An article in this issue by Paul Hoffman SC (page 15) highlights the extent of the carnage on South African roads, an annual butchery in which 15 000 people die, thousands more are tragically injured (some end up as basket cases or paraplegics) and the cost for this endless slaughter runs to R40 billion a year. Iraq, which has unfairly earned the soubriquet of being the most dangerous country in the world, has nothing on us. Documented civilian deaths in that country over the seven years 2003 to 2009 run at 102 100 – that's 14 600 a year, and this in a country that has experienced an invasion and is now in the throes of an unending civil war. And we do it without explosive devices. Our bombs are the vehicles that roar, unheeding, down our highways and byways, driven by men and women who have no care, who sometimes do not possess valid licences, who frequently are under the influence of alcohol, who think speed limits are there for everyone else to obey, and whose vehicles are death traps that should be sent to the scrap dealers.
Part B of Chapter 2 of the Competition Act (89 of 1998) deals with the abuse of a dominant position. It must be noted that it is not a firm in a dominant position that is prohibited but rather the abuse of that dominant position by the firm in question.
South Africa has moved into what could be termed the "golden era of competition enforcement". Not a week passes without observing in the newspaper or hearing on the radio the latest competition enforcement development, be it the launching of a new investigation by the Competition Commission, the referral of a complaint to the Competition Tribunal or the finding of an anti-competitive practice and the imposition of an administrative penalty.
Three years after the commencement of the National Credit Act (34 of 2005) (NCA), legal practitioners are still looking to the courts for resolution on the various interpretational difficulties they continue to face in respect of the Act.
The National Credit Act (NCA), which came into effect on June 12006, was enacted in order, inter alia, to promote and advance the social and economic welfare of South African consumers. However, the wide classification of credit agreements in the NCA potentially poses problems for financial institutions which lend to Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV's). Financial institutions would lend to SPV's in a number of scenarios, such as project financing in respect of a Public Private Partnership.
The Consumer Protection Act is a big step forward in giving a voice to South African consumers. Though there are many pieces of legislation which provide consumer protection in specific circumstances, this is the first over-arching, comprehensive set of consumer protection rules and principles to reach the statute books.
The carnage on South Africa's roads has reached alarming proportions. According to the Medical Research Council some 15 000 people lose their lives on our roads each year. The cost to the country of road accidents is in the region of R40bn per annum. If the scourge of death on the road is successfully dealt with these considerable funds can be re-directed to infrastructural needs on which the money can be far better spent.
Stem cell research is on the increase as researchers realise the potential of stem cells for the development of therapies for treatment of a wide range of human illnesses and diseases currently difficult or impossible to treat.
On September 11 2009 the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down judgement in the matter between Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport (Puma) and Global Warming (Pty) Limited (Global Warming), a footwear retailer, and dismissed the appeal.
DROUGHT and climate change have greatly worsened the farmer's constant fear of veld fires, and the Free State is no less vulnerable than the rest of the country. Forecasts of a lower-than-average rainfall for the season means that there's little likelihood of any rest from fire patrols for the already stressed farming community.
THE FRUIT GROWERS' ASSOCIATION V THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RSA
Foss-Harbottle J: BEE promotion is an important part of our economy. When not used as an acronym, the bee is also an important part of our economy. The applicants complain that bee disease is putting fruit exports at risk and that the government has a duty to put all the resources at its disposal to deal with the problem.