PAPERLESS OFFICE – WHAT CAN I SIGN ELECTRONICALLY?
For the purposes of concluding contracts electronically and the growth of e-commerce, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (‘ECTA’) that came into force on 30 August 2002, is of major significance. ECTA makes provision for the recognition and regulation of electronic commerce and its provisions deal specifically with how, when and where an agreement concluded electronically, comes into existence. In so doing, ECTA made electronic signatures legal in 2002.
INJURED IN A ROAD ACCIDENT?
Road traffic accidents are generally thought of as incidents that happen to people other than ourselves. However, statistics show that this is not the case in South Africa. Even if you are a safe driver, statistics have reflected that reckless and negligent driving are common place in South Africa and you could be the innocent victim of such driving.
CHANGES TO OUR COURTS: THE CONSTITUTION 17TH AMENDMENT ACT
Parliament recently passed the 17th Constitutional Amendment Act by more than the required two-thirds majority. The new law entrenches the Constitutional Court as the highest Court in the land, while ensuring that the Supreme Court of Appeal’s role is not reduced to a shadow of what it used to be. Let’s have a look at the changes.
CONVERTING SHAREBLOCK TO SECTIONAL TITLE: IS IT A GOOD IDEA?
Recent amendments to the Transfer Duty Act grant a transfer duty exemption when shareblock holding is converted to sectional title ownership. This financial benefit re-opens many shareblock holders’ deliberations as to whether conversion is the route to go. A brief comparison between the rights conferred in each instance will help one to come to a decision.
25 July 2013
SECURITY GUARDS’ DUTIES TO PROTECT YOU & YOUR HOME – TO WHAT EXTENT?
In a recent judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Court investigated the question whether a private security guard company can be held liable for a client’s damages that arose after its employee allowed robbers entry to that client’s family home, believing them to be police officers. Our law acknowledges that in such a relationship, the guard has a duty of care with regard to the client, his home and property; but what is the extent of this duty?
DIVORCE: MAINTAINING MAINTENANCE
Years in practice has shown that in many instances, a divorced client’s difficulties do not cease after the divorce order has been granted. For a while, the waters may be calm, but clients who are still connected to their former spouse, whether when paying maintenance or during contact visits with minors, often experience the need to again obtain legal advice. This arises most often as a result of a former spouse not paying maintenance or failing to adhere to the agreed periodical maintenance increases.
27 June 2013
THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS – A PERILOUS JOURNEY!
Much has been made of the perceived power that employees wield in the workplace. We find this most evident in the disciplinary process where the danger of a punitive reaction from the CCMA, the relevant Bargaining Council or even the Labour Courts, remains a constant threat. A ‘flawed’ process to dismiss or even discipline an employee could result in a protracted legal battle in the established courts and governing bodies.
CONSIDERING DIVORCE – BUT HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
When someone anticipates a divorce, there are time and again a multitude of questions that arise. We have therefore summarised some of the most often encountered questions (and answers) that clients initially ask, so that you are conscious of the background to the process should you consider this step.
26 April 2013
YOUR WILL: COMPLYING WITH THE LAW IS NOT CHILD’S PLAY
The recent case of VM Smith v SP Sampson and another, where the testator’s supposed last will and testament was not signed at all, again highlights the importance of one’s will being prepared by a professional person having expertise in the field of succession law. In this article, we shed light on the more commonly encountered errors and irregularities presented to our courts and the possible serious and often expensive repercussions.
CAN X BE LIABLE FOR THE TAX DEBT OF Y?
Can a director, shareholder, member or representative taxpayer of a company be held personally liable for the tax debts of an entity? Or for that matter, can any person be held personally liable for the tax debts of another person or entity that is owing to the fiscus? Previous inconsistencies between provisions in the various tax Acts dealing with the recovery of taxes have now been resolved in the Tax Administration Act. Let’s take a look.
28 March 2013
TRANSACTIONS WITH CLOSE CORPORATIONS – BEWARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEREGISTRATION
Part 2 of our new series
Of late, the alarming numbers of Close Corporations being deregistered by the Company and Intellectual Property Commission, have received increased attention in the media. Apart from having adverse effects on the close corporation’s assets and activities, it places creditors of the corporation at a disadvantage, unless precautions were put in place. Let us explain.
LAUNCHING COMPETITIONS TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS – WHAT THE CPA SAYS
If you are in any way involved with the running, promoting or sponsoring of a promotional competition, you are ‘a promoter’ for purposes of the Consumer Protection Act. This means that you must comply with the Act’s requirements relating to information to be furnished to participants, the detail to be included in the competition rules and the storing of information and documentation after the competition has been finalised. Find out what is required in order to be compliant and avoid incurring the penalties for non-compliance.
28 February 2013
NOT JUST AN ATM: A FATHER’S RIGHTS IN RESPECT OF HIS CHILD
Many clients approach our offices for information on the rights of unwed biological fathers towards their children. Since the repeal of the Natural Fathers of Children born out of Wedlock Act, which dealt with the rights and responsibilities of unmarried fathers, many fathers feel that they have been left in a parenting purgatory. The belief often exists that the mother is the automatic “custodian” of the children born from their relationship and the sole holder of rights. Is this so?
IMPACT OF THE NEW COMPANIES ACT ON THE CLOSE CORPORATIONS ACT
Part 1 of our new series
Contrary to what many people believe, the new Companies Act has not repealed the Close Corporations Act. The new Companies Act has, however, repealed certain provisions of the Close Corporations Act and amended certain others. Subject to these amendments, the Close Corporations Act continues to exist and will now be administered by the Commissioner of the CIPC. What are the important changes members of close corporations must know of?