How the welfare state was authored by eugenicists

Posted 20 February 2015

Proponents of the welfare state would do well to understand the origins of their cherished beliefs. It was the eugenicists who were loudest in promoting the welfare state in the post-World War II era, among them the famous economist, John Maynard Keynes. They had nothing but contempt for the poor.

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Who jammed cell phone signals in Parliament?

Posted 18 February 2015

The question being asked by the media this week was: who jammed the cell phone signals during last week's chaos in Parliament, and on whose authority. Whoever it was operated under the misguided belief they could do as they please. 

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There is a perceptible mood of panic in SA ahead of Budget

Posted 17 February 2015

There is a percepitble mood of panic in SA, accentuated by power-downs, chaos in Parliament and a limping economy. Business is urning finance minister to break the curse of negativity in his upcoming budget speech, but the chances of this happening are slim to zero.

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Judge suspended over R500,000 bribery claim

Posted 17 February 2015

A Johannesburg judge has been suspended pending investigations to accusations he attempted to solicit a bribe to make a case disappear. It is alleged he accepted R90,000 in cash but the accused in the case still ended up in prison.

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New bill to prohibit foreign ownership of land in SA

Posted 16 February 2015

The draft Land Holdings Bill is due to come before Parliament. It will prevent foreigners from owning land in SA, restricting them to long-term leases rather than outright ownership of land, and no more than 12,000 hectares.

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SA banks under fire for high fees

Posted 16 February 2015

The ANC and Cosatu are threatening "drastic action" over high fees charged by SA's banks. The Democratic Alliance has warned against meddling with "free market forces" which is an odd statement for a sector in which there are just four major players. Hardly a free market at all. 

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The ANC has a Zuma problem

Posted 13 February 2015

The riotous events in Parliament this week as President Jacob Zuma attempted to give his State of the Nation address points to the magnitude of the problem facing the ANC. That problem points straight back to Zuma, argues Vukani Mde.

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Number of consumers applying for debt review up more than 50% in one year

Posted 12 February 2015

Figures from the Debt Counsellors Association of SA shows a more than 50% increase in the number of consumers applying for debt review over the last 18 months. That shocking bit of news will weigh heavily on Finance Minister Nhlanlha Nene as he prepares his Budget Speech for next week.

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Court asked to force political parties to identify sources of funds

Posted 10 February 2015

The Constitutional Court is being asked today to compel Parliament to pass legislation forcing political parties to disclose their sources of funding. The case is being brought by My Vote Counts which argues that the Constitution guarantees the public's right to information needed to exercise its rights.

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Nigeria steps up campaign against Boko Haram, delays election

Posted 08 February 2015

Nigeria has pushed ahead of South Africa as Africa's largest economy, but political tensions are at fever pitch. The government this weekend announced it was delaying presidential elections for six weeks, giving the army time to snap the neck of Boko Haram.

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SARS cases at risk after high profile resignation

Posted 05 February 2015

The resignation of SARS' controversial head of investigations, Johann van Loggerenberg, could see several tax cases he was investigating come under review. This could be good news for Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and other alleged wrong-doers.

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Zuma, the constitutional warrior, should now tackle FSB

Posted 04 February 2015

Proposed amendments to the 2013 Financial Services Laws Genertal Amendment Act read, in parts, like a masterpiece in economic illiteracy. It is a free lunch fantasy where reductions in consumer freedom, dressed up as industry regulation, yield bountiful blessings at zero cost.

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Black liquidators want answers from Reserve Bank amid accusations of race bias

Posted 01 February 2015

Black liquidators are demanding answers from the Reserve Bank after it objected to the appointment of two black liquidators in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. An association of black liquidators wants to know the real reason behind the Reserve Bank's apparently racial preference in this matter.

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What's the story behind Hawks chief Anwa Dramat's suspension?

Posted 01 February 2015

What's behind the suspenion of Hawks chief Anwa Dramat? Was it his supposedly illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans to their home country where two of them subsequently died at the hands of the police? Or was it his investigation into President Zuma's Nkandla palace, built with public money? Or something else?

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A tale of two trademark wars

Posted 27 January 2015

Two trademark cases came before the courts last year, illuminating some interesting aspects of trademark law. Two companies using the name Roberston - the name of the area in the Western Cape where the businesses are located - battled it out for the right to use this name. Then Kit-Kat had a go at a rather similar looking product.

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SA's miserable youth employment crusade

Posted 27 January 2015

President Jacob Zuma told the World Economic Forum in Davos last week that SA was a "country at work". Well, not quite. In fact, we compare miserably with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and there is no real enthusiasm in government for reversing this trend.

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Delays loom for implementation of BEE codes

Posted 22 January 2015

The Department of Trade and Industry is likely to miss the target for the implementation of new BEE Codes scheduled for May 2015. This could result in those companies with a turnover of more than R10 million becoming non-compliant when evaluated.

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DA calls for referendum on e-tolls

Posted 21 January 2015

Has the ANC in Gauteng fudged the e-tolls investigation it completed last year? Judging by its efforts to bring in a "hybrid" form of tolling, the answer is yes. The DA has now called for a referendum into the future of the blighted e-tolls system.

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How to boost the SA economy: first, ditch the Insolvency Act

Posted 21 January 2015

The minister of finance has called for suggestions from the public ahead of the 2015 Budget due out next month. Here's a few suggestions from a Cape-based businessman on how to get SA into double digit growth figures within six years.

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DA wins court battle over Zuma "thief" message

Posted 19 January 2015

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Democratic Alliance was within its rights to claim that President Zuma had stolen South Africans' money to build his R246 million Nkandla residence in Kwazulu-Natal.

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Does the minister have the power to sack Hawks chief?

Posted 19 January 2015

Was there political interference in the suspension of Hawks chief Anwa Dramat? More importantly, was the suspension lawful in terms of the SA Police Services Act, parts of which were deleted by teh Constitutional Court late last year. The court will deecide on the matter this week.

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The case of the disgruntled customer who ran his own billboard campaign

Posted 15 January 2015

When a disgruntled cell phone customer got no satisfaction from the company management, he took his campaign for consumer justice to the public - by way of a billboard proclaiming the company "the most useless service provider in SA." It was the start of an angry court exchange.

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The rise of the consumer

Posted 14 January 2015

A draft Code of Conduct for the Consumer Protection Act was published for comment late last year. It establishes an Ombud to deal with consumer complaints, and sets out to eliminate unfair, fraudulent and undesirable trade practices.

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Creditor can take judgment if consumer defaults under debt arrangement

Posted 13 January 2015

Rose Norton reports on a recent case where a consumer defaulted on the terms of a debt rearrangement and the bank successfully applied for summary judgment. The consumer took the matter on appeal, arguing that the creditor could not sue without rescinding or varying the debt rearrangement. The bank won the case on appeal.

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Maybe there is justice after all for liquidated guest lodge

Posted 07 January 2015

The Highlands View Guest Lodge in Kensington, Johannesburg, successfully fought off an attempt by Nedbank to derail its application to overturn the liquidation order granted against it last year in the South Gauteng High Court. Now, nearly five years later, it seems the court will get to hear accusations of fraud and perjury against the bank. 

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