May has been an interesting month – the first 100 days in the hot seat for President Ramaphosa, S&P Global Ratings affirmed South Africa's sub-investment grade credit rating but kept its stable outlook, and decidedly less positive – the release of the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking and the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Index 2017-2018.
Infrastructure is a critical element for the delivery of public services and economic development. Infrastructure contributes to the development of the private sector which, in turn, provides the majority of economic growth through the creation of jobs, and increase in profits leading to an increase in government tax revenues. The higher the growth rates, the better the economic development. Some studies even suggest that an additional 2% GDP growth as well as a 40% increase in productivity in Africa could have been realised if adequate infrastructure had been in place.
South African businesses must be more proactive in fighting fraud and corruption: they are not immune to their devastating consequences. Nowadays they are under threat from a host of risks, including procurement fraud and cybercrime. It is critical for business to fully understand the risks they face, and to be proactive in trying to mitigate them.
It was surprising to see how quickly various people not only criticised but also condemned the management of a large mining house after the tragic accident in which seven persons died after 13 miners were trapped following seismic activity. This condemnation must be seen in context – the cause of the accident, which may be the result of natural phenomena, has yet to be determined.
The Competition Act is first and foremost national in its focus. This is clear from its objects set out in the Preamble and Purpose. Although the Act makes reference to "international law obligations, participation in world markets and the role of foreign competition in the Republic", in looking at the role of South Africa in competition law's global village, the key is not to be found in that language but rather in the continuing development and application of South Africa's competition policy.
Why the Competition Tribunal is well-placed to hear expert economic evidence concurrently On 29 January, the Competition Tribunal heard expert evidence from two economists in the matter of Timrite (Pty) Ltd and The Mining Bag Division of Tufbag (Pty) Ltd (IM100Jul17) (Timrite/Tufbag). During the hearing, experts testified concurrently and asked questions of each other directly. While testifying concurrently, the experts were also able to answer the same question from the Tribunal at the same time. This was the first time the Tribunal had implemented such a procedure but it seems that concurrent expert evidence is gaining traction as it is being piloted in other matters as well.
The non-variation clause is generally viewed as a standard provision which is found in most written contracts. Like other standard contractual provisions, the non-variation clause is often copied and pasted from one agreement to another. This article intends to illustrate how case law has influenced the manner in which non-variation clauses are interpreted and drafted, which includes considering the influences of the Shifren Principle and the application of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 (ECTA).
Prior to the prohibition of registering new close corporations and the conversion of companies to close corporations imposed by the Companies Act (71 of 2008), close corporations proved a popular entity among entrepreneurs due to the ease of conducting business under this structure.
The recent listeriosis outbreak, implicating Tiger Brands, highlights product liability risks for South African manufacturers. The listeriosis outbreak has led to over 180 deaths so far. Approximately 1 000 individuals reported that they had become ill after consuming contaminated food. Tiger Brands is now faced with a class action suit brought against it by the victims of the listeriosis outbreak.
"One cannot stand still in a moving river" – I used this Chinese proverb in the feature on the changing legal landscape carried in without prejudice March 2013 and it remains equally true five years on. Things have changed considerably, both globally and in South Africa.
For many in the world of attorneys in South Africa, 2013 was expected to be the start of a landmark five years – and so it proved to be.
As anticipated, many international firms have entered the South African space and have made their presence felt. South African lawyers continue to be highly regarded and, regardless of whether they joined international firms or stayed with South African firms, practitioners have all been up to the challenge.
Ideally, I'd like Meredith Grey to narrate my first few sentences. She would start so: "Medicine is a demanding mistress. Need proof? Ask anyone who has ever tried to go on a date with a doctor." Here Meredith's voice would give way to the Ingrid Michaelson song, All Love, and the frame would open on a beautiful Cape Town cityscape and then cut to me, sitting alone, at a desk within a big law firm.
My origins are humble. I come from a very small town in KZN and naturally there was doubt about my abilities during my degree.Would I be good enough to operate at the high levels of a "Big Law Firm", especially in a city like Johannesburg? The tentative doubt of inexperience was ramped up when, in third year (to my amazement), I was offered articles at Hogan Lovells. Added to the unknown were the first-hand accounts from those that knew a bit. I heard horror stories from other students of the suffering and hardships of doing articles at the bigger law firms.