Edition: March / May 2017
Editorials

GRAVY

Were it not for the extent of “fruitless and wasteful” government expenditure over the past fiscal year, I have it on good authority that this year the vat rate could have been reduced by four full percentage points i.e. from 14% to 10%.

If only the broad mass of South Africans realisedthe direct impact on their wellbeing, they wouldn’t be quiet so acquiescent in the pervasive maladministration.


Far be it for me to suggest that SA might be a “kakistocracy”. Pronounced kak-i-STOK-ruh-see, according to Dictionary.com, it’s a noun meaning “government by the least-qualified or most unprincipled persons”.

In case you thought that the word derives from Afrikaans, it doesn’t. Its origin is in the ancient Greek word “kakistos” meaning “worst”.


Speculation continues that Jacob Zuma will prematurely step down from the presidency in a negotiated settlement with the ANC, on the basis that he’ll be granted immunity from prosecution on criminal charges. Scream about the pros and cons, but there’s one principle that’s immutable.

He cannot be granted immunity from his obligation to pay fringe-benefits tax, of over R50m, on the employer-funded improvements to his private Nkandla homestead. Unfortunately, however, we’ll never know whether SA Revenue Services has even claimed it.

The only way to find out would be by Zuma telling us. Don’t hold your breath.


Members of the National Assembly can eat during sessions but risk being caught.

Caught, that is, by TV cameras. They’d picked up (so to speak) deputy justice minister John Jeffrey savouring the contents of his nose.


Congratulations to Jurgen Boyd, FSB deputy executive officer for collective investment schemes, having investment institutions added to his portfolio. This follows the retirement of Bert Chanetsa as FSB deputy executive officer in charge of investment institutions.

The curious thing is that the Minister of Finance, under s13(1)(a) of the FSB Act, is supposed to appoint FSB deputy executive officers. In this instance, however, Boyd’s appointment to investment institutions hasn’t been made in terms of the FSB Act.

It’s been made by FSB executive officer Dube Tshidi; sorry, Advocate Dube Tshidi. In his capacity as Registrar in terms of the Financial Markets and Credit Ratings Services Acts, Tshidi has delegated his powers and functions to Boyd.

Okay, so the FSB is about to be collapsed into a new ‘Twin Peaks’ authority. Expedience presumably justifies the short circuit.


Whitey Basson has worked wonders at Shoprite. Thus are critics of his huge remuneration advised to shut up.

One wonders how difficult it would have been for him to work his wonders were it not for the wonder of social grants that wonderfully feed the group’s stores.


Not in his wildest dreams could Walt Disney have imagined that the US president and vice president would one day be Donald and Mickey.