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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”)...

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...

Donald Trump and Bad Faith
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Donald Trump comes up in our articles from time to time, as does the issue of bad faith. Both come up in this one. In a recent case in the UK, a company called Trump International, which is owned by a German by the name of Michael Gleissner, filed applications to register the trade mark Trump TV in the communications and entertainment categories (classes 38 and 41). The US President, via a rights management company, opposed these applications...

 

 

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