The gift of giving

They say Port Elizabeth is The Friendly City and Local Estate Agents proved this yet again when they participated in droves to help the Greyvensteins Givers Gain charity drive last year. The Givers Gain campaign was conceived by Greyvenstiens in January 2013 with the aim of giving back to the community and those less fortunate by joining hands…
Continue Reading »


The new Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill

The draft Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill is yet to be gazetted for comment although most have already expressed their opinion on the proposed Bill despite very little information being available regarding its scope and impact. The motivation behind the proposed Bill, according to a statement made by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Combating…
Continue Reading »


Is the biological father liable for the costs of a child born out of wedlock?

We have become accustomed to the fairy tale endings we so often see in the movies – boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, the reality of modern society is not always as romantic with a dramatic increase in the number of single and unmarried…
Continue Reading »


Maintenance for surviving spouses

In terms of our common law a surviving spouse, merely by reason of the marriage, has no claim for maintenance against the estate of her deceased spouse. Because in South Africa we have almost total freedom of testation, many surviving spouses have been left in penurious circumstances.  The legislature addressed the plight of disinherited surviving…
Continue Reading »


Landowner not always liable

On 9 November 2011, Judge K.G.B. Swain of the High Court of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, in the matter of Mondi SA Ltd vs. Martens, gave a directive judgement on the interpretation of the definition of “owner” in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act 101 of 1998, hereafter referred to only as “the Act”). We…
Continue Reading »


Electrical fencing certificates: Do I need one?

The use of electrical fencing as a means to secure fixed property, and in particular also residential property, has escalated dramatically over the last few years. To address this increasing demand the market has been flooded by suppliers offering electrical fence installation services. Understandably the necessity to regulate safety issues in respect of these installations…
Continue Reading »


Maritime Piracy and South African Law

Over the past decade, piracy on the high seas and off the coast of Somalia has been on the rise. Although there have been preventative measures deployed by maritime nations to counter the crime, across the seas, there is an identified need to develop an efficient regime to prosecute pirates with “pirates” long being described…
Continue Reading »


Property Transfer: Let’s break it down!

The process of transferring property frequently leaves buyers and sellers alike confused, frustrated and in the dark as to what exactly the sequence of events are to have a property transferred. With the sale agreement signed, surely the hardest part has been taken care of? The reality is, that our property regime in South Africa…
Continue Reading »


Lease of Agricultural Land: What to consider?

Daniel is a young, innovative and successful farmer who wants to expand his agricultural operations and begin an apple plantation to produce apples for export purposes. The only problem is that he doesn’t own enough agricultural land to start this lengthy and expensive process. Daniel now considers entering into a long term lease agreement of…
Continue Reading »


Building contract cancellation: Beware the pitfalls

The building project is going nowhere and so too is the relationship between the client and building contractor. Both parties have been at loggerheads since the start of the project and the relationship has deteriorated to such a point that both parties are failing to meet their contractual commitments in terms of the building contract….
Continue Reading »


Municipal environmental regulation and the property developer

With increasing emphasis being placed on environmental matters, conservation, sustainable development and ‘going green’, we are also seeing more and more environmentally-related matters turn in court and address seminal issues relating to the development of our environmental law. A recent case of relevance is Le Sueur and Another v eThekwini Municipality and Others (KZP). In…
Continue Reading »


What to budget for when buying a new house?

You have finally managed to find your dream house and want to make an offer, but you are concerned about your budget and everyone keeps telling you that with a new house there are so many additional costs you need to take into account. So what should you realistically be budgeting for? Broadly speaking there…
Continue Reading »


Expand your knowledge on the changes of the Road Accident Fund (RAF)

In South Africa all road-users have a security safety net in the form of the Road Accident Fund (RAF). In short, the RAF indemnifies the person(s) who caused the accident and compensates the injured and/or the family of fatal victims for special and general damages. The procedure to institute a claim is relatively straightforward although…
Continue Reading »


Should one invest in a trust? What are the benefits of this?

There are three main ways of reducing such a loan account: 1.         Donations Both husband and wife may donate R100,000 each year to the Trust. This donation has to be an actual donation i.e. the money must be deposited into the Trust’s bank account if it is not to attract capital gains tax. However, if…
Continue Reading »


The knowledge and understanding of dealing with a trust and trust deeds

The trust deed is the founding document of a trust and is a public document which is lodged with the Master of the High Court. Each trust is also allocated a unique identifying number by the Master and the Master issues Letters of Authority to each trustee authorising him to represent the trust. The trust…
Continue Reading »


Knowing your rights on legal property evictions

Housing is a vital and primary need for each person. As most of us acquire accommodation by lease or through home loans or even through state housing provided by municipalities, it is important to know your rights and what the correct procedure is for lawful evictions. With the exclusion of farm land, lawful evictions from…
Continue Reading »


Lending a helping hand to the less fortunate – Givers Campaign

According to Lake Farm Centre PRO Conrad Steyn, every resident is a valued member of the group, which lives and works together harmoniously.  “The more able help the weak and we are privileged to belong to this community with its capacity for tolerance, support and love.  Unfortunately, by worldly standards, these priceless qualities do not…
Continue Reading »


The Amended BEE Codes of Good Practice

On 3-4 October 2013 the Department of Trade and Industry together with the Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council hosted the first ever National B-BBEE Summit in South Africa. The Amended BEE Codes of Good Practice were announced at this summit and were published in the Government Gazette a week later, on 11 October 2013. These…
Continue Reading »


Debt Review: Manoeuvring through the thorns

Summary: In the wake of the National Credit Act, Debt Review has been heralded by many as a lifeline for those that are over-indebted. However, there is a growing perception of distrust towards the Debt Counselling profession as many people under Debt Review find themselves even further in the red. A significant number of debt…
Continue Reading »


POPI: Are you all set?

Summary: The protection of privacy in South Africa has undergone intense investigation over the last decade. In late 2005 the South African Law Reform Commission found that there wasn’t adequate protection and that a new, separate piece of legislation was needed for the proper protection of one’s personal information. This paved the way for the…
Continue Reading »


Land Claims: What each purchaser should know.

Summary: Buying an additional piece of land with a view to expanding the farm and business is an exciting, yet significant decision that a farmer must take. Obvious factors that should be considered before the transaction is concluded include location, size, water and power supply, and of course the finances. Yet there are other underlying…
Continue Reading »


Can you recover losses from a dismissed employee?

Summary: Until recently employers have been reluctant to pursue civil action against former employees for losses suffered as a result of negligence by those dismissed employees. Despite being entitled to do so, employers take a pragmatic view of cutting their losses and carrying on with their business, shying away from further litigation. As a result…
Continue Reading »


Is the biological father liable for the costs of a child born out of wedlock?

We have become accustomed to the fairy tale endings we so often see in the movies – boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, the reality of modern society is not always as romantic with a dramatic increase in the number of single and unmarried…
Continue Reading »


Electrical fencing certificates: Do I need one?

The use of electrical fencing as a means to secure fixed property, and in particular also residential property, has escalated dramatically over the last few years. To address this increasing demand the market has been flooded by suppliers offering electrical fence installation services. Understandably the necessity to regulate safety issues in respect of these installations…
Continue Reading »


More protection for the victims of harassment

Mary was over the moon when she heard that she had received the position and could not wait to start her new job. Into her second week however, she became aware of her supervisor taking a special interest in her. She tried to ignore this, but the interest became more overt, unwelcome and threatening, despite…
Continue Reading »


The safety and security aspects of sectional title living

With concerns for the safety of one’s person and property increasing, there has been a movement towards expanding communities in the form of sectional title complexes, duet and cluster housing. People moving into sectional title units are willing to sacrifice space and privacy in exchange for improved safety, security and a sense of community that…
Continue Reading »


Road Accidents and Personal Insurance

The frequency and severity of road accidents are becoming an increasingly worrying statistic and the provisions made by the Road Accident Fund (RAF) for injury or death suffered on our roads are decreasing with each amendment of the Act. This increases the burden on each person to financially prepare themself for the possibility of a…
Continue Reading »


Ways to reduce your Trust’s Loan Account

There are a number of benefits to placing assets in a trust for estate planning purposes. These advantages include, among others potential estate duty benefits as well the future protection of assets.   How do I move the assets into the trust and will it immediately be shielded from my creditors?   One can simply…
Continue Reading »


The powers of trustees in the conclusion of agreements with third parties

The question which arises when contracting with a trust is whether or not the trustee you are contracting with has the necessary authority to enter into a contract and bind the trust as an entity to the contract. In this article we briefly examine what you can do to safeguard yourself when contracting with a…
Continue Reading »


The low down on lawful evictions

Housing is a vital and primary need for each person. As most of us acquire accommodation by lease or through home loans or even through state housing provided by municipalities, it is important to know your rights and what the correct procedure is for lawful evictions.   With the exclusion of farm land, lawful evictions…
Continue Reading »


Using a Trust as an estate planning tool

Death eventually knocks on everyone’s door. This certainty necessitates proper estate planning to ensure that when the time comes you are not anxious as to whether sufficient provision has been made for your loved ones after you are gone. In this article, we briefly explore some of the main benefits as well as concerns in…
Continue Reading »


First-ever Fun Day for Lake Farm Centre

“When I merged Ian Olivier Properties with the Pam Golding operation, I committed to giving back to the community,” he explains.  “I was therefore delighted to accept Greyvensteins’ invitation to participate in their Givers Gain Campaign, which will allow us to raise much-needed funds for Lake Farm Centre by supporting their workshops and organising sponsors…
Continue Reading »


Slip and fall… Who is liable?

It has become the popular perception that if you fall while on someone else’s property you can sue. The reality is that the law requires a quid pro quo from property owners and the public. That property owners must take reasonable care in minimizing or preventing harm occurring to people passing through their premises and…
Continue Reading »


RAF Undertaking: What does this mean?

Ten years ago Henry was involved in a motor vehicle accident which left him paralysed from the waist down and wheelchair bound for life. Three years later a court order, in favour of Henry, was issued in terms of a third party claim Henry instituted against the Road Accident Fund (RAF). A few weeks after…
Continue Reading »


Injured at work? What is the correct procedure?

An injury at work is in itself an unpleasant experience but is also an experience that can hold consequences for both employer and employee. The Occupational Health and Saftey Act (“OHASA”) imposes a duty on the employer to provide a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of its employees and…
Continue Reading »


Maintenance and Sectional Titles: Who must pay?

An issue that can often raise the blood pressure of sectional title owners, is the question surrounding maintenance within a sectional title scheme, particularly where maintenance costs are going to cost an arm and a leg. So where does the responsibility of the sectional title owner for maintenance begin and end?   To answer this…
Continue Reading »


Hospital exemption clauses: Enforceable or not?

You have been the unfortunate victim of the negligence of a hospital employee. As a result, you have suffered personal injury and are now faced with major future medical bills. You approach the hospital with your claim, only to be made aware that you have signed an exemption of liability clause which indemnifies the hospital…
Continue Reading »


Laying the right foundation: Be wary of construction defects and rejected insurance claims

A homeowner who has a homeowner’s insurance policy is indemnified by his insurer in the event that he should suffer loss, up to the total value of the loss or the total value for which he is insured, whichever is the smaller. Payment of any insurance proceeds is however subject to the terms and conditions…
Continue Reading »


Know your rights regarding online harassment

The Act allows any person, including a child without assistance from a parent, to apply to a Magistrate’s Court for a protection order against any person guilty of harassment. The protection order prohibits the respondent from harassing the complainant in any way or enlisting the help of others to do so The definition of harassment…
Continue Reading »


Noise nuisance in residential areas

The most common form of noise complained about in residential areas is called a noise nuisance. This is defined as any sound which disturbs or impairs the convenience or peace of person. The categories of noises and actions that fall within the ambit of the above can include amongst others: •·         Playing loud music or…
Continue Reading »


Green buildings as best practice

The new Regulations require that all contractors or persons who wish to erect a building must take note of relevant legislation that may affect the construction process. All buildings constructed within the borders of the Republic must accordingly comply with the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, No. 103 of 1977, together with all…
Continue Reading »


Be aware of construction process pitfalls

Langley Fox’s scope of work included the installation of a ceiling under an overhead canopy which extended over the sidewalk at the entrance to the building where the work was being performed. Langley Fox appointed a subcontractor to install the ceiling and it was during the installation by the subcontractor, that Mrs De Valence sustained…
Continue Reading »


“Cyber bullies” face consequences in terms of new Act

In the modern age of social media, e-mail and internet online forums a disturbing and well – known trend has developed: Someone being continually humiliated, threatened, discredited, intimidated or otherwise harassed via the internet.   Children are especially vulnerable and affected by these “cyber – bullies” or “cyber – stalkers” and it often happens that…
Continue Reading »


Noisy Neighbours? Keep them quiet – legally!

It’s the third night in a row that the pesky neighbours have been partying it up into the early hours of the morning. It may be the festive season, but with kids crying and dogs barking continuously for three nights, your cup of neighbourly patience has run out. Yet, when confronting these neighbours with a…
Continue Reading »


The beneficial aspects of building ‘Green’

Commercial buildings account for a sizable portion of greenhouse emissions, both during the construction phase and the eventual use of the structure. As a result, the South African construction industry has turned over a green leaf with the new energy efficiency building regulations that came into effect in November 2011. These Regulations apply to all…
Continue Reading »


The In’s and Out’s of an Antenuptial Contract

Susan and James are on the verge of getting married. For both it is their second marriage and both have learnt the importance of reaching agreement as to the regulation of their matrimonial property at the start of the marriage. Accordingly, they have decided to marry out of community of property and to regulate their…
Continue Reading »


Managing your public liability during construction

Any construction process always carries with it the potential risk of injury to or death of a third party. Accordingly, it is vital that all employers and contractors are aware of how they could be held vicariously liable for injury or death arising from the actions of their employees or subcontractors. In this article we…
Continue Reading »


Laying the right foundation: Be wary of construction defects and rejected insurance claims

Acquiring a home is often a major investment decision, yet ironically, sometimes also a decision resulting in great financial loss. Homeowners frequently experience loss through theft or damage to their home, with damage generally arising from accidents or natural causes. It is for these reasons that it is critical for a homeowner to protect his…
Continue Reading »


Know your rights as the consumer

Regulations regulating the labeling of foodstuffs require foodstuffs to be properly labelled displaying content, ingredients, nutritional information, additives, use by dates etc. to name but a few. The purpose of such labelling is amongst others, to inform the consumer of the exact content of the product and allow the consumer the ability to make an…
Continue Reading »


Factors to consider when starting a business

The next step is to find out whether there are any licences or permits that are required for the operation of the business. Certain types of businesses that involve the sale of alcohol, food, health care, fresh products, gambling, etc. need a license in order to trade legally. It is important to identify these requirements…
Continue Reading »


How the Consumer Protection Act affects your business

The Act requires that these terms and conditions be made available to the consumer in plain and understandable language so that a consumer with average literacy skills can understand the information. Difficult and incomprehensible words and legal terms should be avoided to ensure that the terms and conditions are understandable to everyone. Any misleading use…
Continue Reading »


Property rates and taxes – how are the levies determined?

The official objection period for many municipalities ends on 30 April 2013, although exact dates should be verified with each municipality. If you have not received an official notice of your valuation by ordinary mail to the postal address used by your municipality for billing, do not make the mistake of thinking that your property…
Continue Reading »


Know your property title deed restrictions

Often residential property title deeds contain restrictive conditions, most importantly perhaps, restrictions regarding the size, number and placement of dwellings and other buildings that may be erected thereon. Simply put, these restrictive conditions limit the owners’ use and enjoyment of their own property in the sense that they often indicate a limitation or prohibition on…
Continue Reading »


Buying a house? Beware of restrictive title conditions

Tony and Jen have just bought a house in a popular residential area. They plan to make this house their home and raise their family in it. Fast forward ten years and Tony and Jen wish to extend their house in order to make room for their third child that is on the way. Imagine…
Continue Reading »


How are my municipal rates and taxes determined?

Ever wondered how the rates and taxes on your house are calculated and why your rates and taxes seem so much higher than that of your colleague living across town? Property rates and taxes are calculated with reference to the municipal valuation thereof, which valuation is based on the market value of the property and…
Continue Reading »


Do the T’s & C’s of your business comply with the Consumer Protection Act?

The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (“Act”) sets out a range of fundamental consumer rights as well as ways to protect these rights. These rights however, place an obligation on each business owner to be aware of the implications of the Act and ensure that his standard terms and conditions of trade in particular…
Continue Reading »


Greener pastures (for your business)

Awareness is growing, but still far too often, the general public views environmental legislation and the need to go ‘green’ as the responsibility of large companies and industries. This could not be further from the truth and does the responsibility of going ‘green’ rest on each person and business, and should be supported, not as…
Continue Reading »


Where to start with a new business?

Louis has been dreaming of starting his own business for years, but could never find a suitable premise to take this step. Now a suitable shop premise has become available at the ideal location and it seems as if Louis’s dreams could become a reality. Louis’s finances are in order and he also identified a…
Continue Reading »


Blacklisted? How can I clear my credit record?

Article:   The economic climate in South Africa is uncertain with consumers heavily affected by increasing expenses and an inordinate reliance on credit. The unfortunate result is one where businesses are forced to take judgement against the consumers in order to recover outstanding debt resulting in consumers being listed with credit bureaus, raising the question:…
Continue Reading »


The ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of sectional title levies

Summary:   The payment of levies is the backbone of any sectional title scheme making the management of levies and awareness of how levies can be charged vital to the managers and owners of sectional title units, including what can happen if levies are not paid.   Article:   The payment of levies is the…
Continue Reading »


Corporate Social Responsibility: Fast becoming the popular kid on the corporate playground

Summary:   When it comes to the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility there is no shortage of literature dealing with the topic in South Africa and around the world. Technology has resulted in consumers being better informed and has empowered society to put their beliefs into action. Additionally, the inclusion of a socio-economic development component…
Continue Reading »


What’s this meat in my hamburger?

Summary:   The shockwaves of disbelief emanating from consumers following the recent international horse meat ‘scandal’ where horse meat was found in consumer food products have opened the eyes of many consumers to pay more attention to the content of their food products and labels. Additionally, consumers have become more concerned about what remedies are…
Continue Reading »


Is your company solvent? What are the directors’ responsibilities to ensure that it is?

Summary:   We Build It (Pty) Ltd is a construction company managed and operated by its directors. The nature of the company’s business frequently requires that its construction projects be well advanced before receipt of payment for services rendered. With subcontractors and suppliers to be paid, the company often finds itself in a situation where…
Continue Reading »


The Do’s and Don’ts of suspension

Recently a well-known radio broadcaster was suspended from broadcasting for two days due to a complaint received by his network after he insensitively rebroadcasted a specific newsclip. This particular form of suspension appeared punitive in nature and the radio broadcaster subsequently resumed broadcasting after the disciplinary sanction was completed. On the other hand one also…
Continue Reading »


Intellectual Property Rights. Relevant to the small business owner?

Intellectual property is a term that has become familiar during the 20th century, but is still often associated only with big business, successful artists, writers or movie productions. Yet, the law and impact of intellectual property and the rights associated with it have developed to such an extent that ownership of intellectual property has become…
Continue Reading »


Legal consequences when sequestrating an owner of land

Upon sequestration of a debtor’s estate, the Master of the Supreme Court will appoint a curator to collect and realise the debtor’s assets in an orderly and efficient manner in order to ensure that payment to creditors are made. From the date of sequestration all assets; movable and immovable; vests in the trustee of the…
Continue Reading »


Right of extension in a sectional title scheme: Beware of the right to cancel a sale agreement

If you are the seller of a property in a sectional title, or a property broker who has spent many hours putting a sale transaction together, the last thing you want is for the buyer to find an easy way out of the contract. If the contract of sale relating to property in a sectional…
Continue Reading »


Can water rights be transferred? What do our courts say?

Water rights are an essential commodity in the agricultural sector and a commodity with limited availability. Accordingly, the transfer of existing water rights is a critical aspect for many farmers as it affects their ability to expand and further develop their farms. Many farmers also carry the perception that in practise the transfer of water…
Continue Reading »


Deceased Estates and Intestate Succession

Deceased Estates On the death of a person most of his rights and obligations continue in actuality and form an amassed generally referred to as his ‘deceased estate’. Previously in Roman-Dutch law, as in most Continental systems that still exist today the estate vested in the heir. However, in modern South African law the estate…
Continue Reading »


The struggle against cartel activity, and the fight for a healthy competitive environment

  What is competition law? Competition law contains provisions or rules which aim to ensure and sustain a market where vigorous but fair competition will result in the most efficient allocation of economic resources and the production of goods and services at the lowest price. In essence competition law is designed to create a level…
Continue Reading »


Sectional Titles: Which rules apply here?

To own or rent a property in a sectional title can place far more responsibility on the owner or tenant with regards to compliance with rules and regulations than may be applicable to the owner (or tenant) of a full title property. This is necessary in order to protect the rights of all the owners…
Continue Reading »


Rules of selling a business

When selling a business as a going concern, Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) applies and regulates the transfer of employment contracts where the whole or part of a business is sold (transferred) as a going concern to a purchaser. Simply put, the new employer (the purchaser) is automatically substituted in the place…
Continue Reading »


Propriety consequences of Customary Marriages

A civil marriage is a marriage contracted under the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 and the Matrimonial Act 88 of 1984, whereby a man can only have one wife. Customary marriage differs in that a man is able to marry more than one wife. The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 provides more…
Continue Reading »


Marriage vs. Life Partnership

It is widely believed that couples, whether heterosexual or same-sex , living together for a long period of time results in a common law marriage, thus giving each spouse the equal protection protect of the law. However, South Africa regulates only marriages contracted by means of civil law. This allows the spouses in a civil…
Continue Reading »


Sectional Title Schemes: What are house rules and are they enforceable?

Wilma and André recently moved into the Sunshine townhouse complex. Saturday night André celebrated his birthday and the party continued till just after twelve that evening. Monday morning André receives a notice from the body corporate of the complex stating that he has incurred a fine of R500.00 for transgressing the house rules which determine…
Continue Reading »


Sectional Title Schemes explaining house rules

Wilma and André recently moved into the Sunshine townhouse complex. Saturday night André celebrated his birthday and the party continued till just after twelve that evening. Monday morning André receives a notice from the body corporate of the complex stating that he has incurred a fine of R500.00 for transgressing the house rules which determine…
Continue Reading »


Transfer your property tax free

Recent amendments to the Income Tax Act have made it possible to transfer residential property from a legal entity (trust, company or close corporation) to an individual, without paying transfer duty, capital gains tax, dividends tax or secondary tax on companies. Important to note is that the window to make use of this tax amnesty…
Continue Reading »


Claiming from the Road Accident Fund

Peter was involved in a car accident where a drunk driver jumped a red light and hit him side-on, totalling his car. Fortunately Peter managed to escape largely unscathed with only whiplash and some minor cuts and bruises. Yet Peter had to pay hospital and doctor costs for the check-up and wound treatment and now…
Continue Reading »


Subcontractor options with delayed payments

Westside Construction (Pty) Ltd (the “Contractor”) has been awarded a tender by the municipality to construct low cost housing. The scope of the project is of such a nature that the Contractor is required to make use of additional subcontractors to execute the work. One of the subcontractors required is a plumber and Pipes Plumbers…
Continue Reading »


Too little time for contracts?

Often the perception is that once you have “signed on the dotted line” the contract can be stored and need only be consulted when trouble arises. This is revealing of how contract management is still not recognised as an important management tool for most businesses. It is seen generally as a discipline belonging only to…
Continue Reading »


Know where your property rights end

As a landowner, you are entitled to enjoy, use, consume, convert, alter, destroy or sell your property and what the land produces in any way you please within the limits of state and local authority regulations, provided you do not interfere with the legal rights of others, including your neighbours’ rights to the same enjoyment…
Continue Reading »


Insuring Your Business

Taking the risk out of running a business All businesses – from the biggest to the smallest – run the risk of incurring unforeseen losses. For instance, a grocer may lose stock in a flood, a factory may be destroyed by fire or a tailor may lose materials in a burglary. Total catastrophe can often…
Continue Reading »


Divorce in difficult circumstances

The fact that your spouse may live outside South Africa or has disappeared is not a problem in that the court can be approached for direction as to how the summons should be served. Legal position The court will require that you are domiciled in its area of jurisdiction on the date that divorce proceedings…
Continue Reading »


Tread the servitude minefield carefully

If you do not insist on seeing a copy of the title deeds and surveyor-general’s diagram when buying vacant land, your plans to build that dream home could become a nightmare. Both documents will tell you if there is a servitude on the property. The presence of a servitude makes it impossible to build within…
Continue Reading »


What to do with a man of straw?

Summary:   Business owners are becoming increasingly concerned with the escalating numbers of debtors failing to make payments and requiring legal action to recover debt. However, more and more business owners are also finding out that many debtors are just not able to pay their debt or even a part thereof and have no property…
Continue Reading »


An agreement to agree. Worth the paper it’s written on?

Summary:   Often when the deal is nearly done and only a few outstanding items remain, the temptation exists for parties to wrap up and sign the deal by including a provision that the parties will in future agree on those few outstanding items. But can this be done? And what happens if the parties…
Continue Reading »


Driver’s beware. Losing your license is easier than you think!

Summary:   Alice is on her way to school with the children. The road is surprisingly quiet this morning and she is not paying too much attention to her speedometer. Suddenly a traffic officer jumps out and waves her over. Glancing down she sees that she was driving just over 90km/h. Preparing herself for the…
Continue Reading »


New act protects your personal information

Summary:   Your first task at the office before you can start with your work is to delete the mass of “spam” emails you received. Not even to mention the unwelcome calls and sms’s of tele-marketers selling services of companies you’ve never even heard of. If this situation is familiar to you, you may be…
Continue Reading »


Is business rescue the lifebuoy your business needs?

Peter has recently inherited the family business from his father, becoming the fourth generation of Morgans in charge of the established Morgans Handcrafted Furniture company. Peter’s father, having passed away recently, left him in charge of the running of the sizable production warehouse and having learnt the trade under the guidance of his father, Peter…
Continue Reading »


Understanding finances of real estate

When buying and selling property, there are various factors that can have severe financial consequences to both parties. Important aspects concerning the Purchaser: 1. Transfer duty and Transfer fees There is a general misconception that this is the same thing. Transfer Duty is payable to the South African Revenue Services in accordance with the Transfer…
Continue Reading »


Solving disputes with neighbours

Principles contained in the Sectional Titles Act, and the prescribed rules, show us paths to follow to achieve certain objectives, but sometimes without detailing the steps. For example, an owner must maintain his or her section. This provision has a particularly interesting implication. If some other owner fails to maintain their section and this failure…
Continue Reading »


Understanding the Voetstoots clause

The misconception that the Voetstoots clause has been taken away by the Consumer Protection Act seems to be ever-present. In most cases, the Consumer Protection Act will not apply to the relationship between a seller and purchaser where the seller does not sell in the ordinary course of his business. Voetstoots, in short, means that…
Continue Reading »


Advertising Laws of National Importance

Advertising law can be pretty mundane; did the company advertising its product exaggerate a tad? Did it copy a competitor’s adverting material? Or did it insult a competitor? Within the space of one week there were two decisions that show that advertising law also deals with issues of national importance. The first was the decision…
Continue Reading »


Understanding your attorney’s invoice

While the thought of approaching an attorney might be daunting to some, trying to understand how the attorney arrived at the amount of his account, might be most daunting of all. As most people will at some stage of their lives require the services of an attorney, it is important to understand how legal costs…
Continue Reading »


The debtor’s survival guide

Debt is an everyday reality for most South Africans. Whether such debt relates to your home mortgage, your car finance, shopping cards or in general to just survive, debt is there and a constant source of worry for many consumers. But worrying unfortunately won’t take away the debt and management of your debt must remain…
Continue Reading »


Mineral Rights. Do they still have value?

The ownership of mineral rights has received extensive media coverage of late. Claims have been made that the State has in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 effectively taken away mineral rights from its rightful owners and nullified the value of mineral rights. But is this claim correct, and if so…
Continue Reading »


What is the relationship between you and your insurance broker?

  We all have insurance and we all have worked with an insurance broker at one point or another. The media is also full of insurance advertisements that create the impression that the right insurance broker will cover you for all eventualities. But is this truly the case? And if not, where does the broker’s…
Continue Reading »


Checked your life insurance recently? Find out why you should!

Life changes happen regularly and unannounced and often one is so pre-occupied with surviving these changes that you forget the long-term implications they can have. One oft neglegted item, is the regular reviewing of the beneficiaries of your life insurance policy, particularly after a life changing event such as death, divorce or birth has occurred….
Continue Reading »


What to know before tying the knot

The big day is looming. There are a hundred and one arrangements to be taken care of, honeymoon travel plans, living arrangements, not even to mention the always controversial table plan at the wedding reception! But what am I forgetting? Why do I have that nagging feeling that I’m missing something? Underneath the surface of…
Continue Reading »


Getting married? Consider the accrual system

The wedding is round the corner, the dress is finally done, the suit decided on and the flower arrangements settled. Phew! Now for the last item on my list – make an appointment with a lawyer and find out about this ‘ANC’ and accrual system everyone keeps telling us about? The “accrual system” or more…
Continue Reading »


Is cohabitation as good as marriage?

Pieter and Marie have been living together for many years. “Why ruin a good thing with marriage? We are as good as married in any case.” But are they? How do the rights of a couple living together differ from those of a couple legally married and how can persons living together protect themselves for…
Continue Reading »


AgriBEE Sector Charter and land restitution

Farmers must take note of the recently published draft Agricultural Sector Code (“Agri Code”) for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”). This code is still in draft form, but may be promulgated as legislation in the near future. The Agri Code is applicable to all farmers and entities that are primarily involved in the production, storage…
Continue Reading »


Mindshift and trusts: Obtain good advice!

The word trust is often used quite loosely and in a variety of contexts. In this article we deal with the correct approach to considering the inclusion of a trust as part of your family’s estate planning. The type of trust discussed is accordingly a typical discretionary trust. In such a trust the trustees are…
Continue Reading »


Recent Tax Changes

The recent tax changes announced in the budget speech provided some tax relief but a number of provisions are detrimental to savers. It is important that these are understood when forming an appropriate investment strategy. Two important amendments are: The introduction of Dividend Withholding Tax (DWT) and; An increase in the taxation of capital gains….
Continue Reading »


The new Property Sector Code

The new Property Sector Code for Broad-Based BEE (“the Code”) was gazetted and was effective as of 1 June 2012. The Code applies broadly to enterprises engaged in the property sector in property ownership or the provisioning of property services in both residential and commercial markets. The scope of the Code is intended to be…
Continue Reading »


Tax – considered capital punishment

Tax is considered by many a different form of “capital punishment” — or at least a lifelong sentence. So investors would have paid keen attention to the tax amendments put forward in National Treasury’s 2012/13 Budget, and would have watched as further judgment was handed down. Investment-related tax hikes included an increase in the maximum…
Continue Reading »


Internet Contracts

Introduction Countries that do not take time now to create appropriate infrastructures to support the Internet will find their economies plummeting in a matter of years; countries that embrace the Internet will reap the benefits. These infrastructures include telecommunications and education (and even legislation). This warning comes from John Chambers, the president of Cisco Systems…
Continue Reading »


Zoning

Just about everybody has heard of zones and zoning in relation to property, but the average property buyer or owner has little – if any – clear knowledge of what the different zones are, if and when one needs to apply for any form of zoning or re-zoning, and how to go about this task….
Continue Reading »


How do I prevent fraud at work?

South Africa has of the highest workplace fraud statistics in the world. With fraud capable of bringing businesses to their knees through financial loss and bad publicity, is it critical that employers pay attention to the prevention of and reaction to fraud in the workplace. Article: South Africa has of the highest workplace fraud statistics…
Continue Reading »


Can social media get you fired?

Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogger, LinkedIn and many others have become increasingly popular not only for social purposes, but also as tools to assist in job hunting and business networking. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware that, as useful as these social media sites may be, there also lurks hidden dangers for…
Continue Reading »


Can I lease or sell my house to a foreigner?

Can a foreigner lease or purchase immovable property in South Africa? And, if this is possible, what are the requirements for such a transaction to be valid? Also, can I lease or sell my property to any foreigner? The answers to these questions are pertinent to landlords and sellers garnering interest of foreign tenants and…
Continue Reading »


The low down on the new Property Sector BEE Code

The new Property Sector Code for Broad-Based BEE was gazetted and is effective as of 1 June 2012. This Code applies broadly to enterprises engaged in the property sector in property ownership or the provisioning of property services in both residential and commercial markets. The Code has been promulgated as a sector code of good…
Continue Reading »


Curse of the careless testator: Is your will valid?

The importance of a will cannot be overstated. Not only does it provide expression to a deceased person’s last wishes regarding the division of his/her assets but it can provide financial security for loved ones for years to come. It can thus rightly be said that a will is probably the most important document a…
Continue Reading »


THE IMPORTANCE OF PERUSING A LEASE AGREEMENT WHEN SELLING A TENANTED PROPERTY

A recent supreme court of appeal decision has served as a reminder to familiarize yourself with the terms of a lease agreement applicable to tenanted properties marketed (and hopefully, subsequently sold) by you.  A signed a lease with B which included an option to buy the premises for R2m, which option was to be exercised…
Continue Reading »


Understanding debt counselling and its fees

Consumers suffering under the yoke of over-indebtedness can consult a Debt Counsellor for advice on how to extricate themselves from the debt trap, advises Peter Setou, Senior Manager Education and Strategy at the consumer watchdog, National Credit Regulator (NCR). A Debt Counsellor is someone who is registered with the National Credit Regulator and who assists…
Continue Reading »


Liquidators are always duty-bound

Liquidators are always duty-bound to act in the best interests of the company and not in the best interests of the main creditor. This is one of the lessons to emerge from a recent judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which declared a company’s dissolution void in terms of section 420 of the…
Continue Reading »


Estate Agents Commision

AN ESTATE AGENT’S RIGHT TO COMMISSION UPON FULFILMENT OF THIS MANDATE: The general rule according to South African Property Practice and the Law – Delport: Whether an estate agent is entitled to commission on a transaction in which he was involved must in the first place be answered by referring to the agreement between the…
Continue Reading »


Customary Marriages in the Republic of South Africa

It is important to note that in terms of the definition of a customary marriage, a customary marriage is a marriage negotiated, celebrated or concluded according to any of the systems of indigenous African customary law which exist in South Africa and that this does not include marriages concluded in accordance with Hindu, Muslim or…
Continue Reading »


Tenants rights with regard to Rental Agents

The definition of a ‘Landlord’ in terms of the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 (‘the Act’) is the owner of a dwelling that is leased and includes his or her duly authorised agent or a person who is in lawful possession of a dwelling and has the right to lease or sub-lease it. Therefore…
Continue Reading »


Surrender of Goods

In terms of the National Credit Act the consumer may rid himself of his agreement, when goods are involved. This gives the consumer an extraordinary right by unilaterally deciding to return goods to the credit provider for it to be resold and to settle the consumer’s account. The right to surrender the goods may be…
Continue Reading »


Rescission of Default Judgements

Most people encounter financial problems when it comes to settling debts which they have accumulated. This may result in them acting contrary to the payment arrangements they had previously made with their Creditors, in other words, defaulting in payment. When that situation arises, the Creditor normally issues a Summons against the Debtor in order to…
Continue Reading »


The house that was sold “voetstoots”

In most agreements of sale of immovable property, such as a house, there appears the well-known “voetstoots” clause. The term “voetstoots” simply means “as it stands” which implies that the buyer purchases the property, together with its defects and cannot hold the seller liable therefore.  Simply put, what you see is what you get and…
Continue Reading »


Credit Provider: Do you have sufficient debtor information to recover outstanding debt?

Indicators show that the micro-lending industry has been growing quite substantially over the past few years. On the flip side, indicators also show that the number of consumers with impaired credit records is also growing sharply, as also the number of consumers placing themselves under debt counselling. Despite this, both formal and informal credit agreements…
Continue Reading »


Sole Mandate: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Many prospective sellers are confronted with an invitation by estate agents to grant them a sole mandate for the sale of their property. 9 out of 10 times the immediate reaction is to decline the offer due to a perception that a sole mandate is only a clever way for the estate agent to obtain…
Continue Reading »


What is a reasonable cancellation fee when cancelling a lease agreement?

The new Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) brought about extensive changes to business transactions in South Africa. Lease agreements have also been affected by the provisions of the CPA in that a tenant, who is a natural person, is now entitled to cancel a lease agreement at any stage thereof by simply giving the landlord twenty…
Continue Reading »


MOI and Shareholders Agreement. Do I need both?

Under the previous Companies Act, a company generally regulated its relationships within the company with two kinds of documents. The first was the company’s constitution (its Memorandum and Articles of Association) and the second, its shareholders agreement. The constitution was essentially a contract between the company and its shareholders, whilst the shareholder’s agreement regulated the…
Continue Reading »


Deadline Looming! Transfer your holiday or second home now and save tax

 While it may be said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes, the taxman on the rare occasion provides John Public a reprieve as far as taxes are concerned. In 2012 this reprieve comes in the form of the Tax Amendment Act 24 of 2011 which allows a taxpayer to, for a…
Continue Reading »


A five step test to check compliance with the Consumer Protection Act

 With the commencement of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) on 1 April 2011 South African consumers have become a highly protected specie with extensive consumer rights and mechanisms implemented by the CPA for protecting the general consumer. The flip side is that for these rights to be exercised, the supplier of the goods and services…
Continue Reading »


The human element to selling a business

 When selling a business as a going concern, Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) applies and regulates the transfer of employment contracts where the whole or part of a business is sold (transferred) as a going concern to a purchaser. Simply put, the new employer (the purchaser) is automatically substituted in the place…
Continue Reading »


Can I amend a Trust Deed?

A trust is an agreement between the founder of the trust and the trustees of the trust for the benefit of a third party, namely the trust beneficiaries of the trust. Different to a company, a trust is not established in terms of legislation, but is established by the trustdeed of the trust which serves…
Continue Reading »