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New credit provider registration threshold set at nil as from 11 November 2016

Under the National Credit Act, credit providers that have a total principal debt owed to them exceeding R 500 000.00, under all outstanding credit agreements (other than incidental credit agreements), must register as a credit provider. Last month, however, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, announced that as from 11 November 2016, the new credit provider registration …

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Adwords battle comes to an end

The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed security fencing company Cochrane Steel’s appeal to overturn the high court judgment on South Africa’s first Google Adwords case last week confirming that the use of a trade mark as a keyword in a Google Adwords system does not constitute unlawful competition or passing off. The high court was faced with the case involving …

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Protecting yourself from that pesky online harasser

In today’s digital age, experiencing online harassment and cyberbullying is as common as catching a cold during winter. The Protection Against Harassment Act provides recourse to individuals who experience online and other forms of harassment. Harassment includes a broad spectrum of conduct including the following: watching, pursuing or accosting, loitering outside of or near the building where one lives, works, …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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! …