At heart an optimist, I hoped that 2020 – the start of a new decade – would bring with it not just promises of opportunities but also tangible change. Thwarted before we began… We returned home from our holiday to no water – a burst water pipe on William Nicol; then at 20:00 no electricity and lo and behold at 08:00 the next morning no electricity – again. Optimism went swiftly down the drain.
Financial institutions, particularly banks, provide specialised services across various markets and perform a critical intermediary function in the economy. The more a bank grows, the more sophisticated it becomes in provision of services and, as a result, it becomes interconnected and entrenched in the country's economy (sometimes even across multi-economies). This could happen through acquisitions, expansion and the scalability of its services in single or multi-jurisdictions. Naturally, the questions that often follow growth are: What would happen if the institution becomes insolvent and is ultimately forced to close shop? What is the impact on the economies in which it operates? What is the impact on consumers, creditors and taxpayers?
With South African SOEs desperately looking for funding, distressed finance is fast becoming a sought after commodity.
The sensational revelations made during the Zondo Commission of Enquiry into Allegations of State Capture, by, inter alia, the former COO of Bosasa, Angelo Agrizzi, shocked the country. Bosasa is now known as the African Global Group; the holding company is African Global Holdings (Pty) Ltd.
The use of humans in experiments has long been the subject matter of ethical debate and, at times, legal action. However, the use of humans in certain experiments can, in certain instances, advance the interests of the greater good of society. Think of the advances that have been made in respect of medical science by the application of controlled clinical trials, and the use to which the information obtained from those trials is ultimately put, in order to advance humankind's knowledge of medical conditions...
It has been over a year since the Constitutional Court legalised the private cultivation, use and possession of Cannabis by an adult for their own consumption. Parliament has 10 months left to rectify the relevant legislation. If it fails to do this, the decision of the highest Court of South Africa will become final.
"Tea from South Africa's rooibos bush will soon be infused with a measure of restorative justice." This neat quote comes from an article in Quartz Africa, 'South Africa's Khoisan community will finally get a share of the commercialization of rooibos', Brian Browdie, 5 November 2019.
Africa is often portrayed by the media as underdeveloped, unsafe and an economic backwater. A simplistic and stereotypical view has been created and it is no surprise that some companies are still sceptical about investing in Africa, whether in tangible or intangible assets. In addition to crime and corruption, which although a reality, occurs globally, poor infrastructure in some African countries leads to further disinclination to invest, resulting in Africa being overlooked.
On 30 October 2018, the Constitutional Court handed down a unanimous judgment in the case of Matshabelle Mary Rahube v Hendsrine Rahube a.o. declaring s2(1) of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act (112 of 1991) (ULTRA) unconstitutional. Predictably, this opened up a can of worms.
It is unusual in today's global arena for high-networth individuals to confine ownership of assets to one jurisdiction. It has become the norm to expand one's asset base across territories around the world. The term "global citizen" is attached not only to the mobility of an individual but also to their assets. This increase in global reach has resulted in added layers of complexity that result from dealing with multiple jurisdictions when passing these assets on to future generations.
In 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) accepted the weight of academic authority which supports the view that once the mortgage bond has been cancelled, and the security ceases to exist, the debt is no longer secured and the extinctive prescription period is then altered from 30 years to three years (Investec Bank v Erf 436 Elandspoort (Pty) Ltd & others  ZASCA 128). The court effectively accepted that the loss of security through cancellation of the bond may have a bearing on the character of the debt. This proposition is, however, no longer good law.
The CPA has a lofty purpose: to promote and advance social and economic welfare of South African consumers. It aims to do so by promoting fair business practices, protecting consumers from unconscionable conduct and unfair, unreasonable or unjust business practices. Despite being in force for some time, there have not been many issues which have faced the courts and thus the CPA has not had the benefit of much legal interpretation. This is slowly changing.
We are firmly in the era of the internet, social media and the diminished individual privacy that comes with it. When relationships sour, or when the media gets wind of the existence of certain relationships, private sexual photographs and videos can become available to millions of people for whom they were neither created nor intended. Recent amendments to our legislation look to curb this.
In cases where an employee commits a delict whilst solely or partially about the business of the employer, the application of the principle of vicarious liability generally presents no problem. Difficulties arise when the employee commits an intentional wrong, entirely for his or her own purposes; these are called deviation cases. In this event, it is necessary to define which acts fall within an employee's 'scope of employment'.