South Africa is in the fifth month of lockdown. The country has been affected not only by a spiralling economy and all the legalities that come with that, but also a raft of seemingly inconsistent and ill-considered 'rules' and regulations – one of which only came into being after the ban was announced.
COVID-19 has brought with it some legal developments in South Africa. Along with citizens navigating nationwide lockdowns, prohibitions and curfews, competition authorities also find themselves in uncharted territory. The Competition Tribunal has, to date, heard and delivered judgment on two COVID-19 related excessive pricing matters. These matters have introduced a new concept into the South African competition law landscape: "price gouging".
The South African Competition Tribunal recently found a firm guilty of abusing its dominance. The firm was a small trader with a market share of 4.7%. The illegal conduct comprised excessive pricing of face masks for a period of just over one month. The investigation, prosecution and adjudication took less than three months. The fine was R76 040.
Recent developments signal increased risk for cartel participants around the world
The scope of enforcement of competition law is rapidly expanding across the world. Regulatory bodies are being afforded the ability to prosecute more instances of competition law violations and severe sanctions are being imposed on cartel participants.
Minerals Council South Africa v Minister of Mineral Resources and Another (20341/19; 43806/19)  ZAGPPHC 301
I confess; I do not regard YouTube as a source of entertainment. Unfortunately, our 10-year-old does (I blame Minecraft and Fortnite). Because we believe our children should be allowed to explore and learn autonomously, we try not to interfere with their journeys down various curiosity rabbit holes. We do, however, keep an eye on what they are reading, listening to, or watching. Unfortunately, this means spending some time watching YouTube streamers do what they do best; scream and yell in abbreviated jargon while playing online games.
The concept of vicarious liability has received increased judicial attention in the past few months. Traditionally, vicarious liability referred to an employer's liability for the wrongful acts or omissions of its employee committed within the course and scope of their employment. More recently, this notion has been expanded to include circumstances where an employee's wrongful acts or omissions were perpetrated while they are engaged in an activity reasonably incidental to their employment.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, there have been far more Gazettes issued than during any other period in our democratic history. One of the pieces of legislation that has arrested the attention of all South Africans is the Disaster Management Act (57 of 2002) owing to the many revisions that have been issued to the Act's guidelines.
University technology start-up companies have the advantage of kick-starting business with valuable intellectual property (IP) assets, a privilege very few start-ups have. Other than this, University start-ups are faced with the same challenges any start-up would have, and probably have the additional disadvantage that very few professors are born businessmen.
In this article we discuss an interesting piece entitled "A Shortage of Product Packaging During WWII Led to the Birth of Hermès' Famous Orange Color Mark" that appeared in the US publication, The Fashion Law, on 22 May. The title almost, but not quite, says it all.
Providing funds is a risk – albeit calculated – at the best of times. It is unlikely that any institutions foresaw a world in lockdown, with an already stuttering economy facing an increasingly uncertain future, Fitch's GDP forecast of minus 5.5% for South Africa is a concern for all, not least the financial institutions.
Sustainable lending (also known as green finance) is a financial product which has gained traction internationally over the past few years as a response by market participants to the convergence of for-profit capitalism and non-profit charitable endeavours. Recent developments have shown that investors now actively seek performance with greater social impact and need not sacrifice returns for increased social value. Furthermore, studies have shown that companies that focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics and policies are able to increase their profitability (and are hence better able to repay their debt).
In the past, townships have not been considered as business sectors and are often overlooked when calculating the overall wealth in the country. However, this sector has slowly been developing and providing work to the unemployed. Township businesses are mostly informal and unregulated, but this does not detract from the fact that most are actually thriving. The growth that these informal businesses could experience through development could be phenomenal. There are many initiatives in place to aid this development, however, the informal sector is large and, therefore, these initiatives cannot aid all businesses at an accelerated speed.
The collapse of the global financial markets, and the threat of a major global economic recession, have radically altered the backdrop of Africa's economic woes, which were looming even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is wildlife crime?
Although there is no universal definition of wildlife crime, it is considered to be a subset of environmental crime, encompassing any criminal violation of a national or international law designed to protect wildlife. Therefore, wildlife crime can refer to a range of acts, such as poaching, illicit processing, transportation, import, export, sale, purchase, or possession of wild fauna or flora in contravention of national or international regulations. Wildlife crime activities can involve illegal products, illegal acts conducted in protected areas and/or illegal practices that have a significant impact on the environment.