Social Media Update - Jailing Social Media Trolls

In South Africa there is no specific legislation that criminalises online harassment although victims can approach the Magistrates’ Court for a harassment order. That order will not result in jail time for a perpetrator unless it is breached

22 Nov 2016

B-BBEE Major Transaction Threshold

The Minister of Trade & Industry published a proposed threshold for the definition of "Major B-BBEE Transaction" which appears in section 13F of the B-BBEE Act.

08 Nov 2016

When Neighbours Don't Get Along

The animosity between the home owners and the golf club at Atlantic Beach Golf Course has been caused by conflicting interests.

07 Nov 2016

Input Tax, Loan Accounts and Round Tripping

The Tax Court recently found in favour of the taxpayer when it said that there is nothing wrong in crediting a loan account in the funder's books of account by the taxpayer in the context of a funding agreement between the taxpayer and the funder.

04 Nov 2016

Subdivision of Agricultural Land

Updated Draft Policy and Bill on the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land - seeks to protect and develop agricultural land for food security purposes and to better control the subdivision of agricultural land.

27 Oct 2016

InBev/SABMiller - Lessons from Massmart's Experience

It is interesting to note how the InBev/SABMiller merger was approved relatively quickly when compared to the protracted and embattled merger proceedings in the Walmart/Massmart transaction of 2012.

26 Oct 2016

Long-Term Insurance: Beware of Prescription

The recent Supreme Court of Appeal judgment in Muller v Sanlam Life Insurance Limited has clarified the position in respect of prescription, and when a debt of a long-term insurer becomes due.

26 Oct 2016

South Africa's Nuclear Energy Plans: The Low Down

According to the Business Day last week, Eskom is forging ahead with nuclear procurement, despite the absence of an updated energy blueprint and defying the government’s directive of first signing power purchase agreements with independent power producers.

26 Oct 2016

Social Media Update: #Matricmadness

Many Grade 12 pupils are already on study leave with the final exams looming. Every year there are stories of over exuberant teenagers getting too excited too soon and doing something stupid before writing their final exams.

25 Oct 2016

Protect the Environment or Risk Incurring Financial Loss on Your Development

Property Developers that degrade the environment can incur huge financial costs as a result of directives that can be issued by the authorities to remediate the land at their own expense. Although the value of the land may depreciate in light of these directives, this does not mean that developers will automatically be entitled to compensation for the decrease in the value of the property.

25 Oct 2016

Medical Schemes' Right to Privacy Tapered in Favour of Registrar's Powers of Inspection

Section 44 of the Medical Schemes Act empowers the Registrar of Medical Schemes to order an inspection of a scheme where he is of the opinion that such an inspection will provide evidence of any irregularity or of non-compliance with the provisions of the Act. The Registrar can also order an inspection for the purposes of routine monitoring of compliance with the Act.

25 Oct 2016

When is a Debt Due Under a Demand Loan Facility?

Traditionally, a “demand facility” is a loan with no fixed repayment date, and one where the lender will “demand” repayment at some future uncertain date – this could be 1 month, 1 year or 10 years from the date that the amount was advanced.

25 Oct 2016

When Can Rectification of Sale Agreements for Land Be Done?

The appellate case of Tamryn Manor (Pty) Ltd v Stand 1192 Johannesburg (Pty) Ltd raised the Q: When is an agreement for the sale of land, on the face of it valid and compliant with the requirements of the Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981, capable of being rectified?

25 Oct 2016

Home Affairs Tightens Up Further on Expired Visas

On 26 September 2016, the Department of Home Affairs amended South Africa's immigration legislation to create more stringent penalties for foreigners who over stay on their issued visas.

24 Oct 2016

The Draft Carbon Tax Bill and Carbon Offsets Regulations

In November 2015, following on the announcement made by the Minister of Finance in the 2015 Budget Speech, the National Treasury published the Draft Carbon Tax Bill for public comment. According to Treasury, carbon tax seeks to price carbon by obliging the polluter to internalise the external costs of emitting carbon, and contribute towards addressing the harm caused by such pollution.

19 Oct 2016

Hybrid Debt Instruments: Proposed Changes

Following the release of the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill on the 8 July 2016, National Treasury has focused the spotlight on hybrid debt instruments. In essence, in certain instances, section 8F and section 8FA of the Act reclassifies interest as a dividend in specie i.e. a distribution in a form other than cash. With the release of the draft Bill, National Treasury has proposed key amendments to section 8F and section 8FA.

19 Oct 2016

Input Tax on the Purchase of a Vehicle

Generally, a vendor is not entitled to deduct input tax on the acquisition of a "motor car." This general rule is however subject to certain exceptions which are contained in the provisos to section 17 (2)(c) of the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991.

19 Oct 2016

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: Fixed Ration Rule

In October 2015, the OECD released its BEPS Action 4 Report on Limiting Base Erosion Involving Interest Deductions and Other Financial Payments. Chapter 6 of this report deals with a ‘fixed ratio rule’ - an entity should be able to deduct interest expense up to a specified portion of EBITDA, ensuring that a portion of an entity’s profit remains subject to tax in a country.

19 Oct 2016

The Davis Tax Committee's Second Interim Report on Estate Duty

The Davis Tax Committee released its final interim report on estate duty on 24 August 2016. Recommendations affect the existing tax exemptions applicable to transfers of assets between spouses. The Committee believes that the estate duty regime in South Africa must be reviewed in order to establish an effective and equitable package of major abatements and rates.

19 Oct 2016

Social Media Law Update - Complaining via Social Media

“Naming and shaming” on social media is an increasingly popular way for people to complain - however there is a risk to using social media to complain about professional people such as doctors and attorneys.

12 Oct 2016

SABC's Dismissal of Journalists Unlawful

Over the past few months, there have been much press coverage of the SABC’s treatment and dismissal of 8 journalists who defied the public broadcaster’s controversial mandate prohibiting the footage of destruction of public property during protests. In the July judgment, the Labour Court ruled that the SABC’s dismissal of the four journalists was unlawful.

28 Sep 2016

Social Media and the Stars

Take time to think before you 'tweet'. Sound advice on safely using social media to promote your brand.

27 Sep 2016

King IV and Retirement Funds

King IV recommends that large funds should have more independent trustees on its board and suggests continuous development of trustees.

06 Sep 2016

REITS as an Investment Vehicle

REIT's have become a popular investment tool in SA. It is recommended that investors understand the anomalies of section 25BB of the Income Tax Act prior to investing in REIT's.

06 Sep 2016

OECD/G20 BEPS Project and Cross-Border Tax Avoidance

Developing countries suffer the most from the consequences of BEPS. In order to overcome these consequences, the OECD/G20 embarked on the BEPS Project, which seeks to eliminate opportunities and close the loopholes for cross-border tax avoidance.

06 Sep 2016

Child Care and Contact Q&A

Q&A including child care, parenting plans, access / contact to your child and If your child is removed without your consent.

06 Sep 2016

Shipping Update: New Floating Dock in Durban

On 2 September 2016, Dormac Marine officially welcomed its new floating dock which is expected to substantially increase ship repair and maintenance capacity in Durban.

05 Sep 2016

Social Media Law - Keep Family Matters Offline!

During divorce or custody matters, it is unlawful to publish any information which could reveal the identity of any child who is the subject of court proceedings in the Children’s Court.

30 Aug 2016

Competition Law Update: The Biggest Fine Yet!

On 22 August, the Competition Commission announced that it has struck a deal with ArcelorMittal settling all the outstanding investigations and claims against it for a whopping fine of R1.5 billion payable in R300 million annual instalments for the next 5 years.

23 Aug 2016

Social Media Law Update: Olympic Fever - Sports Experts

In an Olympic year it seems that every person is a sports expert, but one has to be very careful about the way that you share your opinions on social media, especially if you are just a passionate sports fan and not an expert.

16 Aug 2016

Customs Update: Death and Taxes

SARS Customs rely on importers to declare the correct tariff heading and dutiable amount on their SAD500. Some importers try to avoid paying what is legitimately due in customs duty and VAT by misdeclaring the tariff code and / or customs value.

11 Aug 2016

SAA's Abuse of Dominance Stings Again

An overview of the judgment in the long-running competition law fight and subsequent civil damages claim between Nationwide Airlines and SAA.

10 Aug 2016

Social Media Update: No Selfies with your Ballot!

Local Government elections on Wednesday 3 August are definitely a significant day on our calendar, however, did you know that it would be an offence to share a picture of your ballot on social media?

02 Aug 2016

Silicosis: Court Certifies SA's Largest Class Action Suit

The High Court certified two class action suits of silicosis and pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) against 32 mining companies. The judgment has set the stage for protracted legal proceedings in the largest class action suit in SA's history.

22 Jul 2016

Environmental Management and Municipalities

The case discussed in this article clarifies the often debated question of whether municipalities exercising their local government functions can legislate or assume authority over matters of the environment or nature conservation.

20 Jul 2016

"Umbrella Funds": Happy to Subsidise Others?

Umbrella funds have typically attempted to draft their rules so that the assets and liabilities of members in each sub-fund will be ring-fenced from other sub-funds and the umbrella fund as a whole.

08 Jul 2016

Construction Industry and Indirect Price Fixing, a new twist to cartel activities

On 29 June 2016, the Competition Tribunal confirmed a consent order agreed by the Competition Commission with Murray & Roberts and Freyssinet Posten ("Freyssinet"). Murray & Roberts and Freyssinet admitted price-fixing, market division and collusive tendering on over 60 projects and between them agreed to pay a fine of just over R4.7 million.

08 Jul 2016

Lessons Learnt from Recent Marine Casualties

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (“SAMSA”) has issued a Marine Notice, No. 27 of 2016, regarding “lessons learnt” from three serious marine casualties that have occurred off the coast of South Africa over a six-month period.

06 Jul 2016

The Ante Nuptial Contract

With your wedding fast approaching, you are asking yourself: “Do I need an Ante Nuptial Contract? Who can assist me with drafting one?”. The Child & Family Law team at Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys is here to assist you.

05 Jul 2016

How Protected are our Fisheries?

South Africa is signatory to a number of international agreements and has a number of domestic laws in place that regulate the utilisation and conservation of our marine living resources.

23 Jun 2016

Competition Act - Alert

On June 9th the amendment to the Competition Act implementing fines of up to R500 000 and prison sentences of up to 10 years or both for cartel crimes commenced.

13 Jun 2016

Labour Court Shows its Teeth

The Labour Court found the South African Municipal Workers’ Union and its general-secretary, Simon Mathe, guilty of contempt of court after it was found that they did not do enough to persuade their members to comply with a court interdict during a wage strike at Pikitup.

06 Jun 2016

Compromise Offers: Julius Malema and SARS Argue it out Over R18 million+

What happens when a taxpayer is unaware of certain facts relating to their compromise offer application (thus not disclosing them) and only becomes aware of those facts after an agreement of compromise has been entered into? Can SARS then claim that it is not bound by the compromise agreement?

06 Jun 2016

SARS Rejects Vendor's VAT Claims

It is important for vendors to ensure that they keep records of all invoices they receive or issue when conducting business, as SARS is entitled to reject a vendor's claim upon failure to provide sufficient documentary evidence.

06 Jun 2016

Ex Parte Applications and Full Disclosure

The strict requirements of an ex parte application - if material facts are not disclosed in an ex parte application or the facts are deliberately misrepresented to the Court, the order will be erroneously granted.

06 Jun 2016

Double Jeopardy for Ship Owners: The Outcome of the OW Bunker Test Case Appeal

The case in the court a quo was that of PST Energy Shipping and Product Shipping and Trading SA v. OW Bunker Malta and ING Bank SA. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has now dismissed Owners’ appeal, confirming that SOGA did not apply. The Supreme Court found that the contract was not one "for the sale of goods" as ownership did not pass before consumption of the bunkers.

13 May 2016

Burden of Proof in Insurance Litigation

In this case the Court dealt with an alleged fraudulent claim of arson and the onus on the insurer to prove that the insured was the arsonist and that he failed to take reasonable steps and precautions to prevent the loss.

06 Apr 2016

Equal Pay for Equal Value

The issue of pay discrimination came before the courts in a recent decision of South Africa Municipal Workers Union on behalf of Tetyana v Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

04 Apr 2016

Constitutional Court Upholds the Publication of NEMLAA

The Constitutional Court handed down judgment regarding the constitutionality of a decision made by the President on the 2nd of June 2014, to publish into law, the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act .

01 Apr 2016

Healthcare Market Inquiry - Update

Hearings in the Healthcare Market Inquiry resumed in Cape Town yesterday (01 March 2016), and much was made of potential conflicts of interest facing the Board of Healthcare Funders. Today, (02 March 2016) Discovery Health is front and centre and is making its submissions to the panel.

02 Mar 2016

Transfer Duty and the 2016 Budget

The wealthy have again been targeted to contribute much more to the fiscus in the form of transfer duties when purchasing high value immovable property on or after 1 March 2016.

25 Feb 2016

The 2016 Budget Speech: Tax Summary

In the main, the tax proposals seek to reduce the fiscal deficit through an increase in excise duties, the general fuel levy and environmental taxes. There will also be an increase in capital gains tax and transfer duty, together with fiscal drag on personal income tax to account for inflation.

25 Feb 2016

Immovable Property and the Budget (in-depth)

A summary of some taxation issues affecting immovable property, including those dealt with in the budget, as well as some proposals affecting immovable property in the pipeline, are detailed in this article.

25 Feb 2016

Alarming New BEE Regulations

The draft Regulations to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, 2003, published on 17 February 2016 contain some alarming new developments which, if they are finalised in their current form, will severely impact on commercial activities and foreign investment in South Africa.

19 Feb 2016

Taxation Laws Amendment: An Update

Following virulent opposition to the changes by the trade unions and increasingly widespread speculation regarding the implementation of the changes, the Ministry of Finance has now announced proposals for the delay of the annuitisation requirements for provident funds.

19 Feb 2016

When Gareth Cliff Sued M-Net - Reputation Management and Social Media

Social Media, the consequences of using Social Media and the law applicable to Social Media use have all come under the spotlight in recent months on the back of certain individual’s controversial social media posts and the subsequent termination of their work contracts. A high profile example of this was the cancellation of Gareth Cliff's Idols judging contract by M-net after he tweeted a comment that was viewed unfavourably by the general public in the wake of the Penny Sparrow furore.

18 Feb 2016

Labour Court Rules on Garden Leave & its Applicability in SA

Until now, South African Labour Courts have not had the opportunity to consider what impact, if any, a ‘garden leave’ clause contained in a contract of employment may have on the enforceability of a restraint of trade. In a landmark judgment, the Johannesburg Labour Court, on 9 February 2016, confirmed that garden leave does form part of South African law.

17 Feb 2016

SARS March Madness

This is an urgent alert to all businesses. Many of you may have any potential outstanding amount (albeit that they are disputed) that is due to Customs or the Revenue section of SARS. We have already from the customs side seen the start of a drive for collection of revenue by SARS.

08 Feb 2016

How Will the Elderly Borrow? -

In the recent case of ABSA Bank Limited vs De Beer & Others (2015), the Judge held that a loan made to a Mr de Beer, retired farmer, constituted reckless credit and did not need to be repaid. Whilst that decision may provide relief to the De Beers', it may be a chill wind for other consumers of similar ages and positions when seeking bank finance.

05 Feb 2016

Banks and Conveyancers Be Warned!

"You cannot register a bond over a property you do not own." This was re-confirmed by the SCA in ABSA Bank Limited vs. Christina Martha Moore and Jacques Moore.

02 Feb 2016

Is There a Catch in CFR or CIF Incoterms

While the Incoterms 2000 is an extremely valuable tool in international trade, the CFR ("Cost of Freight") and CIF ("Cost Insurance and Freight") terms sometimes give rise to unexpected consequences.

02 Feb 2016