September 2008


From My Window - September 2008 From My Window September 2008

Imagine you are driving along a highway, perhaps the N1 between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The road is unusually free of traffic and you are cruising along at 120 kph, the speed limit. The journey is uneventful and you forget about it. Two months later you receive a notification of a traffic transgression; to be precise that, while travelling down that highway on that self-same day, you exceeded the speed limit of 80 kph on the day in question. You protest. The speed limit is 120 kph. There's been a mistake. To your horror and incredulity you discover that, no, there hasn't been any administrative error. During the intervening period, the speed limit was changed to 80 kph with retrospective effect. So, since you were exceeding the new speed limit, you have transgressed. Even though you knew nothing of this, pay up (or go to jail).

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The stickiness of www Intellectual Property September 2008

Let's say you are young and trendy and are going to start a new fitness class. Wanting to look the part, you decide to surf the net to see what range of Nike clothing and footwear is currently 'the rage.'

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Re-jigging legislation for publicly financed research Intellectual Property September 2008

The draft bill on Intellectual Property from Publicly Financed Research will, once enacted, have a significant impact on management and commercialisation of intellectual property by universities, science councils and other public institutions.

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Making things tougher for manufacturers Consumer Law September 2008

The new Consumer Protection Bill (B19-2008) is due to come into law later this year. Certain provisions of the proposed Bill are causing anxiety among manufacturers and suppliers as the Bill provides consumers with opportunities to institute litigation against manufacturers for damages caused by the supply of defective products into the South African market.

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Changes in the legal landscape Consumer Law September 2008

Guide to the National Credit Act

Publisher: LexisNexis
Price: R800 excluding VAT & handling charges

The Guide to the National Credit Act by JW Scholtz (Managing and Contributing Editor), JM Otto, E van Zyl, CM van Heerden and N Campbell presents a commentary on the National Credit Act (34 of 2005), covering the law as at June 30 2008. The Guide also contains a full text of the NCA, the regulations published under the NCA and guidelines issued by the National Credit Regulator.

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Credit agreements: exceptions and benefits Consumer Law September 2008

Credit agreements typically contain a standard clause which reads: “The debtor hereby renounces the benefits of excussion, division and cession of action, non causa debiti, errore calculi, revision of accounts, no value received and non numeratae pecuniae, the full force, meaning and effect of which the creditor declares himself to be fully acquainted, provided that where the indebtedness is subject to the NCA, the creditor does not renounce the benefits of exceptio errore calculi, exceptio non numeratae pecuniae and exceptio non causa debiti."

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Undermining the Rule of Law Tax September 2008

In recent years taxpayers have had to face a bewildering array of almost constant changes to the Income Tax Act. In many cases, these changes have been imposed with retrospective effect, often extending back over several years. What is worse, National Treasury seems to have adopted a new effective date "default rule" which guarantees an element of retrospectivity in almost all cases. In general, the new default rule makes changes to the tax laws applicable to years of assessment ending on or after a specified date. In the case of the annual Revenue Laws Amendment Act, this date is typically the first of January of the following year.

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The administrative burden facing companies Tax September 2008

Currently, any company or close corporation paying a dividend to its shareholders or members is required to pay secondary tax on companies (STC) at the rate of 10%. The mechanics of the tax are simplistic in that the company only needs to determine the excess of dividends paid over those received, and to pay the 10% tax due by the end of the month following the month within which the dividend was declared.

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Nothing’s sacrosanct, not even money deposited into an attorney’s trust account The Law September 2008

I had always understood that monies retained by an attorney in his or her trust account on behalf of a client were sacrosanct. I have since discovered that this may, in fact, not be so.

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At long last the Cabinet is on the same page as the rest of us Platteland Perspective September 2008

WE all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional development, Johnny de Lange.

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Annual returns Company Law September 2008

The Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) administers, among other acts, the Companies Act (61 of 1973) and the Close Corporations Act (69 of 1984). Administration includes registration and/ or incorporation of companies and close corporations.

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Protecting SA’s coastline Environmental Law September 2008

This article highlights the main provisions of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Bill B40B-2007 (NEM:ICM Bill) which are of relevance to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

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Wrong direction? Environmental Law September 2008

The July issue of Newsweek magazine poses exactly this question. The publication is largely dedicated to environmental issues and contains a summary of a recent environmental performance study conducted by Yale and Columbia Universities. The study aims to measure the environmental performance of 149 countries by providing a quantitative index which ranks each country's environmental performance – Environmental Performance Index (EPI). Only countries which could provide reliable data could be included.

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Making it easier on the bottom line Environmental Law September 2008

The need to protect and preserve the environment is no longer a debate. Governments around the world, including South Africa, have recognised that certain legislative measures should be in place to ensure that the environment is, to some extent, preserved at the expense of business.

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Change and Leadership – making certain it isn’t falsely evangelical Management September 2008

“Change" is more than a business school process. We must shape the discussion, influence, challenge, adhere to values and inspire.

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