Insights

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Insights

Mar 31, 2022

Human biological specimens and POPIA

How medical institutions and research facilities should treat human biological specimens in light of POPIA: Part 2 In part 1 of this article series, we identified that human biological specimens can find application in terms of POPIA under certain circumstances. To the extent that human biological specimens do find application in terms of POPIA, it is important that medical institutions and medical research facilities who process human biological specimens do so in line with POPIA. The definiti ...


Mar 18, 2022

Does POPIA regulate DNA processing?

How medical institutions and research facilities should treat human biological specimens in light of POPIA: Part 1 With the enactment of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”), a fundamental question is posed for medical institutions and medical research facilities in South Africa – does a human’s biological specimen fall within the scope and ambit of POPIA which requires such institutions and facilities to process such specimens in accordance with the principles of POPIA ...


Jan 31, 2022

Damned if you don't vaccinate: the CCMA considers mandatory vaccinations

In this article, our employment team briefly canvasses two recent CCMA awards dealing with the contentious issue of workplace vaccinations In the last week two CCMA awards have been issued and widely disseminated relating generally to the issue of mandatory workplace vaccinations. In both awards, the respective CCMA Commissioners have, in very broad terms, upheld what are seen to be “mandatory” workplace vaccination policies and practices. Proponents for and objectors to mandatory workplace va ...


Jan 20, 2022

Facebook and the Right to Privacy

The Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) recently dealt with the tension between the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression in the matter of Bool Smuts and another v Herman Botha. The SCA made significant findings in this regard, namely that whilst the publication of personal information is generally protected by the right to privacy, in certain instances the right to freedom of expression outweighs the right to privacy. In considering the issues before it the SCA had to make an enqu ...


Jan 13, 2022

Competition Commission keeps its eye on school uniforms

On 10 January 2022, the Competition Commission released a media statement it termed “a call to action” for schools, school bodies and parents regarding the procurement of school uniforms. For some time, the procurement of school uniforms has been on the Commission’s radar for its potential anti-competitive effects. The Commission urged the school community to adhere to the following principles with regards to the supply of school of uniforms: the design should be as generic as possible with only ...


Dec 06, 2021

Directors serve at the pleasure of the shareholders

In August 2021, the High Court in Miller v Natmed Defence (Pty) Ltd and others (18245/2019) [2021] ZAGPJHC 352 handed down a decision reaffirming the position that directors serve at the behest of the shareholders which elected them. To this end, the Court highlighted that shareholders may decide to remove a director without having to give reasons for such decision. This judgment further cements the prevailing position of shareholders and their powers relating to directors. In this case, a dir ...


Dec 01, 2021

The cannabis industry in South Africa: how does one enter the market?

In the first quarter of 2021, Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza stated that she wants to pave the way for the industrialisation and commercialisation of cannabis as a way to boost the economy. Such a stance inevitably sparks talk of creating economic growth, job creation and even the reduction of unemployment. It is evident that in recent years, the cannabis industry worldwide has grown rapidly as a multi-billion dollar sector. With this much reform has develop ...


Nov 18, 2021

Competition authorities and their duty to the Constitution

On 15 October 2021 the Constitutional Court delivered a precedent setting judgement on the role of the competition authorities in promoting and protecting cornerstone socio-economic rights contained in the Constitution. The judgement in question, Competition Commission of South Africa v Mediclinic Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd and Another, concerning the proposed acquisition by Mediclinic of two private hospitals in the Potchefstroom/Klerksdorp region. Upon consideration of the merger, the Competiti ...


Oct 22, 2021

Cryptocurrency cross-border arbitrage may breach exchange control regulations

With reference to recent articles discussing Standard Bank terminating accounts of several clients offering automated cryptocurrency arbitrage services, we highlight a few kew points on the matter in this post. The South African Reserve Bank's position is simple: The Exchange Control Regulations prohibit transactions where capital or the right to capital is, without permission from National Treasury, directly or indirectly exported from South Africa. This includes transactions where an individu ...


Oct 22, 2021

Declaring Force Majeure: Be aware of potential consequences

Transnet has declared its second force majeure since July. The event triggering the declaration was a fire that occurred on its conveyor belts at the Richard's Bay port (one of three in the last three weeks) which is reported to have lasted 5 hours. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Declaring force majeure has far reaching consequences at various levels which can include the cancellation of contracts. It is therefore important to ensure that all affected parties are aware of t ...


Oct 12, 2021

An update to the South Africa-Netherlands double tax agreement

You will often hear the saying that Amsterdam is the new London, referring to the tendency of South African-born Millennials to prefer the City of Sin to the capital of the British Empire, with the latter having been the preferred choice of a previous generation (the lesser-known generation X) upon expanding their horizons abroad. The rationale for the shift to Amsterdam as a preferred destination of Millennials extends far beyond the scope of the Dutch culture, ease of travel from Schiphol int ...


Oct 06, 2021

Business Rescue: sooner rather than later — here’s why

With so many businesses facing financial distress as a consequence of the economic fall out of the past 18 months brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are opting for the protective moratorium of ‘Business Rescue Proceedings'. While it is the business rescue proceedings of high-profile companies and state-owned enterprises which are widely reported in the media, between April and October 2020 some 230 South African companies embarked on the process. With the ultimate goal to reorganise an ...


Sep 27, 2021

Africa’s agribusiness sector is poised for growth

Against the backdrop of the recent ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which potentially makes Africa the largest free trade area in the world, the continent’s agribusiness sector has caught the attention of global investors. It produces a variety of globally in-demand products, including cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, tea from Kenya, maize and rice from Nigeria, vanilla from Madagascar, and fruit from South Africa – to name just a few. The numbers on the contin ...


Sep 20, 2021

COMESA shows it means business

In a first for cross-border merger regulation in Africa, a fine has been issued by the COMESA Competition Commission (Commission) for the failure to notify a merger within the prescribed timelines. In the proposed acquisition by Helios Towers Limited of the shares in Madagascar Towers S.A and Malawi Towers Limited, the parties were fined 0.05% of their combined turnover for the 2020 Financial Year for failing to notify the acquisition to the Commission within the prescribed 30 day period from t ...


Sep 14, 2021

POPIA versus the Companies Act

Who rules the roost on access to and protection of personal information relating to shareholders and directors? Section 26(1) of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (“Companies Act”), provides that – a person who holds or has a beneficial interest in any securities issued by a profit company, or who is a member of a non-profit company, has a right to inspect and copy the information contained in the records of the company and which information may include, inter alia, the company’s memorandum of incor ...


Sep 09, 2021

SHE update on Asbestos Abatement Regulations

Andersen in South Africa’s Safety Health and Environmental team recently hosted an online Coffee Chat with key clients and stakeholders in the mining sector to discuss, amongst others, recent amendments to the Asbestos Abatement Regulations. The team of James Cross, Melissa Grobbelaar and Liezl Sterne wrapped up the event with answers to questions from guests, which summarise some of the key highlights of changes made. Changes to the Asbestos Abatement Regulations One of the primary changes to ...


Aug 05, 2021

Thomson Reuters Practical Law: Establishing a business in South Africa

This guide provides an overview of the key issues in establishing a business in South Africa, including an introduction to the legal system; the available business vehicles and their applicable formalities; corporate governance structures and requirements; foreign investment incentives and restrictions; currency regulations; and tax and employment issues. In this guide, Thomson Reuters Practical Law: Establishing a business in South Africa, we look at: The basis of South Africa's legal systemMai ...


Jul 27, 2021

Treasury comes off the bench to assist SASRIA

In Sunday evening’s address, President Ramaphosa highlighted that we are one of the few nations that have a state-owned insurance fund, South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA). This fund is utilised to cover claims for damage caused by politically driven riots, strikes and public unrest. The President stated that businesses that are insured and were victim to the looting over the last few weeks will be covered by SASRIA. The President further claimed that SASRIA will be collab ...


Jul 26, 2021

The latest COVID-19 TERS benefit extension: who qualifies and how

In this alert, we broadly outline the recent developments concerning the COVID-19 TERS benefit, which has been extended for certain employees, and which benefit will now be paid directly to employees. On Thursday, 15 July 2021, the Minister of Employment and Labour, issued a new directive extending the UIF COVID-19 TERS Benefits (“Benefit”) to certain categories of employees. This is a welcome development particularly in light of recent events in South Africa which have highlighted the devasta ...


Jul 22, 2021

Initially confident SASRIA may need help from Treasury

As a result of the recent looting, destruction of property and criminal activities primarily in KwaZulu Natal and parts of Gauteng, business owners are surely turning to their insurers to help them recover the costs of their losses, and to chart a way forward. The South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA) has confirmed that it holds sufficient funding to cover claims allowed for in its scope, with every insurance policy in South Africa – whether personal or business – including ...


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