Edition: Jun - Aug 2014
Editorials

GRAVY

The National Consumer Commission exists to address the complaints of consumers against third parties. But how to lodge a complaint against the NCC?

Cause for complaint is that it takes the NCC a month to acknowledge receipt of a complaint and another two months, after the official complaint form has been submitted, to reply that the complaint will be investigated; by which time events might have overtaken the complaint or the complainant will have lost interest.

The NCC should set up a department for complaints about its complaints department.


Following his motor-car accident with a service provider a few years back, Jan Mahlangu has returned to his former position as national benefits coordinator of Cosatu. He's welcomed back to the retirement-fund industry – despite our long-standing differences – because he has a wealth of knowledge and can always be relied upon for provocative contributions.

All is forgiven. Let's start afresh, perhaps this time around with Jan having learned from his accident experience not to pretend a monopoly on morality.


It's touch-and-go whether the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius will conclude before the disciplinary inquiry of suspended GEPF principal executive officer John Oliphant. Both are taking forever. But there are important differences.

One is that the charges against the accused are publicly known. Another is that the minds of the accusers need to be read.


The Financial Services Board has proposed a 9,87% levy increase in its Budget for 2014-15. Explained in the 2012-13 annual report is that "industry levies collected by the FSB are used solely for regulation".

Thus the more regulation, the more money is needed. Makes sense.


Incidentally, for the year to end-March 2013, the FSB's operating expenses for "salaries, staff benefits, training and other staff expenses" totalled R277,3m. An additional R24,2m was for the remuneration of its eight executive managers.

It's always intrigued me that the top guys at the FSB are paid much more than the top guys at National Treasury. Doesn't make sense.


From the frying pan at SARS into the fire at a Scottish football club is Dave King, my favourite "fit and proper" director. The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (equivalent to the FSB in SA) is investigating a complaint that he had attempted to drive down the share price of Rangers International, a company listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

King, a former Rangers director, has said that he wants to rescue the club by making a substantial investment in the company that owns it. However, the board has said that it did not wish to deal with him. He'd been urging fans not to buy season tickets.

Between January last year and April this year, the share price of Rangers has plunged from a high above 90p to a low of almost 20p. Rangers had listed on AIM in December 2012. The shares had been issued at 70p for a market cap of £50m.

Ah well, as certain SA financial institutions and the FSB will remember from the 1990s, King is no stranger to investigations of market abuse. He's good at handling them.


Translation from the Chinese: "I'll send you back if you don't..."