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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Banks slammed for securitisation fraud in US court

Posted 19 May 2015

A New York judge this week came out swinging against against two banks, Nomura Holdings and Royal Bank of Scotland, saying the banks’ misconduct exacerbated the collapse in the mortgage market, according to the New York Times.

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Cape High Court reminds Parliament who's boss

Posted 17 May 2015

The Cape High Court last week reminded Parliament that the Constitution reigns supreme in SA after the Speaker earlier this year called in the police to remove unrul Economic Freedom Fighters MPs. Parliament has appealed the finding, according to Mail & Guardian.

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Bid to hide SAA truth shows contempt for public

Posted 13 May 2015

The state attorney's efforts to hide from the public the endless bail-outs that have bankrupted 10 airlines - all in the service of keeping SAA alive - show pure contempt for the public, argues Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation.

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DA elects its first ever black leader

Posted 11 May 2015

Mmusi Maimane, 34, was chosen as the new leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance over the weekend following former leader Helen Zille's decision to step down. Maimane has made it clear he intends to make a strong bid for the urban black vote by appealing to their concerns, and the fact that race remains a factor in SA politics, according to Polity.org.

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Banks to be sued over repossessions

Posted 06 May 2015

It's finally happening. A class action suit being brought by the Housing Class Action against the four major banks to stop them selling repossessed homes at auction for a fraction of their value, according to The Star.

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Landmark securitisation case heads for the Constitutional Court

Posted 04 May 2015

A landmark securitisation case is headed for the Constitutional Court that will test the banks’ right to repossess homes where the mortgage bond has been ceded to a new owner. The Concourt is also being asked to decide whether going under debt review constitutes an act of insolvency.

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The world's newest country: Liberland, where tax is optional

Posted 27 April 2015

Liberland, a tiny dot of land wedged between Croatia and Serbia, is the world's newest country, founded by Czech libertarian Vit Jedlicka. Taxes are optional, there is no army and its borders are open to all. No wonder more than 200,000 people have requested to live there, reports the Guardian.

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Some companies will simply ignore new BEE codes

Posted 23 April 2015

New BEE codes issued by the Department of Trade and Industry are so onerous that many companies will ignore them. They will use the Constitution as their moral and legislative compass, according to Loane Sharp of the Free Market Foundation.

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Badly written laws end up in court

Posted 22 April 2015

Three badly written laws are now before the courts for adjudication. One of these has been referred by the National Credit Regulator, seeking to establish whether repossessed assets sold at auction can be sold far below market price. The solution suggested is to set a reserve price.

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SA firms in Africa put at risk by xenophobic attacks

Posted 20 April 2015

South African businesses operating in Africa could suffer from the xenophobic attacks. (David Harrison, MG)Xenophobic violence that has claimed the lives of at least seven people has prompted reprisals against South Africans from Mozambique to Nigeria. Outrage is building across the continent, placing South African firms such as MTN and Shoprite, at risk.  

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Jonn Basson dies during raid on his farm by sheriff

Posted 16 April 2015

Jonn Basson, founder of the social justice movement People Against Lawyers and Liquidators, died this morning after his farm east of Pretoria was raided by the sheriff of the High Court and liquidators. Basson had been fighting to stave off eviction from the farm, claiming he had been fraudulently liquidated.  

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