E-toll war just getting started

Posted 24 November 2013

The e-toll war got a whole lot bloodier this week with news that several court challenges are being launched to test the constitutionality of government's decision to introduce e-tolls from December. Not since the death of apartheid in 1994 has government faced this kind of opposition.

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Why is the government cancelling bi-lateral trade agreements?

Posted 18 November 2013

The government has decided to cancel bi-lateral investment treaties with several countries because they interfere with its transformation agenda. It plans to replace this with the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, now open for public comment, which aims to curtial potential claims from foreign investors.   

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Public Protector in fire fight with security ministries over Nkandla

Posted 15 November 2013

Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela says her team was frustrated and obstructed in their investigations into the R206 million Nkandla estate, built for President Jacob Zuma. The story played out this week in the courts and in the press. 

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R33,7 billion spent by the state on consultants in the last financial year

Posted 12 November 2013

The State spent R33,7 billion on consultants in the past financial year, prompting Parliament's public accounts watchdog to warn of the emergence of a "parallel state." Where did the money go? On counting cushions, training in positive discipline and duties that public servants are supposed to perform themselves.

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DA's endorsement of ANC racial policies is a betrayal of its heritage

Posted 11 November 2013

John Kane-Berman of the Institute of Race Relations says the Democratic Alliance has betrayed its heritage by signing on to the ANC's racial programme, which is both morally and economically indefensible. 

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New black empowerment codes could leave you trailing in the dust

Posted 05 November 2013

Recent changes to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice pose a major challenge to the way South African companies must conduct business. Jako Liebenberg explains how.

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New Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill ruffles feathers

Posted 04 November 2013

The keenly awaited Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, which will replace a raft of bilateral investment treaties designed to protect foreign investors, was published in the Government Gazette on Friday, confirming fears that investors’ rights will be diminished.

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The tide is turning against the banks - Part 2

Posted 29 October 2013

In Part 2 of our interview with Robyn Zimmerman, a consumer lawyer based in Cape Town, we look at what legal ammunition consumers can bring to their defence in cases where their homes are under threat of repossession, and we look at the fascinating case of Samsodien versus First National Bank. 

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Cancellation of bi-lateral trade agreements sows confusion

Posted 29 October 2013

South Africa recently annulled bi-lateral trade agreements with several European countries, causing disquiet among our trading partners. The new Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, which is yet to come before the public for comment, is supposed to create a level trading field. But in the hands of the communists at our Trade ministry, anything is possible.

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The tide is turning against the banks - Part 1

Posted 24 October 2013

South Africa's courts have traditionally weighed in on the side of the banks when it comes to home repossession, even though the loans have been securitised and are now under new ownership. But the tide is turning against the banks, says consumer lawyer, Robyn Zimmerman.

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Cape Town couple lay fraud charges against First National Bank over home repossession attempt

Posted 22 October 2013

A Cape Town couple have laid charges of fraud with the police against First National Bank, its parent FirstRand, and a subsidiary company Ikhaya, for trying to repossess their home in contravention of the law.

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Judiciary under attack from the ruling party, but holding firm

Posted 21 October 2013

Dr Anthea Jeffery, head of special projects at the SA Institute for Race Relations, argues that South Africa's constitutional guarantees are being eroded by the ruling party, and new threats have appeared on the horizon.
 

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The de-Americanisation of the world has begun

Posted 16 October 2013

Pepe Escobar argues that the de-Americanisation of the world has begun, accelerated by the current "shut-down" of the US government and the shifting of financial risks overseas. China is no longer prepared to keep a low profile, and the days of US hegemony are fast drawing to a close.

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Mass civil disobedience over e-tolls could sink the ship

Posted 16 October 2013

Despite the recent Supreme Court of Appeal victory for government over its plans to introduce e-tolls, the matter seems likely to go before the Constitutional Court. If this fails, mass civil disobedience will sink this ship, writes Ciaran Ryan 

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Abandon black empowerment, says Ramphele

Posted 15 October 2013

Black economic empowerment has failed and should be abolished, says Agang leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele. It should be replaced by a vastly improved education system that prepares South Africa's young for entry to the economy.  

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The new black empowerment Codes explained

Posted 14 October 2013

Jako Liebenberg explains what the new black empowerment Codes mean for business. The recently held black empowerment summit highlighted a shift in emphasis from entrepreneurship to Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment development in the industrial sector.

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We need to redesign BEE from top to bottom

Posted 08 October 2013

As Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies unveils the new-look Codes of Good Practice aimed at accelerting black economic empowerment (BEE), Mark Barnes argues that a complete overhaul of the system is required.  

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Black middle class has more than doubled in eight years - Zuma

Posted 06 October 2013

South Africa's black middle class has more than doubled over the last eight years, growing from 1.7 million South Africans in 2004 to an estimated 4.2 million in 2012, due in large measure to tranaformation measures introduced by the government, said President Jacob Zuma at the recent B-BBEE Summit in Midrand.

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SA's unemployment is a ticking time bomb - and probably vastly understated

Posted 03 October 2013

South Africa's unemployment rate is either 25% or 40% depending on your definition. The problem is, the number crunchers do not count those who are too apathetic to look for work, so the figure could be much higher, or the informal sector is much bigger than anyone would have us believe. 

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Stop patronising black people

Posted 01 October 2013

Walter Williams says white progressives' attempts to help black people by way of quotas and special favours is only creating dependency on handouts, and we all know how that ends. 

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New minerals bill will further hobble the mining industry

Posted 25 September 2013

Anthea Jeffery, head of special research at the SA Institute of Race Relations, argues that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill will impose a raft of unrealistic expectations on an already embattled mining industry in South Africa.

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Employment Tax Incentive Bill comes under attack

Posted 23 September 2013

The Democratic Alliance says the Employment Tax Incentive Bill, which introduces a youth wage subsidy, misses the mark by watering down the benefits originally suggested three years ago.

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Business cries foul over new labour law

Posted 18 September 2013

The business sector is up in arms over the almost complete disregard for its objections to the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, paving the way for a possible challenge in the Constitutional Court.

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Afriforum wins compensation over Zimbabwe land grab

Posted 17 September 2013

Lobby group Afriforum has won a landmark case in South Africa against the Zimbabwean government, winning compensation for Zimbabwean farmers dispossessed during the infamous land seizures. This opens the door to further legal action, says Afriforum.

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Draft Minerals Bill will discourage investment in SA

Posted 11 September 2013

The draft Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill of 2013 vests the minister with sweeping and arbitrary powers, and will drive away investment, says the SA Institute of Race Relations. 

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