Tag archives: COVID-19

10 things to know about business rescue

Business rescue offers a very useful alternative to the liquidation or winding-up of a company. During and after the pandemic, many companies may have to consider whether business rescue is an appropriate response to the economic impact that COVID-19 may have had on their business. Here are 10 things to know when considering business rescue: … Continue reading

SARB’s responses to COVID-19 and its recommendation to South African banks on the payment of dividends and executive bonuses in 2020

The SARB’s Prudential Authority (PA) issued a guidance note advising that it did not expect banks to distribute dividends on ordinary shares or pay cash bonuses to senior executives in 2020. This guidance is not binding on banks but is recommended. In terms of section 46(2) of the Companies Act 2008 resolutions authorising a distribution … Continue reading

HPCSA relaxes scope of practice rule, and provides more COVID-19 guidelines

On 17 April 2020, the Health Professions Council of South Africa provided its latest COVID-19 guidelines to registered practitioners. The guidelines were circulated to registered practitioners via e-mail – as at the date of publication of this article, the guidelines are yet to be published on the HPCSA’s website www.hpcsa.co.za The HPCSA acknowledges that the … Continue reading

COVID-19 and the potential use of medical scheme reserves

Medical scheme trustees cannot take a business as usual approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. Boards should be giving thought to the value of their reserves and whether using such reserves would be of benefit to members. At a minimum, trustees need to understand the options available to them when considering using scheme reserves. In terms … Continue reading

Tax relief measures for challenging times

The Minister of Finance announced tax relief measures in an attempt to assist small to medium businesses in the face of COVID-19. But what tax relief is available to taxpayers who fall outside the ambit of these new measures? Instalment payments Taxpayers unable to pay tax debts due to economic instability caused by the pandemic … Continue reading

Directors’ responsibilities and risk taking

Businesses across the country are facing serious headwinds. South African law requires that directors must exercise their powers in the best interests of the company, and with the degree of care, skill and diligence that may be reasonably expected of a person carrying out those functions. Directors can be held personally liable, and are now … Continue reading

Managing a company and COVID-19: South African directors and their duties

Limiting risk in a pandemic The effects of COVID-19 on the economy has led to many companies facing the possibility of being declared financially distressed. The mounting pressure on directors to appropriately fulfil their duties in response to this crisis will continue into the foreseeable future. Risk advisory: Practical considerations and steps for directors While … Continue reading

Director’s duties, the business judgment rule, and COVID-19

Where a director has taken reasonable steps to become informed of a matter and has made, or supported, a decision in relation to that matter (which they rationally believed was in the best interests of the company), then that director cannot be seen to have breached their fiduciary duties if the decision later turns out … Continue reading

8 things to know about the amended COVID-19 TERS Directive

On 26 March 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour issued a Directive that set out the requirements for the newly established COVID-16 TERS benefits (the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme). These benefits were provisioned to alleviate the economic impact of the national disaster by assisting employers to pay their employees during the closure of their … Continue reading

10 things to know about BEE and COVID-19

COVID-19 is affecting businesses globally. However, its impact on the broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) status of a business is an effect which is unique to South Africa. Here are 10 things to know about the potential effects of COVID-19 on BEE and your business: 1. BEE verifications can still be conducted The South African … Continue reading

Should South African media name those who die of COVID-19?

The answer to this question posed by the media, probably lies in the National Health Act (the Act). The Act provides that all information concerning a patient, including their health status, treatment or stay in a health establishment, is confidential. This information may not be disclosed unless: the patient consents to that disclosure in writing; … Continue reading

Company transport considerations during the lockdown

With the rapidly changing legal landscape, employers may be left in the dark around how to ensure they comply with the latest laws and regulations relating to road transport during the national lockdown. A company vehicle used for the purposes of transporting essential service employees to and from work must be limited to 50% of … Continue reading

The impact of COVID-19 on anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures

Whilst the world deals with the challenge of COVID-19, an equally concerning issue is the manner in which this pandemic threatens anti-corruption and anti-bribery efforts for organisations. Appropriate measures must be put in place to mitigate corruption and bribery risks. Experience has shown that when there is a global health state of emergency, such as … Continue reading

Fintech innovation hub launched

The financial services regulators launched the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub on 7 April 2020 to respond to changes in the financial sector driven by fintech. The IFWG seeks to promote responsible innovation in the sector. The Innovation Hub is intended to support the sector in introducing innovations that complement the core mandates … Continue reading

COVID-19 relief for SMMEs in South Africa

Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat because they either cannot operate under the COVID-19 lockdown or the volume of their output has diminished substantially. The SMME Debt Relief Finance Scheme, the South African Future Trust and the Sukuma Relief Programme have been created to assist SMMEs with their difficulties. Many banks are offering clients … Continue reading

South African Post Office is obliged to make address information available during disaster

In terms of section 8.2 of the Electronic, Communications, Postal and Broadcasting Directions, the Minister of Communications has directed that the South African Post Office may make available its national address system and any other applicable database to assist authorities to identify and trace individuals who are infected by COVID-19, and others who have been … Continue reading

Government and banks offer debt relief for businesses affected by COVID-19

As South African businesses suffer the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, small businesses can apply for debt relief from most of the major South African banks and several state programmes. The Department of Small Business has announced multiple interventions to assist small businesses. In addition to tax subsidies and incentives for compliant … Continue reading

COVID-19 and Finance Documents: Clauses to consider

The COVID-19 pandemic affects borrowers and lenders and their financing arrangements. The most significant clause to consider is the Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clause – this clause broadly captures unpredictable and unforeseen events or circumstances that would otherwise be difficult to incorporate into the agreement specifically. Read our article on the impacts of COVID-19 on … Continue reading

COVID-19 and Finance Documents: Could the Material Adverse Effect clause be triggered?

How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect borrowers and lenders and their financing arrangements? A Material Adverse Effect (MAE) clause is included in most finance agreements. It is a catch-all concept to capture unpredictable and unforeseen events or circumstances that would otherwise be difficult to incorporate into the agreement specifically. Broadly, a MAE clause covers a … Continue reading

COVID-19 and the insurance market

Have a listen to my podcast discussion with the editor of Cover magazine on the potential implications of COVID-19 on the insurance industry in South Africa. We discuss business interruption insurance, liability insurance, event cancellations and travel insurance. Where to start in evaluating insurance exposure for brokers, insurers and reinsurers is covered. Traditional business interruption … Continue reading

BEE verification process amended to cater for COVID-19

Like many other changes being experienced by companies as a result of COVID-19, the requirement for an on-site visit as part of the BEE verification process prescribed by the South Africa National Accreditation System (SANAS) has been amended to take into account COVID-19. Prior to COVID-19, SANAS required BEE verification agents to verify and evaluate … Continue reading
LexBlog