March 2011


From My Window - March 2011 From My Window March 2011

A common cry being repeated mantra-style in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks is a demand for justice. It certainly sounds good – but I can't help wondering if those who parrot these imperatives know what they really mean.

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Editor's Note - March 2011 Editor's Note March 2011

Certain events are diarised well in advance and the anticipation of an excellent social occasion is put just slightly off kilter by nerves. The DealMakers' Gala Awards Banquet is one such occasion. This is the 11th Awards function and the highly skilled corporate law firms fight as fiercely as other tombstone parties for the top positions in their sector in both M&A and General Corporate Finance. The high regard in which DealMakers is held and the accuracy of the tables is a tribute to the team which ensures deal and transaction details are precise and that no stone is left unturned in efforts to find "misplaced" activity while the pulse of the private equity market is checked regularly.

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Determining which companies will be audited Company Law March 2011

In terms of s30 of the new Companies Act, 2008 (New Act), each year a company must prepare annual financial statements within six months after the end of its financial year, or a shorter period if appropriate, to provide the required notice of the company's next annual general meeting. However, unlike the current Companies Act, 1973, not all companies' financial statements are required to be audited.

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Out of left field Company Law March 2011

Every so often there is a rule, regulation or section buried in a piece of legislation that takes even the most experienced legal minds by surprise.

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More changes to those critical regulations Company Law March 2011

The draft Companies Regulations, 2011 (2011 Draft Regulations) were published in late November for public comment. They should be read together with the Companies Act (71 of 2008 (new Companies Act)) and Companies Amendment Bill that was published in the Government Gazette on October 27 2010 (Amendment Bill) (Note to 2011 Draft Regulations).

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Forewarned is forearmed Company Law March 2011

The deregistration of companies has far-reaching consequences for companies and is fast becoming a pressing concern for large scale creditors, such as financial institutions and insurance companies.

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Retrospective liability Environmental - Company Law March 2011

A director will be liable if, in terms of s28 of the National Environmental Management Act of 1998, his or her company commits an offence and the director fails to take all reasonable steps necessary under the circumstances to prevent it.

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Direction unknown Mining Law March 2011

For the 5 700 delegates to the Investing in African Mining Indaba it's that time of year again in Cape Town. Following a year that has seen some diabolical mining disasters, a breathtaking rescue in Chile, a desperate fire in New Zealand, the shooting of illegal miners, the death of high profile mining company executives in a plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to name but a few, the view that the mining industry is the lifeblood of the 21st century economy is a mantra for the delegates who represent governments, labour, mining companies and support industries across the globe whose continued financial subsistence is predicated on the continued demand for mineral resources.

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The heavy hand of the Competition Commission Competition Law March 2011

The sooner businesses put in place competition law compliance programmes to ensure that they comply with the Act, the better for them and their managers. The Commission boosted the National Revenue Fund by more than R673 million last year by forcing South African companies, which contravened the Competition Act, to agree to pay huge administrative penalties in terms of consent orders.

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No place to hide Competition Law March 2011

Could a South African company successfully recover a penalty and other associated costs it suffers following a finding of contravention of the Competition Act from those directors or management who were involved in the anti-competitive conduct?

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Towards clarity Competition Law March 2011

In any penalty regime, it is said that the most important consideration is deterrence. After weighing up the likely gains from the prohibited conduct and the probability of being caught and successfully prosecuted, it must not make commercial sense for a firm to engage in the prohibited conduct.

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A little ruling is a big deal Advertising March 2011

My two-year-old son has a book about a fish that I am forced to read again and again. There is a line in the book that goes, “He blew small bubbles, but he told tall tales". It came to mind when I read the recent ASA Appeal decision in the matter of Cell C / van Zyl. The decision, which relates to an interim step, is a short one. But the impact has the potential to be huge.

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Labour Broker renaissance or apocolypse Labour Law March 2011

Fresh controversy caused by the proposed amendments to the labour legislation revived the debate about the future of labour brokers (otherwise known as Temporary Employment Services) which was sparked back in 2008 by the Namibian Supreme Court decision of Africa Personnel Services (Pty) Ltd v Government of the Republic of Namibia [2011] 1 BLLR 15 (NASC)

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Labour Bills seek to impose criminal sanctions on errant employers Labour Law March 2011

Significant criminal sanctions face employers who fail to comply with proposed statutory employment obligations. The offences will attract minimum fines of R10 000 or a minimum of 12 months imprisonment.

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The few who support everyone else Tax March 2011

The question that often arises in South Africa is how many people are currently registered and how many taxpayers should, in fact, be registered for tax purposes?

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