September 2015

State-owned enterprises can never succeed no matter who runs them, argues Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation, because the normal disciplines of the market are absent. Managers will serve their political masters, knowing they will be fired if they don't. 

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DA welcomes move to decriminalise defamation

Posted 22 September 2015

The ANC seems to be softening its stance on criminal defamation. The ANC and its partners stood firmly behind the criminalisation of defamation to protect the reputation of President Jacob Zuma, but perhaps realises this is a lost cause and antipathetic to free speech.

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US Justice Department sets sights on Wall Street executives

Posted 21 September 2015

The US Justice Department, stung by criticism that it let Wall Street executives off the hook by allowing their employers to pay fines, has now taken off the gloves. New rules issued to prosecutors require them to focus on individual employees in their investigations, which means more executives could spend time in jail.

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Citizens' confidence in state sinks to new low

Posted 21 September 2015

South Africans' confidence in the state is melting away, as shown by rising service protests, lower voter turnout and surveys which show the majority of people believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

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Copyright bill is the latest in a litany of oppressive laws

Posted 21 September 2015

SA is becoming more authoritarian by the day as shown by recent amendments to the Copyright Act. These amendments will override writers' and artists' copyright on their death and vest their rights with the state. The rot started with mining and has now jumped the fence to copyright.

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Zuma's misfit ministers stifle economy

Posted 18 September 2015

President Jacob Zuma is unschooled in economics and could care less. This shows in his selection of ministers who send wildly conflicting messages about how to grow the economy - from nuclear power stations to banning cigarette branding and mining. It's all a horrible mess.

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My Vote Counts smells something fishy over Gupta tenders

Posted 16 September 2015

Jacob Zuma My Vote Counts questions whether a recent tender won by a company controlled by the Gupta family to supply coal to Eskom is payback for political favours rendered to the ANC. The Gupta family is well known as a major source of funding for the ANC.  

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False alarm over dual citizenship ban

Posted 11 September 2015

Reports that the ANC was considering a blanket ban on dual citizenship were put to rest this week by home affairs mininster Malusi Gigaba. Despite concerns that some South Africans were fighting in the Israeli Defence Force, the banning of dual citizenship would not target certain people or countries.

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Africa: why economists get it wrong

Posted 08 September 2015

Africa: Why economists get it wrong by Morten Jerven challenges a number of common myths about Africa, particularly the notion that Africa has ever stopped growing. This false assumption arises because economists are using bad data or simply looking in the wrong areas.

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2 recent judgments that restore hope in the judiciary

Posted 02 September 2015

Noseweek highlights two recent judgments that give cause for hope. One where the judge ordered a half-built building in Durban to be demolished, and another where the judge slammed delaying tactics and abuse of police and private investigators by deep-pocketed litigators. 

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40 odd years prophesying the end for SA

Posted 01 September 2015

Rian Malan reviews RW Johnson's book, How Long Will South Africa Survive: The Looming Crisis. Johnson first published this book in 1977, predicting that economic and moral pressure would defeat apartheid, not the ANC's armed struggle. Turns out he was dead right. Will he be right this time with his dire prediction for SA?

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No act of reform can reverse the slide in SA's fortunes

Posted 23 August 2015

South Africans hope that a change in leadership of the ANC or a miraculous act of reform with reverse the downward trajectory of the country. RW Johnson, author and Emeritus Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, explains why this will not happen.

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National Prosecuting Authority has become a political football

Posted 23 August 2015

The new director of the NPA, Shaun Abrahams, has revealed his hand in backing Nomgcobo Jiba. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)Nomgcobo Jiba of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has had a charmed life under the apparent protection of President Jacob Zuma, who many believe she is protecting - in return - from prosecution. The political interference in the NPA is legendary and this week just got a whole lot worse, says the Mail & Guardian.

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White expat South Africans returning in record numbers

Posted 19 August 2015

A total of 400,000 white expat South Africans have returned to the country of their birth since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. And despite affirmative action quotas that give preferences to black South Africans, they seem to have little trouble getting jobs.

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