March 2018


Editor's Note - March 2018 Editor's Note March 2018

February is always a special month at Gleason Publications. The Awards of our sister publication, DealMakers, are made to the tombstone parties of M&A and general corporate finance transactions at our glittering Gala Awards dinner.

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A deeply flawed social security measure Pension Law March 2018

South Africa enjoys one of the highest rates of occupational retirement funding "coverage" of formal sector employees in the world, despite the fact that most employers are not required by law to enrol their employees in occupational retirement funds. Of the approximately five million members of occupational retirement funds in 2012, approximately one million belonged to pension or provident funds established in terms of bargaining council agreements. In terms of the Labour Relations Act, 1995, these are binding on not only the employers and employees represented by parties to those agreements, but also on other employees within the scope of defined "bargaining units" in the industry and their employers.

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How do you classify cryptocurrency as an investment? Financial Law March 2018

Last year, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies sparked a modern gold rush spurred on by stories of individual investors making millions in a short period. The desire to get rich quickly encouraged every man on the street to own a virtual wallet to buy cryptocurrencies and saw the advent of many new cryptocurrencies. This mad rush also led to regulators scrambling to establish some form of regulation for cryptocurrencies as an investment, if only for tax purposes.

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Price regulation in the South African banking industry Accounting March 2018

In 2009, the Competition Commission conducted a commission of enquiry into retail banking fees. The enquiry was the result of a research report which found, inter alia, that it may be the case that bank fees have less to do with the cost of the national payment system and more to do with the market power of big banks setting fees. Retail banking fees were believed to be too high and not transparent to the consumer. The Competition Commission did not find evidence of collusion or inflated prices in the banking sector. The enquiry did not result in price regulation being imposed in the retail banking sector. Since the 2009 enquiry, there have been numerous regulatory developments in the financial sector which indicate this may change in future.

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Bros before bows Accounting March 2018

Gender inequality is not a myth. In 1919, after the First World War, the protection of women and the principle of equal remuneration for equal value were highlighted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as areas that needed immediate attention.

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A step towards electronic conveyancing Property Law March 2018

A significant step towards electronic conveyancing will be proposed during the first quarter of 2018 when the Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill [B 35-2017] is introduced in the National Assembly. The Bill was published by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform on 7 December 2017 and is essentially enabling legislation to develop an electronic deeds registration system.

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Tales from the US of A . . . - March 2018 Accounting March 2018

Judge tells juror God told him accused isn't guilty

A judge in Texas entered the jury room while the jurors were deliberating and said God told him to let the jurors know that the accused, Gloria Romero Perez, should not be convicted. The jury had already decided to convict Perez and did so. The accused was charged with continuously trafficking her teenage niece to a much older man.

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The World in February International March 2018

Political changes in the UK - a new political party, Renew, has been set up to overturn Brexit. The party is, apparently, inspired by France's President Macron's party En Marche! and wasfounded by an accountant, a former journalist and a consultant. It plans to contest the local elections which are due to take place in May. Renew has called on MPs across the political spectrum to block any EU withdrawal deal Prime Minister May can strike. Many believe that with three less than unified major parties this could be an oppor- tune moment for a new "centrist" party.

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Drawing the lines on vaping Advertising March 2018

Every month the Advertising Standards Authority shares one of its recent decisions, pointing out why the decision is of specific interest.

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PAJA v legality Administrative Law March 2018

May an organ of state invoke the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 3 of 2000 (PAJA) or the legality review route in seeking to set aside its own decision?

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Don’t punch the chairperson – you may get fired Employment Law March 2018

In dealing with a fair procedure in dismissing an employee, the Code of Good Practice on Dismissal provides for, amongst other things, that the employee is entitled to the assistance of a trade union representative or fellow employee during the disciplinary process. As a result, employees are generally represented by shop stewards of trade unions recognised in the workplace.

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Offensive trademarks v freedom of expression Accounting March 2018

In 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused registration of the word "Slants", which Simon Tam sought to register in relation to his rock band. Tam said that the name (a reference to slanted eyes) was an effort to reclaim a racial epithet for Asians and trans- form a derogatory term into one evoking Asian pride. In June 2017, the US Supreme Court ruled that even trademarks considered to be derogatory deserve freedom of speech protection, and the name was subsequently allowed to proceed to registration. There are fears that this may open the door for people to register more offensive trade marks in future.

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Full stop ahead: public interest in blocking digital content Intellectual Property March 2018

It makes for the perfect ideological storm when IP law and ICT law meet and the right to freedom of expression stands in the way. Capitalist and socialist, activist and pacifist, pragmatist and idealist: differing legal experts abound in the battle for, or against, IP rights in the digital environment.

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Protecting your trade mark in the age of social media Intellectual Property March 2018

The rise of social media over the past two decades has drastically transformed and influenced public engagement, political disclosure and consumer buying decisions across industries. Social media is no longer just about conversations, it is about commerce. Most consumers first vet every purchase through the Internet, from electronics to sports gear.

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Social Media in the Workplace Social Media March 2018

"Facebook is not your friend. It is a surveillance engine." – Richard Stallman Like most thirty-somethings working in corporate communications, Justine Sacco was an avid twitter user. En route from New York to Cape Town, she fired off a few tweets to amuse herself and her 170 followers. Before the plane took off and she turned off her phone, she sent a final message: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

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