Resilient isn't

Resilient isn't

Group faces the dreadful truth

In response to criticism, both real and rumoured, on 12 February, Resilient Reit Limited – which has been notorious in these columns since 2011 – issued a statement via the Stock Exchange New Service (SENS) which began:

“Resilient is satisfied that market participants have a thorough understanding of the investment case the Company offers. Resilient will continue to engage constructively with its auditors, investors, analysts and the JSE with the purpose of disclosing all the information required to conform to applicable standards.

“It is for the market to judge whether a narrow focus on tangible asset value provides an adequate reflection of the investment case for Resilient or any of the companies it has invested in.”

Death do us part

Death do us part

Armed and organised syndicates are muscling in on Durban’s funeral industry to exclude white and Indian-owned businesses from operating in KZN townships and rural areas.

While a call to “ban” white and Indian undertakers from operating in townships and rural areas around Durban was always dead in the water, it points to a worrying Mafioso trend developing in the East Coast city.

Increasingly, loosely formed organised-crime syndicates acting under the guise of “business forums”, “associations” or “federations” are disrupting industries, sometimes at gunpoint, and demanding their slice of the pie.  These radical groups appear to have the ear of both the eThekwini municipality and the KZN government.

What WikiLeaks reveals about Cyril

What WikiLeaks reveals about Cyril

Shortly after Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as President of South Africa, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted: “172 documents from WikiLeaks’s archives referencing South Africa’s new president”.

What these documents revealed was predictable: Ramaphosa is liked by business, Western governments and Israel, while it is widely accepted that he remains a socialist at heart.

The documents that Assange refers to come predominantly from two sources: the Global Intelligence Files, consisting of a trove of information that belonged to a Texas-based intelligence firm, Stratfor, which sells intelligence to large corporations; and the infamous CableGate database which saw WikiLeaks shoot to fame in 2010 and is made up of US diplomatic cables. Most are simply reports of news events at the time that happen to contain a passing reference to Ramaphosa.

Black to the future

Black to the future

Ethekwini Metro is taking a leaf out of the Afrikaner nationalists’ play book by introducing a new form of job reservation.

eThekwini Metro has embarked on an aggressive strategy of job reservation for black Africans, much like the National Party did for poor Afrikaners in a bid to shore up dwindling support. 

In February the metro hosted what may have been the country’s first Radical Economic Transformation Conference – reinforcing a policy shift towards job reservation for black Africans. But the ANC-run municipality appears to be scapegoating Indian businesses for its own internal failures – blaming them, as a demographic, for the city’s shrinking economic growth.

Medical aids: who's scamming whom?

Medical aids: who's scamming whom?

Doctors and pharmacists say evidence is being fabricated to strong-arm money out of them for purported fraud.

For years medical aid providers have claimed that medical practitioners were robbing them blind through various intricate medical aid fraud scams – fraud that is often blamed for the above-inflation increases that members need to swallow on a yearly basis.

But now a number of doctors are claiming that they are the ones being cheated, extorted and left bankrupt by the very same medical insurance industry, as it attempts to claw back losses that amount to a financial black hole – the industry’s annual losses to fraud are estimated at anything up to R20 billion, depending on the source.

No sacred cows

No sacred cows

Analyst and researcher Gareth van Onselen is even-handed with his tongue lashings of all South Africa’s major political parties.

He recently slammed Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address as “heavy on rhetoric, short on quantifiable goals” then he lambasted Mmusi Maimane’s response as “visionless”. He raised the ire of the EFF when he noted their national caucus has had a 60% turnover rate. Now, prolific political columnist 
Gareth van Onselen will be scrutinising key national issues in his new role as Head of Politics and Governance at the liberal research and policy think-tank, the South African Institute for Race Relations (IRR).

Interviewed by Noseweek about his new job, Van Onselen says it allows him to do what he loves, primarily to write and analyse politics and ideas.

Joburg valuation crisis long in the making

Joburg valuation crisis long in the making

The latest property valuation crisis in the City of Johannesburg has its roots – as Noseweek readers will know – in a dodgy tender contract awarded to the same company that messed up the valuation roll on an unprecedented scale just five years ago.

The city is finalising its 2017 General Valuation Roll, having updated assessments of nearly 900,000 properties. The new valuations, which directly affect property rates, will be effective as of 1 July.

At the time of Noseweek’s going to print Mayor Herman Mashaba stated that 8,000 properties had been over-valued and he had ordered these to be redone. Mashaba blamed the “independent municipal valuer” for the cock-up.

A pain in the BMW

A pain in the BMW

Dealership’s sloppy work wrecked owner’s 316i then they slapped him with a R362,000 quote for repairs

On Tuesday 20 September 2016 Rob Wilson of Morningside, Sandton took his BMW 316i, bought new in 2013, to his nearest BMW agent, Sandton Auto, to have a fluid leak fixed. This work was completed under his BMW Motorplan the same day, and early the next morning he set off for Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal, near the Swaziland border, to meet up with some clients.

After travelling about 150km, near Ermelo he noticed the vehicle’s temperature rising and soon a warning message appeared cautioning him to slow down: engine overheating. He immediately called the Sandton Service Advisor, who said he should proceed slowly and try to find some top-up water.  “I stopped and put what water I had into the radiator, but this made little difference to the temperature,” he recalls.

Gender dilemma. Lost words

Gender dilemma. Lost words

You are either a woman or a man. When a child is born you are announcing it’s a baby girl or a baby boy.

These are the immortal words of a young firebrand Julius Malema. He once said that the word hermaphrodite does not exist in his home language of Pedi, and so concluded that the physical manifestation itself does not exist.

This was in response to the 2009 controversy surrounding track champion and South African sports darling Caster Semenya after the media had labelled her as such.

Aussie inequality. Trickle-up

Aussie inequality. Trickle-up

The wide brown land of Australia is getting wider and browner. Each day, an area equating to more than 1,500 football fields’ worth of native woodland and scrub is being cleared in Queensland, alone, says the World Wildlife Fund. It’s a hotspot, the “only deforestation front” in the developed world, and results in the bulldozing of an estimated 45 million animals yearly in the sunshine state.

The clearing also drives sediment into rivers draining into the Great Barrier Reef, starving the coral of light and exacerbating the effects of climate change for the reef.

 

Vodacom's fraudulent charges - the saga continues

Vodacom's fraudulent charges - the saga continues

‘Vodacom rejects, in the strongest possible terms, the inference that it seeks to share in the spoils of fraudulent activity on its network,” CEO Shameel Joosub told Noseweek shortly before we went to ...
 
Resilient isn't

Resilient isn't

Group faces the dreadful truth In response to criticism, both real and rumoured, on 12 February, Resilient Reit Limited – which has been notorious in these columns since 2011 – issued a statement ...

Death do us part

Death do us part

Armed and organised syndicates are muscling in on Durban’s funeral industry to exclude white and Indian-owned businesses from operating in KZN townships and rural areas. While a call to “ban” white and ...

What WikiLeaks reveals about Cyril

What WikiLeaks reveals about Cyril

Shortly after Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as President of South Africa, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted: “172 documents from WikiLeaks’s archives referencing South Africa’s new president”. What these documents revealed was predictable: Ramaphosa is liked ...

Black to the future

Black to the future

Ethekwini Metro is taking a leaf out of the Afrikaner nationalists’ play book by introducing a new form of job reservation. eThekwini Metro has embarked on an aggressive strategy of job reservation for black Africans, ...

Medical aids: who's scamming whom?

Medical aids: who's scamming whom?

Doctors and pharmacists say evidence is being fabricated to strong-arm money out of them for purported fraud. For years medical aid providers have claimed that medical practitioners were robbing them blind through various intricate ...

No sacred cows

No sacred cows

Analyst and researcher Gareth van Onselen is even-handed with his tongue lashings of all South Africa’s major political parties. He recently slammed Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address as “heavy on ...

Joburg valuation crisis long in the making

Joburg valuation crisis long in the making

The latest property valuation crisis in the City of Johannesburg has its roots – as Noseweek readers will know – in a dodgy tender contract awarded to the same company that messed up ...

A pain in the BMW

A pain in the BMW

Dealership’s sloppy work wrecked owner’s 316i then they slapped him with a R362,000 quote for repairs On Tuesday 20 September 2016 Rob Wilson of Morningside, Sandton took his BMW 316i, bought new in 2013, to ...

Gender dilemma. Lost words

Gender dilemma. Lost words

You are either a woman or a man. When a child is born you are announcing it’s a baby girl or a baby boy. These are the immortal words of a young firebrand Julius Malema. ...

Aussie inequality. Trickle-up

Aussie inequality. Trickle-up

The wide brown land of Australia is getting wider and browner. Each day, an area equating to more than 1,500 football fields’ worth of native woodland and scrub is being cleared in Queensland, alone, says ...