View Post

Cartel conduct now a criminal activity

The South African Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, announced last month that any cartel conduct, including price fixing, market allocation and collusive tendering, now constitutes criminal activity. The amendments to the Competition Act giving effect to this announcement came into effect on 1 May 2016. The effect of the amendment is that any person who participates in cartel conduct …

View Post

Draft International Arbitration Bill Published- could South Africa become the venue for international arbitrations?

On 28 April 2016, the Government Gazette published the draft International Arbitration Bill and its explanatory memorandum. The Bill is due to be introduced to Parliament and if it becomes an Act, it will replace the old Arbitration Act and will govern all international arbitrations seated in South Africa. This will include commercial and investment arbitrations. The Arbitration Act, however, …

View Post

SCA rules that courts have a discretion to order the demolition of unauthorised/illegal building works on application by a neighbour

BSB International Link CC owned a property in Parkmore, Gauteng and its neighbour, Readam South Africa (Pty) Ltd, had a problem with the building works that BSB had undertaken. Readam argued that BSB proceeded without the prior approval of building plans by the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (the municipality) as required by the National Building Regulations and Building Standards …

View Post

Is this transaction protected under Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008?

Often a question posed as the weary consumer, but are you getting the right answer? Today’s scenario: You wish to enter into an Installment Sale Agreement to purchase a new car. The seller and/or institution, who is assisting with the closing, advises that the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and the consumers related rights provided therein are applicable to …

View Post

The compensation ordered for the developer of ‘please call me’ a reminder to companies to regulate internal intellectual property policies

The Constitutional Court recently handed down judgment in the case concerning the compensation for the use of the idea of developing the Please Call Me messaging system for Vodacom, which resulted in generating billions of rands. Mr. Makate –who claims he developed the mechanism – was a trainee accountant employed by Vodacom during 2000 when he was involved in a …

View Post

Enforcing a South African maintenance order in a foreign country

The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act allows a parent living in South Africa to claim maintenance from a parent living in a foreign country and vice versa. South Africa, however, only has reciprocal enforcement agreements with Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cocoa Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Jersey, Isle of Man, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, New …

Environmental licenses and permits now automatically available to the public

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has recently made environmental licenses automatically available to the public. Unlike the previous position, licenses will now become available without having to submit a request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). This announcement from the DEA came after the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) pushed to have environmental licences …

The Copyright Infringement Judgment – Moneyweb v Fin24

Judgment was recently granted out of the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) in favour of Moneyweb against Fin24 for copyright infringement. The court found that three of the seven articles published by Fin24, were in part original works of Moneyweb and that Moneyweb had shown that one of the articles had in fact infringed Moneyweb’s copyright. Where the articles fell short …

ARIPO Developments

There are currently 19 States which are party to the Lusaka Agreement and therefore members of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO). These are: Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ARIPO patents, utility models and industrial designs are governed by …

The constitutional right to emergency medical treatment

Last year, the Constitutional Court (CC) highlighted the importance of the constitutional right to emergency medical treatment. The case involved a 17 year old boy who had experienced serious spinal cord injuries whilst playing rugby. The hospital that first assessed the boy did not have the facilities to treat him and so he was eventually transferred to a larger hospital …

FWB Associate, Brittany Badham-Thornhill, provides some wisdom on wills on personal finance and insurance website Hippo.co.za

Brittany Badham-Thornhill recently contributed to an article entitled “Write a Will and Protect Your Legacy” on personal finance and insurance website, Hippo.co.za. Here are some excerpts from the article: “Unlike things like Life Insurance and Funeral Cover policies, you don’t have to be over 18 to draw up a will to determine what happens to your belongings when you pass …

Fairbridges Wertheim Becker: Terralex’s exclusive South African Member Firm

TerraLex is one of the world’s leading international legal networks. With more than 155 top independent law firms and more than 17,000 attorneys in 100 countries, TerraLex members provide the legal resources and expertise needed to conduct seamless business worldwide. Membership is by invitation only and requires a careful review process. Terralex members are well recognised and respected in their …

SARS Tax Clearance Certificates

A new tax clearance system is to be rolled out by SARS. This new system is said to improve efficiency and assist both the taxpayer and third parties to check the compliance status of the taxpayer. The taxpayer will no longer need to attend at a SARS Branch to collect tax clearance certificates, and this should ease up the queues! …

The battle between Apple and Samsung continues

Apple initially claimed that Samsung had infringed eight of its software patents (for example, the ‘slide-to-unlock’ feature) and claimed US$2.2 billion in damages. Apple was awarded US$120 million to be paid by Samsung in lieu of damages but in February this year the US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling stating that Samsung need not pay any infringement damages …

Raising a workplace dispute at the CCMA

If you have been unfairly suspended or dismissed; are in a dispute with your employer over working conditions, wages, workplace changes; or have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment or violence at the workplace, you may approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The CCMA is an independent dispute resolution body established in terms of the Labour Relations Act (LRA). …

Prescription: use it or lose it

Prescription is the process by which legal rights are lost as a result of a failure to take action over a period of time. Prescription is regulated primarily by the Prescription Act 68 of 1969. It is generally accepted that the purpose of prescription is to provide certainty, especially in the case of debtors, and to encourage members of the public to actively …

Fairbridges Wertheim Becker at the University of the Western Cape Career Fair

Fairbridges Wertheim Becker was one of the law firms that attended the University of the Western Cape Career Fair on Tuesday 19 April. It was an exciting day speaking to law students about their studies, legal practice and working at Fairbridges Wertheim Becker. We wish you well for your studies and future legal careers. The closing date for 2017 candidate …