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Transformation of Parental Leave in South Africa

On the 27 November 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa signed various amendments to labour legislation into law. These amendments have introduced additional parental leave benefits for fathers, adoptive parents as well as commissioning parents and have effect from 1 January 2019 in terms of the Labour Laws Amendment Act. Section 25A was inserted, amongst others, into of The Basic Conditions of …

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Changing the face of Contractual Agreements

Section 11 (1) of ECTA provides that: ‘Information is not without legal force and effect merely on the grounds that it is wholly or partly in the form of a data message.’ This is a simple sentence but has given a new dimension to contractual agreements as we know them. This section effectively means that data messages are not excluded …

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Do you have a right to a view?

The increase of state regulation and adjudication of neighbour disputes about building works has now migrated from the private law context of reasonableness to the public law context of legality. The consequence of this shift is that any and all building works first need to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements before reasonableness is considered in terms of any impact …

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Waging War on Bad Wages: The New National Minimum Wage Act

The new National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018 (NMWA) has been in the pipeline for quite some time and was finally signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa coming, into effect on 01 January 2019. The Act seeks to address unfair labour practices and implements a new minimum wage for the following: Ordinary-hour workers are entitled to R20 per …

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Whose responsibility is it to verify that a water meter is working correctly?

In the 2016 case of Euphorbia (Pty) Ltd t/a Gallagher Estates v City of Johannesburg, the City of Johannesburg (“the City“) instituted action against Euphorbia for arrears in respect of water supply, effluent and incidental charges derived from water meter readings. The City had installed a new water meter to measure the water consumption at Gallagher Estates premises. The meter …

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TerraLex Partners with HighQ to Enhance Members’ Ability to Collaborate

Fairbridges Wertheim Becker is the exclusive South African member of the global network of independent law firms TerraLex. TerraLex has announced its recent partnership with HighQ, a leading tech company providing a range of solutions to help law firms solve real business problems through higher levels of collaboration.  The network has partnered with HighQ to drive even more innovation for member …

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When humour steps on legal toes

On a daily basis, people of all age groups, and in particular the youth, spend time during their day looking at and sharing images containing humorous catch phrases on social media. These images are popularly referred to as memes and, while they are predominantly used for entertainment purposes, these images have potential advertising value due to their popularity. Before businesses …

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Evicting a Tenant? Not so Fast!

Whilst it is accepted law that a landlord is entitled to give a commercial property tenant only one month’s notice to vacate the premises where the tenancy has continued by agreement on a month-to-month basis following the lapsing of the original agreement, the Johannesburg High Court recently set out the circumstances where, and for how long, the eviction from commercial property can …

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Boardroom Battles – When Shareholders fall out.

The Johannesburg High Court has set out the duties of directors of a company where the only two shareholders locked horns in dispute with each other. An application made by the majority shareholder (60%) was met by a counter-application by the minority shareholder (40%). The two had clearly fallen out, were involved in other litigation against each other, and did …

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Fairbridges Wertheim Becker: Breaking News

TerraLex world-wide network of independent law firms selected as Global Network of the Year 2018. Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, exclusive South African member since 1999 of the international network of independent law firms TerraLex, is delighted to announce that TerraLex has been chosen as Global Network of the Year 2018 at the annual European Awards dinner in London of the prestige …

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Fairbridges Wertheim Becker ranked top law firm in the Western Cape Province

The independent rating agency PMR.africa (Professional Management Review) has announced that Fairbridges Wertheim Becker has earned the 2018 Diamond Arrow Award for achieving the highest rating of 4.21 out of a possible 5.00 (84.2%) for law firms in the Western Cape Province.         The independent research process using demanding criteria surveyed a random provincial sample of 170 respondents comprising CEO’s, MD’s, business …

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Risk and Reward: Duties and Obligations of Financial Service Providers

The High Court has ordered a financial adviser to pay back to her the R2 million a widow invested on his advice, plus interest and costs, because he failed to exercise the reasonable standard of care and skill expected of someone in his position engaged to provide the relevant services. A widow in the Free State Province, who had lost her husband …

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Droughts and Floods – what a local municipality must do

While the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces suffer the ravages of climate change as water resources dry out, in other areas of South Africa flooding causes its own havoc. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in the East Rand, Gauteng, has been ordered by the Johannesburg High Court to take immediate action to remedy, rectify and rehabilitate a river course to prevent and mitigate flooding to …

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No smoke without fire: We review Dr John Grogan’s third edition of his important employment law book Dismissal

DISMISSAL (Third Edition) By John Grogan (805 pages) Juta & Co (Pty) Ltd www.jutalaw.co.za “Even I regained my freedom with a sigh.” – Lord Byron (1788 – 1824) In American television reality shows “You’re fired” is usually uttered with much more intent than “You’re hired.” Dictionaries define the verb “fire” as “to ignite; to cause to explode; to expose to heat; to …

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Criminal Procedure Legislative Guide by Juta Law Editors- Reviewed by FWB’s Louis Rood

Primarily aimed at students of criminal procedure, this comprehensive guide to the legislation framing criminal procedure in South Africa will also be welcomed by legal practitioners, judicial officers, law enforcement officials and crime investigators. It forms the fourth leg of the table with publisher Juta’s encompassing titles on every aspect of criminal procedure, the other three being: Criminal Procedure Handbook (12th …

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Law of Persons Sourcebook by Trynie Boezaart- Reviewed by FWB’s Louis Rood

The law relating to persons in South Africa, in all its complexity, diversity and intricacy has undergone significant constitutional reform, and continues to develop and respond to present-day cultural and societal changes. This is reflected in both case law and statutory enactments as our courts and legislators wrestle to get to grips with constantly unfolding and evolving dynamics in this …

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Criminal Procedure Handbook by J.J. Joubert- Reviewed by FWB’s Louis Rood

This comprehensive introduction to the fundamental principles and values underlying the rules that apply in criminal cases is an indispensable guide to this area of law. The authors set the context: “Crime is a reality of life, especially in South Africa; and each country needs rules, principles, mechanisms and state structures to prevent, detect, cope with and control criminal behaviour. Criminal procedural rules …