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How will the 2019 Proposed Financing Provisioning Regulations affect mining companies?
ENSafrica, August 2019

  In May 2019, the South African Proposed Regulations Pertaining to the Financial Provision for the Rehabilitation and Remediation of Environmental Damage caused by Reconnaissance, Prospecting, Exploration, Mining or Production Operations, 2019 (the “2019 Regulations”) were released for public comment...

Does Section 187(1)(c) of the LRA Apply to Individual Dismissals?
ENSafrica, August 2019

Section 187(1)(c) of the South African Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) has always been controversial because of the interplay between the definition of automatically unfair dismissals, employers’ rights to terminate contracts of employment on the basis of operational requirements and the institution of collective bargaining...

Tread Carefully: Insubordination and Insolence can Easily be Confounded
ENSafrica, August 2019

Unfair dismissal disputes arising from allegations of insubordination have had their fair share of attention from South African arbitrators and the courts. The latest of these decisions is that of the Labour Court in Naicker v Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration and Others. The employee in this matter, Ms Naicker, was employed by Africa Flight Services (a cargo handler) as a customer service agent...

The Remedy Against Taking the Law Into Your Own Hands
ENSafrica, August 2019

  It is a well-established principle of South African law that you may not take the law into your own hands. The remedy formulated to enforce this principle is themandament van spolie.In its classic formulation, themandament, or spoliation action, protects against a deprivation of possession otherwise than through a legal process. All a plaintiff need prove is that it was in peaceful and undisturbed possession of property and was deprived of that possession...

The Reciprocal Duty of Good Faith Undercuts Derivative Misconduct
ENSafrica, August 2019

  For the first time in employment law jurisprudence, the South African Constitutional Court has considered the nature and scope of the duty of good faith within the context of the contract of employment. This occurred in its recent decision inNUMSA obo Nganezi & Others v Dunlop Mixing and Technical Services (Pty) Ltd & Others. Factual background During August 2012, Dunlop’s employees embarked on a protected strike...

Dismissing an Employee for Dishonesty During a Disciplinary Hearing or Arbitration Proceeding  
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Dishonesty in the workplace can take various forms, including theft of the employer’s property (or that of fellow employees), fraudulent conduct, such as submitting incorrect time sheets, lying to managers and other unethical conduct...

Multinationals are Now Able to Second their Employees to Rwanda
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Rwanda has adopted a ministerial order implementing the law on immigration and emigration, introducing various changes to the Rwandan immigration and emigration landscape. The ministerial order provides for a new type of work/residence permit (the Q1 permit), which allows the secondment of employees of multinationals to their subsidiaries and/or branches in Rwanda without employees being required to enter into employment contracts with a Rwandan company...

Dividends Tax: Most-Favoured Nation Clause in Double Tax Agreement
ENSafrica, August 2019

  On 12 June2019, the Tax Court of South Africa delivered its judgment inABC(Pty)LtdvC:SARS(case no. 14287). The court was tasked with determining the application and interpretation of South African double taxation agreements (“DTAs”) entered into with the State of Kuwait (the “SA-KW DTA”), the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the “SA-NL Protocol”), and the Kingdom of Sweden (the “SA-SE Protocol”)...

Debt Capitalisations Between Two Controlled Foreign Companies
ENSafrica, August 2019

  The various changes to the so-called debt waiver provisions in section 19 of the South African Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”) and paragraph 12A of the Eighth Schedule to the Act in terms of the Taxation Laws Amendment Acts of 2017 and 2018 have come and gone. It is understood that there is now finality in terms of the debt waiver provisions as contained in the Act, which we discussed in a previous article...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, August 2019

  ANGOLA: Introduction of VAT postponed The introduction of value-added tax (“VAT”), scheduled for 1 July 2019, was postponed to October following discussions between the Angolan Government and the Business Technical Group (“GTE”), which advocated implementing VAT only in January 2020...

Mauritius’ Environment Land Use Appeal Tribunal Delivers Ground Breaking Fish Farming Project Judgment
ENSafrica, August 2019

  The Association Des Hoteliers et Restaurateurs Ile Maurice(“AHRIM”), an association of hotels and restaurants in Mauritius, and the Sea Users Association, an association of civilians, recently won an important appeal against the grant of an Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) licence to a fish farming project by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development...

New Decision May Deprive Commissioner Discretion to Refuse Legal Representation in CCMA and Bargaining Council Arbitration Proceedings
ENSafrica, August 2019

  A recent landmark decision of the of the South African Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council could see Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (“CCMA”) commissioners stripped of their discretion in granting legal representation for those involved in unfair dismissal disputes arising from misconduct or incapacity...

Extended Scope of “Electronic Services”: New VAT Frontier or Pandora’s Box?
ENSafrica, August 2019

On 18 March 2019, South Africa’s National Treasury published revised Electronic Services Regulations, significantly expanding the scope of electronically supplied services that are subject to value-added tax (“VAT”). The publication follows the Minister of Finance’s announcement in the 2017 Budget Review that the regulations defining electronic services would be broadened...

The Interaction Between the Debt Reduction Rules and Other Provisions of the Income Tax Act
ENSafrica, August 2019

Having gone through a number of substitutions and amendments, the debt reduction rules contained in section 19 of the South African Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”) and paragraph 12A of the Eighth Schedule to the Act now provide for the implications arising for a debtor where a debt owed to a creditor is waived, cancelled or capitalised by way of the issue of shares etc...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, August 2019

  AFRICA: African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement enters into force The Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Ethiopian House of Representatives approved the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (“ACFTA”) on 14 March and 21 March 2019, respectively. The Moroccan Council of Government approved the ACFTA on 21 February 2019...

SARS Publishes Draft Rules for the Administration of the Carbon Tax
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Introduction On 30 April 2019, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) published draft rules, schedules and forms for the implementation of the carbon tax and provided details on the envisaged carbon tax administration, including the registration of clients, licensing of emissions facilities, carbon tax environmental levy accounting and the application of allowances as rebates...

Large-scale Retrenchments: Compensation as a Remedy for Procedural Unfairness
ENSafrica, August 2019

  The general requirements for a fair dismissal based on an employer’s operational requirements are found in section 189 of the South African Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”). However, section 189A provides for specific procedures and remedies, should an employer embark on a large-scale retrenchment. Various consequences flow from the fact that a proposed retrenchment falls within the scope of section 189A...

Transfer of Shares in a Private Company: Misstep from the Supreme Court
ENSafrica, August 2019

  It is standard practice that for a share transfer in a private limited liability company to be effective, the transferor and transferee must execute a share transfer form, pay stamp duty on it and present it to the company for registration, together with the related share certificate, if any. The Ugandan Companies Act, 2012 prohibits the transfer of shares unless a proper instrument of transfer has been delivered to the company...

Carbon Tax Becomes Law on 1 June 2019
ENSafrica, August 2019

  South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the Carbon Tax Act, 2019, which comes into effect on 1 June 2019. With the passing of the carbon tax into law, a price on carbon emissions is now a reality for the South African economy.The impact of the legislation, along with complementary measures such as the national greenhouse gas emission reporting regulations, will have a transformative effect on the South African economy...

The Supreme Court of Mauritius Sets Aside Award on Grounds of Breach of Domestic Public Policy
ENSafrica, August 2019

  In a judgment delivered on 31 May 2019, a bench of three Designated Judges of the Supreme Court constituted under section 42 of the Mauritian International Arbitration Act, 2008 (the “IAA”), set aside an arbitral award delivered under the Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre...

Rwanda has been Admitted as a Member of the OECD Development Centre
ENSafrica, August 2019

  On 20 May 2019, Rwanda was admitted as a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) Development Centre, becoming the first East African country to join the Development Centre. Founded in 1961, the OECD Development Centre is an independent platform that enables developed economies to interact, share knowledge and have policy dialogues with developing economies...

The Advertising Regulatory Board: No One-Trick Pony
ENSafrica, August 2019

  We recently reported on a ruling of the new advertising authority in South Africa, the Advertising Regulatory Board (“ARB”). The dealt with the issue of misleading advertising. In this article, we’ll look at three more rulings that make it clear that the ARB deals with a range of important issues...

South Africa: Time to Elect IP
ENSafrica, August 2019

  South Africa recently held its general national election and the result was a win for the incumbent African National Congress (ANC) party. The election was fought against a backdrop of massive unemployment and a stagnant economy. During the course of the election, there was considerable focus on the issue of property rights and particularly, the possible expropriation of immovable property, especially farms...

Plain Packaging: An Issue That’s Not Quite Extinguished
ENSafrica, August 2019

  An article that appeared in the South AfricanDaily Mavericknews site, “Plain packaging for cigarettes is a bad idea”,suggests that the plain packaging debate is not yet over. A recap We’ve discussed plain packaging for cigarettes on a number of occasions. We’ve looked at how Australia has been at the forefront of this issue, with 2011 legislation requiring all brands of cigarettes to be sold in identical green packs featuring graphic images...

Mauritius: Trade Marks Filed “in Defiance of Commercial Morality”
ENSafrica, August 2019

  A recent decision of the Mauritian Industrial Property Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) will provide some comfort to international brand owners. The case involved an application by a foreign company to cancel a trade mark registration obtained by a local party. The facts inStrategic Foods International Company LLC v Meher Banon Gokhoolwere all too familiar...

Recent Amendments to the B-BBEE Codes
ENSafrica, August 2019

  On 31 May 2019, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry gazetted certain amendments to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“B-BBEE”) Codes of Good Practice. These amendments will become effective on 31 November 2019. The following are the key amendments to take note of...

African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement Enters Into Force
ENSafrica, August 2019

  The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (“AfCFTA”)entered into force on 30 May 2019 following the approval by the minimum required 22 countries. The AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade zone formed after the World Trade Organization, covering a market of 1.2-billion people...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, August 2019

  ETHIOPIA: Bills amending customs and VAT proclamations endorsed by Council of Ministers On 26 May 2019, the Council of Ministers endorsed a new bill amending Customs Proclamation No. 859/2014, expected to address practical problems and create a conducive business environment. The Council of Ministers also endorsed a bill amending a number of provisions of Value Added Tax Proclamation No. 285/2002 on 18 May 2019...

Legal Practitioners’ Right of Appearance at the CCMA: The CCMA Responds
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Just a few months ago, South African advocates, attorneys and candidate attorneys alike were celebrating therulingof an arbitrator attached to the Dispute Resolution Centre (“DRC”) of the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council in the matter betweenCoetzee v Autohaus Centurion. In this matter, the applicant employee had applied to be legally represented at an arbitration...

The Importance for an Employer to Exercise Good Faith in Terminating Employment Reaffirmed
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Section 38(2)(a) of the Mauritian Employment Rights Act provides that: “(2) No employer shall terminate a worker’s agreement – (a) for reasons related to the worker’s misconduct, unless – (i)he cannot in good faith take any other course of action…” (our emphasis added) In its judgment in the case ofUnited Docks Limited v De Spéville [2019] UKPC 28(delivered on 10 June 2019), the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council had to c

Mining and Local Communities: Free, Prior and Informed Consent in South Africa?
ENSafrica, August 2019

  With South Africa’s recent cabinet reshuffle, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation was amalgamated with the Department of Human Settlements. This indicates the growing intersection between natural resources and people/communities, and in turn, the potential for policy to stop seeing natural resources and people in separate silos...

Can Employees be Dismissed for Refusing to Accept New Terms and Conditions of Employment?
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Can an employer dismiss employees because they refuse to agree to a change to their terms and conditions of employment? An initial answer may be, “yes”. When considering the fine print, however, there is a more difficult potential legal problem to overcome...

Use: Are You Sure? Can You Prove It?
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Use: it’s without question one of the biggest issues in trade mark law. It’s an issue that can come up in a number of scenarios. At least a genuine intention is needed to use a trade mark to get it registered. Considerable use may help get a trade mark registered in the face of various objections. Once registered, the trade mark needs to be used to make sure that the registration can’t be cancelled for non-use by a competitor...

The Little Master Goes to Court
ENSafrica, August 2019

  The Little Master himself, Sachin Tendulkar, is heading to court in Australia against sporting goods manufacturer Spartan. For some context: Tendulkar retired from international cricket shortly after winning the 2011 World Cup. Even in retirement, Tendulkar remains by some distance, the most revered cricketer to ever play the game and the famous Matthew Hayden quote “I have seen God. He bats at no...

The Madrid Protocol: More of a Slow-Burning Plodder than a Taut Thriller
ENSafrica, August 2019

  Back in 2013, we wrote an article about the Madrid Protocol, the treaty that regulates the international trade mark registration system. We expressed the view that it was high time that South Africa joined this ever-growing club of nations. We expressed the hope that it would happen soon. It’s now mid- 2019 and... well we’re still waiting. We’re told that accession to the Madrid Protocol is imminent. The Madrid Protocol has been in the news of late...

Porsche 911…Something a Bit Different Please!
ENSafrica, August 2019

  The Porsche 911 is undoubtedly an iconic car. Instant product recognition is, of course, something that most companies strive for. But fame and familiarity can create their own problems when it comes to issues of intellectual property. Porsche recently suffered a setback when the EU General Court upheld a decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office to cancel certain design registrations relating to the appearance of the Porsche 911...

A Bittersweet Copyright Story
ENSafrica, August 2019

  A story that was widely reported on in the United Kingdom (“UK”) gives us an interesting insight into the world of copyright. A long time ago – some 22 years to be precise – a songwriter by the name of Richard Ashcroft assigned (transferred) the copyright in a hugely successful song calledBitter Sweet Symphonyperformed by a band called The Verve. If no bells are ringing, I suggest that you Google the song, chances are you will recognise it immediately...

Sweeping Changes in the Domestic Sector in South Africa: Inclusion of Domestic Workers under COIDA
ENSafrica, August 2019

  When the tide of democracy and constitutionalism swept through labour legislation in South Africa from the early ‘90s onwards, domestic workers, for the first time, gained access to important labour rights. However, they remained excluded from two important statutes, the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (the “UI Act”) and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (“COIDA”)...

The Nigeria Power Sector Review 2019
AELEX, August 2019

Electricity was first generated in Nigeria in 1866 when two generating sets were installed to serve the Colony of Lagos. In 1951, the government of Nigeria, through an Act of Parliament, established the Electricity Commission of Nigeria (ECN) to regulate and operate the power supply systems in Nigeria. Subsequently, the Niger Dam Authority (NDA) was established for the development of the Kanji Hydroelectric Dam...

Time is of the Essence … Procedurally Speaking
ENSafrica, May 2019

Dismissals for misconduct are required to be for a fair reason and in accordance with a fair procedure. A fair procedure entails that disciplinary action be taken within a reasonable period of time.   In the recent decision inStokwe v Member of the Executive Council: Department of Education, the South African Constitutional Court highlighted this procedural requirement that disciplinary action must be taken within a reasonable period of time...

Five Easy Steps to POPI Compliance
ENSafrica, May 2019

  The enactment of the General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR) in the EU last year and the imminent proclamation of the effective date of South Africa’s own data privacy legislation, the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (“POPI”), has been the cause of disquiet for many organisations’ directors and compliance officers...

The National Environment Act 2019: Revamping the Law on Environmental Protection in Uganda
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Uganda has taken a bold and long overdue step to revamp its 24-year old environmental law, the National Environment Act (Cap. 153) (the “NEA”). An amendment was necessary given the massive infrastructure projects in the energy sector, the planned infrastructure of a refinery and pipelines in the oil and gas space, the imminent production of oil, increasing urbanisation and the consequent pressures on land, and climate change...

Zambia: Sales Tax Bill Published
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Following the Zambia’s Minister of Finance’s announcement in the 2019 Budget that the country’s value-added tax system is to be abolished and replaced with a sales tax system, the Sales Tax Bill (the “Bill”) was presented to parliament for its first reading on 2 April 2019...

Don’t be a Sell-Out, But Working During Strike Action Could be a Bonus
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Most employers are familiar with the principle of “no work, no pay” in the context of strike action, but what about the concept of “work, pay, extra pay”? Can employers incentivise or reward non-striking employees who pick up the slack? This question was recently considered by the Labour Court inNational Union of Mineworkers obo Members v Cullinan Diamond Mine A Division of Petra Diamond (Pty) Ltd...

Margin Requirements for OTC Derivatives – The Final Draft of the Joint Standard?
ENSafrica, May 2019

  On 8 April 2019, the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority and Prudential Authority (collectively, the “Authorities”) published yet another draft of the Joint Standard on Margin Requirements for Non-Centrally Cleared OTC Derivatives (the “Margin Requirements”). The last draft had been published in August 2018. Implementation of the Margin Requirements has been delayed numerous times...

Is it Time to Rethink Broad-Based Black Ownership?
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Zodwa Ntuli, Commissioner of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“B-BBEE”) Commission, indicated earlier this week that the commission has declared that the vast majority of transactions involving broad-based trusts are not compliant with the law and do not constitute genuine and effective Black ownership...

The National Bank of Rwanda Issues New Regulations on Major Investments and Placements by Banks and Regulatory Requirements for Banking M&A
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Effective from 12 April 2019, Rwanda has new regulations (the “Regulation on Banks' Major Investments and Placements” and the “Regulation on Banks' Shareholding and M&A”) governing major investments and placements by banks as well as the shareholding and M&A of banks. The new regulations repeal their predecessors, which have been in force for eight years...

No Work Permit Required for Foreign Spouses of Mauritian Citizens Employed Prior to 8 March 2019
ENSafrica, May 2019

  An amendment to the Non-Citizen (Employment Restrictions) Exemptions Regulations, published through GN 55 of 2019, removed foreign spouses of Mauritian citizens from the category of non-citizens who were exempted from the requirement of a work permit for working in Mauritius. All foreign spouses of Mauritian citizens were therefore under an obligation to hold a valid work permit to be entitled to work lawfully in Mauritius...

Changes in Mauritian Court Jurisdiction and Costs
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Following the implementation of the new rules governing the jurisdictional threshold of the courts in Mauritius, District Courts will now hear claims of up to MUR250 000 (as opposed to MUR50 000 previously) and the Intermediate Court will hear claims of up to MUR2-million, whenever such claims do not fall with the District Court threshold. Claims higher than MUR2-million will continue to be lodged before the Supreme Court...

The Male Torso: Is it Distinctive?
ENSafrica, May 2019

  There was a highly unusual trade mark opposition matter in the USA recently. The case of In re Coscentra B.Vinvolved a comparison of two perfume bottles in the shape of a male torso. A company applied to register a male torso-shaped perfume bottle as a trade mark for perfumery. The application was refused on the basis of an existing trade mark registration for a male torso-shaped perfume bottle covering perfumery...

 

 

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