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Managing construction sites and other workplaces in the new normal

Construction sites and other workplaces need to comply with regulations and manage health and safety risks, while attempting to increase production, as we move into less restrictive lockdown levels. The announcement of South Africa’s move to lockdown Level 2 with effect from 18 August 2020 is being celebrated by almost all economic sectors. Despite this, … Continue reading

Amendments to the Financial Sector Regulations published

The Minister of Finance, has published amendments to the Financial Sector Regulations under Gazette 43581 intended to simplify the process of appointing the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). The amendments provide that: The Minister must re-appoint a shortlisting panel (two panellists being the Deputy Govrnor of the South African … Continue reading

Procedural fairness in investigations

Life may not be fair but investigations should be. Our courts have on many occasions expressed the importance of the principle which requires that people should be afforded a chance to participate in a decision that will affect them and more importantly given an opportunity to influence the result of the decision (the audi alteram … Continue reading

Hot tub expert evidence catching on

Evidence of experts in dispute hearings can be dealt with efficiently by using the ‘hot tub’ method to deal with disputes issue-by-issue rather than expert-by-expert: The parties decide between them what remaining issues have to be resolved by expert evidence and the list is given to the experts to deal with. The experts for all … Continue reading

Access to personal devices in competition claims

The High Court in England has ruled that it can order companies accused of breaking competition rules to require employees to disclose work-related communications stored on personal electronic devices. The court was dealing with a disclosure and inspection dispute in relation to a competition damages claim filed by a mobile phone retailer. Phones 4U’s insolvency … Continue reading

Condonation for late notice of intention to sue

Claimants who sue the State often have to apply for condonation for late notice, because the State must be notified of an intention to sue within 6 months of an incident occurring, and many claimants are unaware of this special time restriction. In Ndlovu v Member of the Executive Council for Police, Roads and Transport: … Continue reading

Sick leave and self-isolation: A guide for employers

With the increasing number of COVID-19 infections, employers must deal with employees who test positive for the virus, those who come into contact with individuals who test positive, and those who present with COVID-19 related symptoms. It is therefore important for employers to understand when sick leave must be used. The different sick leave options … Continue reading

Arbitration clauses usually do not survive termination of contract for fraud

An arbitration or similar adjudication clause, contained in an agreement that is found to have been induced by fraud, does not survive the avoidance of the agreement. That would be offensive to justice. The position can only change if the parties specifically make provision in their contract for a dispute regarding fraud, misrepresentation or concealment … Continue reading

Interventions to facilitate the raising of capital on the JSE

There have been calls for the JSE to amend its Listings Requirements to allow listed companies to issue shares more quickly in times of crisis ‘without interference from shareholders’. The JSE’s regulatory framework already provides listed companies with various capital raising methods, including some expedited methods. Having to obtain shareholder approval is an important element … Continue reading

Skills and training Conduct Standard for pension fund trustees

On 10 July 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) published the awaited Conduct Standard prescribing the minimum skills and training requirements for members of the board of trustees of pension funds as contemplated in section 7A(3)(a) of the Pension Funds Act 1956, effective from date of publication. Section 7A(3)(a) requires the trustees of pension … Continue reading

Methods of raising capital on the JSE

The JSE has amended its Listings Requirements in the past few years by introducing alternative methods of raising capital and measures aimed at expediting traditional methods. The JSE is aware that, in times of crisis, listed companies may need to raise capital at short notice. Delays in the raising of capital, particularly those caused by … Continue reading

Jurisdiction of the Financial Services Tribunal: medical scheme matters

A medical scheme aggrieved by a decision of the Registrar for Medical Schemes must appeal to the Council for Medical Schemes and not the Financial Services Tribunal, even if the decision relates, broadly, to financial sector laws. In Medihelp Medical Scheme v The Registrar for Medical Schemes and Another, the Council for Medical Schemes, instituted … Continue reading

Tender award to unlawfully preferred bidder set aside

Tender processes require fairness and transparency. In order to ensure fairness and transparency, an organ of state must adopt a proper evaluation process when considering and awarding tenders. An organ of state cannot rely on its selection of a preferred bidder in circumstances where the process for a preferred bid is not followed. When the … Continue reading

POPI compliance – have you considered your existing data protection measures?

The majority of the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (POPI) effectively commenced on 1 July 2020. The sections that commenced deal with how personal information (which is any information that can identify and infringe the privacy rights of a natural or juristic person) may be processed in South Africa or transferred across borders. As POPI … Continue reading

Courts will rarely refuse to enforce contracts on grounds of public policy

Contracting parties cannot escape the enforcement of a contract on the basis of the terms being contrary to public policy unless they can prove that the terms are so unfair, unreasonable or unjust in the circumstances that a court should intervene. The Constitutional Court reaffirmed that although constitutional values such as Ubuntu, reasonableness and fairness … Continue reading

Progressive changes for the retirement fund industry in FSCA draft Conduct Standards

On 8 June 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority published three draft conduct standards for public comment to be made by 31 July 2020. The purpose of the draft conduct standards is to regulate the: conditions for living annuities in an annuity strategy; communication of benefit projections to members of pension funds; and conditions for … Continue reading

Supplementary budget 2020

South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered a supplementary budget on Wednesday 24 June 2020, highlighting that business confidence will remain near historic lows, with investment and employment remaining constrained. This emergency budget comes only four months after the National Budget which has been left defunct in the wake of COVID-19 and a three-month lockdown … Continue reading

Mediate before you litigate

An amendment to the High Court Rules (Rule 41A) which came into effect from 9 March 2020 has made it mandatory for parties to consider mediation at the outset of any contemplated litigation. There are a number of judgments where the courts have censured the parties’ and their representatives’ failure to consider alternative dispute resolution … Continue reading

South African Data Privacy laws finally come into force

On 22 June 2020, the effective commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (POPI) was gazetted as 1 July 2020. Anyone processing personal information in South Africa will have a 12 month grace period to ensure that they comply with the requirements of POPI. After 1 July 2021, any non-compliance with POPI will … Continue reading

Must a union hold a secret ballot before calling a strike?

An attempt to stop NUMSA from calling a strike because it had not held a secret ballot failed. In the matters between NUMSA and Mahle Behr and NUMSA and Foskor with AMCU as amicus curiae the Labour Appeal Court had to determine whether in the absence of compliance with the transitional provisions of the Labour … Continue reading
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