Beware of this Ongoing Customs Scam!

Back in 2015 we received calls from a few distraught women who had fallen victim to a scam involving a supposed parcel at customs. It seems that the criminals are still reaping the rewards of this scam, as many women are still being caught by these criminals.

09 Dec 2019

Racial Conduct in the Workplace- and its consquences

It is commonly known that our Constitution bestows the right of freedom of expression to all citizens, which includes freedom of the press and other media as well as the freedom to receive and impart information and ideas.

12 Nov 2019

Be Careful when Contracting with a Trust

A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment has again raised warnings about the implications of not complying with statutory requirements when buying and selling immovable property, as well as not ensuring that important procedures are followed when one of the contracting parties is a trust.

14 Oct 2019

Please Counsel Me, I am Addicted to Porn!

Most employers have a “Zero Tolerance” to the accessing of pornography on the company’s computers and IT systems. The viewing or even attempted accessing of pornography on the company’s computers is generally a dismissable first offence in an employer’s disciplinary code and procedure.

20 Sep 2019

IMO 2020- South Africa, update No.2

On 22 August 2019 we alerted clients of the fact that South Africa had yet to promulgate legislation to give effect to, inter alia, Annex VI to MARPOL. On 6 September 2019 the department of transport (“DOT”) published the draft Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill, 2019 (“the Bill”), for comment.

20 Sep 2019

When to Register as a Credit Provider

When legislation is unclear, courts will seldomly let this go unnoticed. Even so, some pieces of legislation receive more frequent and blatant criticism than others. One example is the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (“the Act”) which has been scorned for its lack of clarity since its inception.

19 Sep 2019

SARS the Unequal Opponent

It is well known that litigation in any court can be a protracted battle. It is a journey that litigants have to be prepared for, both mentally and financially. In the midst of it all, one should weigh up the principles (the subject matter) of the dispute and the commercial advantages of finding a resolution to the matter.

17 Sep 2019

The Property Practitioners Act: Improved Consmer Protection When Purchasing or Leasing Property

The Property Practitioners Act 2019 (“the Act”) Act was passed in April 2019 and is awaiting the President’s signature. The Act introduces provisions which regulate property practitioners in the business of: bond broking, home inspecting, facilitating sale or lease agreements, selling of timeshares or fractional titles, property management, property development, auctioning, letting or hiring, assessing or valuating and bridging finance.

11 Sep 2019

Availability of Low Sulphur Fuel Offshore South Africa

The local shipping press has quoted an assurance from Ms Siyamthanda Maya, the managing director of South African Marine Fuels (SAMF), that South Africa will have low sulphur fuel available offshore with effect from 1 January 2020.

16 Aug 2019

Dispossession of property and the Spoliation Remedy

Being dispossessed of property be it movable or immovable without due legal process constitutes unlawful conduct. Similarly, some corporeal rights (entitlement to use a thing which has no physical identity but exists in law) are also capable of being dispossessed. The law has remedy to restore possession of such property or incorporeal rights which have been dispossessed.

29 Jul 2019

Compliance with ISPM15

Shepstone & Wylie have recently acted in a matter where a vessel was refused entry to USA ports on the grounds of non-compliance of wood packaging materials with the International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15).

19 Jul 2019

Retirement Fund Issues- Not just for Old People

Although it is not yet compulsory for an employer to provide a retirement fund to which employees can contribute, many South Africans are fortunate enough to have some exposure to a pension fund, provident fund or retirement annuity fund at some point in their lives – either as a member (enjoying the benefits of these retirement savings on leaving the fund) or as a beneficiary (such as a widow, child or other dependent of a member who passed away).

17 Jul 2019

South African Ports hit by "Go-Slow"- Update

Transnet has obtained a court interdict to stop the illegal strike action by employees at the Ngqura Container Terminal. The interdict also orders workers to increase performance levels.

16 Jul 2019

Expect delays in offshore bunkering operations in Algoa Bay

In the early hours of Saturday morning, 6 July 2019, an oil spill took place during offshore bunkering operations in Algoa Bay, off the ports of Ngqura and Port Elizabeth. Approximately 200 to 400 litres of fuel was spilled into the sea.

11 Jul 2019

South African Ports Hit By Labour "Go-Slow"

It has been reported that industrial action in the form of a “go-slow” by labour at several of South Africa’s ports is hampering operations including ship movements.

10 Jul 2019

Understanding Consequential Loss in a Contractual Context

There has been some confusion within the South African legal profession in relation to the concepts of direct and consequential damages. The diverse terminology used by legal professionals has only served to exacerbate the uncertainty.

01 Jul 2019

Changing Terms & Conditions of Employment

Employers often want to change the way they run their businesses and this often requires employees to accept a change to terms and conditions of employment.

26 Jun 2019

Employers be Aware: Both Sunday & Monday are Public Holidays!

Employers often seek clarity regarding a situation which does not occur often in the year, but when it does, gives them headaches: Am I obliged to treat the Monday, following a Sunday on which a Public Holiday happens to fall as a public holiday as well, or do I treat that Monday as a public holiday instead of the Sunday?

14 Jun 2019

Port Authorities Ban all Diving and Fishing in Durban Harbour- Update 10 June 2019

Durban shipping and trade journalist Terry Hutson has reported in Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter that Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has provisionally lifted its ban on fishing, commercial diving and other marine activities in the Port of Durban, which ban was applied after sewage was discovered flowing into the port from the local municipality’s sewer reticulation system.

10 Jun 2019

Trusts and Property Transactions

Difficulties often arise when trusts enter into agreements for the purchase or sale of property. It is trite law that trustees must act jointly when acting on behalf of the trust and so we are often asked if all the trustees need to act on behalf of the trust, for example to sign the agreements, and, if not, whether the appointed delegated person needs to be a trustee of the transacting trust.

03 Jun 2019

Zoning Regulations in the Ownership of a Sectional Title

A zoning scheme (“zoning”) records all land use rights on properties in its area of jurisdiction. Zoning specifies the limitations and prohibitions regarding the manner in which a property may or may not be used. In addition, zoning may specify the sizes, bulk, and placement of buildings.

03 Jun 2019


The much anticipated and long overdue Carbon Tax Act came into effect on the 1st of June 2019 and marked the commencement of the first phase of the Act, which will continue up until 31 December 2022.

01 Jun 2019

Rehabilitation of the Port of Durban Dry Dock

It has been reported in Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter and FTW Online that the rehabilitation of the inner caisson which divides the Port of Durban’s Prince Edward Graving Dock into two sections, allowing two smaller vessels to be docked simultaneously, is progressing well.

28 May 2019

The Highs and Lows of Cannabis use in the Workplace

There has been much jubilation and murmuring regarding the use of cannabis since the ground-breaking Constitutional Court judgement in the case of Minister of Justice and Correctional Services v Prince and Others.

23 May 2019


Durban shipping and trade journalist Terry Hutson has reported in Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter that Transnet SOC Ltd, the state-owned holding company of South Africa’s National Ports Authority, has issued a “stop work” instruction in relation to the main marine construction works to deepen and lengthen berths 203, 204 and 205 at the Durban Container Terminal.

22 May 2019


Liesl Venter of Freight & Trading Weekly has reported that according to Mr Sobantu Tilayi, the acting CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, the organisation has been in discussion with the IMO over the issue of compliance with the STCW Convention since 2013.

15 May 2019

Legal Certainty vs Public Policy Considerations in Contract Law

The Court in Oregon Trust v BEADICA 231 CC (74/2018) [2019] ZASCA 29 was faced with the issue of whether the enforcement of terms of lease agreements concluded between the parties, leading to their termination and the resultant eviction of the Tenants, was contrary to public policy as being unconscionable.

14 May 2019


Durban shipping and trade journalist Terry Hutson has reported in Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter that Transnet National Ports Authority has suspended all diving operations within the Port of Durban and prohibited all angling activities due to a severe sewage discharge stemming from the failure of pumps at the local municipality’s pump station.

13 May 2019


It has been reported in FTW Online and Terry Hutson’s Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) issued a circular in February expressing its intention to remove from its register or “White List”, all countries that are non-compliant with the International Convention of Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (the STCW Convention).

06 May 2019

Divorce Settlement Agreement Relating to Your Property

The general rule in terms of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 (“the Act”) is that ownership of property is transferred to a new owner by means of a title deed being registered with the Registrar of Deeds.

17 Apr 2019

Income Tax Act Amendments

The amendments to the Income Tax Act (“the Act”) addresses the issue of South African residents holding shares in a foreign company through foreign trusts.

16 Apr 2019

The Property Practitioners Act

The Property Practitioners Act B21-2018 (“the New Act”) has recently been adopted by parliament. The New Act will replace the Estate Agencies Affairs Act 112 of 1976 (“the Old Act”).

09 Apr 2019

Draft Regulations on Railway Safety Occurances

The Railway Safety Regulator (“RSR”) has published for comments a determination regarding the category and type of notifiable railway occurrences to be managed in an operator’s safety management system (“SMS”). (GN 118, GG 42217, 8 February 2019, p25)

18 Mar 2019

Payments Under an Instalment Sale Agreement of Immovable Property

Typically, when purchasing immovable property (“the property”), the bank or other financial institution lends money to the purchaser on security of a mortgage bond to be registered over the property, for the purpose of financing the purchase price of the property.

12 Mar 2019

BBBEE and Socio-Economic Development

While the Socio-Economic Development (“SED”) element only counts for a maximum of 5 points on the Scorecard in the generic Codes of Good Practice published in terms of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“BBBEE“) Act, this element is not as simple to implement as it appears.

12 Mar 2019

Current status of permission to occupy

Throughout South Africa, there are still properties, often large properties, that are held by Permission to Occupy rights (“PTOs”). We often come across these rights in former rural areas including those that are now used for commercial or industrial purposes.

05 Mar 2019

8 May 2019- Declared Public Holiday

President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has declared 8th May 2019 a public Holiday throughout the republic of South Africa.

26 Feb 2019

The Competition Amendment Act

On 14 February 2019 the President assented to the Competition Amendment Act, 18 of 2018 (Amendment Act). The Amendment Act will begin on a date to be proclaimed by the President in the Government Gazette. And this is not just another amendment act.

22 Feb 2019

Levi Strauss (Pty) Ltd v SARS

Freek van Rooyen, Partner at Shepstone & Wylie’s Johannesburg office, and customs and excise specialist, represented Levi Strauss in a dispute with SARS.

22 Feb 2019

No Hearing Prior to Suspension

The Constitutional Court has confirmed that there is no requirement that an employee be given an opportunity to make representations prior to a precautionary suspension.

20 Feb 2019

SASOL Oil versus CSARS

In Sasol Oil v CSARS [1] the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Tax Court, confirming the historic principles of substance over form by taking into account all the evidence holistically, instead of approaching it piecemeal. It must be noted that it was a 3:2 split in judgment.

13 Feb 2019


Durban shipping and trade journalist Terry Hutson has reported in Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter that Transnet SOC Ltd, the state-owned holding company of South Africa’s National Ports Authority, has issued a “stop work” instruction in relation to the main marine construction works to deepen and lengthen berths 203, 204 and 205 at the Durban Container Terminal.

11 Feb 2019


It has been reported in FTW Online that the Mozambican port of Maputo, which handled a record 19.5 million tonnes of cargo last year, expects to see its cargo handling capacity grow to 26.5 million tonnes after it completes the rehabilitation of berths 6, 7, 8 and 9 in the latter half of the year.

11 Feb 2019

Custody or Care of Children

Guardianship of a child has nothing to do with whom or where a child resides, as some may think. Guardianship relates only to assisting the child in legal, contractual and administrative matters, including safeguarding their property, as well as giving or refusing consent required by law in respect of a child.

07 Feb 2019

Imminent Default Regulations for the Pension Fund

The effective date for the implementation of the default regulations to the Pension Funds Act, 1 March 2019, is around the corner and retirement funds are scrambling to ensure that they will be compliant by that date (and those that aren’t, should be!).

02 Jan 2019