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Mauritius: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Financial Institutions
ENSafrica, April 2020

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the incidental measures adopted by the Mauritian government represent serious potential impact for financial institutions in general. Below, we examine the recourses available to borrowers facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and its aftermath. We consider only credit facilities, that is, agreements by which financial institutions advance money to their clients for repayment either in instalments or at term...

When Should the Labour Court Intervene in a Retrenchment Process?
ENSafrica, April 2020

Economists predict that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will lead to retrenchments on an unprecedented scale on the back of an already weak economy. It is likely that unions, when confronted with proposals to retrench, will approach the consultation process envisaged in section 189 and section 189A of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) with more rigour. Section 189A(13) Of importance in this regard is section 189A(13) of the LRA...

ENSafrica: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Update
ENSafrica, April 2020

employment Update to C19 TERS and tax treatment of C19 TERS benefit Lauren Salt (ENSafrica Employment) and Arnaaz Camay (ENSafrica Tax) summarise the latest amendments to the COVID-19 Temporary Relief Scheme (“C19 TERS”), 2020 directive. They also consider the tax implications of C19 TERS benefits. Clickhereto read the full article...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How to Avoid Vicarious Liability for Data Protection Breaches by Employees in an Online Environment during Lockdowns
ENSafrica, April 2020

The UK’s highest court recently ruled that Morrisons, a supermarket group, was not vicariously liable for the criminal act of an employee with a grudge who leaked the payroll data of about 100 000 members of staff. Many companies sighed in relief on hearing that the Supreme Court of Appeal did not hold Morrisons vicariously liable...

South Africa: Update to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) TERS and Tax Treatment of C19 TERS Benefit
ENSafrica, April 2020

In light of President Ramaphosa’s announcement of a phased approach to the end of lockdown, many businesses will still be required to remain closed (or partially closed) after 30 April 2020. With this in mind, many employers will still require assistance from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Temporary Relief Scheme (“C19TERS”)...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Privacy Concerns in your School
ENSafrica, April 2020

In light of the declaration of a national state of disaster as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is now likely that schools and further learning institutions in South Africa will remain closed for the foreseeable future (even after the national lockdown period) and online teaching will be inevitable. However, privacy, data protection and security are critical when teachers and learners are working remotely due to the higher risk of personal data breaches...

ENSafrica: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Update
ENSafrica, April 2020

banking and finance Financial services under lockdown ENSafrica’s Banking and Finance team summarises some of the latest COVID-19 related regulatory amendments and updates pertaining to financial services. They also highlight some remaining areas of uncertainty. Here is the full article...

South Africa: Water and Sanitation Emergency Procurement COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions Published
ENSafrica, April 2020

In recognition of the ability to detect the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in sewage and the critical role of basic hygiene in combatting COVID-19, the Minister of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation has published, on 15 April 2020, directions in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. The Directions implement the emergency procurement of water supply and sanitation services to identified areas to combat the spread of COVID-19...

New Directives from the Chief Justice, Supplementary Directives from the Gauteng Judge President and Directions from the SCA in regard to litigating during lockdown
ENSafrica, April 2020

In order to provide guidance to litigators in navigating the national state of disaster, the Chief Justice has issued two sets of directives that apply to all courts across the country. The first was issued on 17March2020, and contained provisions restricting the number of people allowed in courts and implemented decontamination and social distancing protocols. The second was issued on 17 April 2020, and is to be read in conjunction with the initial directive...

South Africa: Water and Sanitation Emergency Procurement COVID-19 Disaster Response Directions published
ENSafrica, April 2020

In recognition of the ability to detect the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in sewage and the critical role of basic hygiene in combatting COVID-19, the Minister of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation published directions. THese directions,  published on 15 April 2020, are in reference to the Disaster Management Act, 2002...

South Africa: amendments to the lockdown regulations: take-home points for employers
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 16 April 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs issued a notice which amended several material aspects of the lockdown regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002...

South Africa: A new Online Portal and Easy Aid Guides for applying to the C19 TERS
ENSafrica, April 2020

In the wake of the rapid developments to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Temporary Relief Scheme (“C19 TERS”) in the past few weeks, it is critical that employers remain informed and up-to-date on the latest processes in place. The C19 TERS was established to compensate employees who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”)...

South Africa: will the creation of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) contact tracing database pose any security concerns?
ENSafrica, April 2020

A recent government notice amended the regulations published in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 to provide for the mandatory establishment of the COVID-19 Tracing Database by the National Department of Health. This database will trace people who are known or reasonably suspected to have come into contact with any person known or reasonably suspected to have contracted COVID-19...

South Africa: MPRDA related timeframes extended
ENSafrica, April 2020

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy recentlypublishedCoronavirus (COVID-19) related regulations pertaining to some of the prescribed timeframes in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (“MPRDA”). The relevant timeframes have been extended by the operation of law by thenumber of days of the ultimate duration of the COVID-19 lockdown period...

South Africa: All Industries excluding the mining industry: is there an obligation on employers to report and investigate incidents of employees contracting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) ?
ENSafrica, April 2020

Application of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (the "OHASA")? Several health and safety obligations (both general and specific) towards employees are imposed on an employer or user in respect of the "workplace". The term "workplace" is also defined broadly in the OHASA as "any premises or place where a person performs work in the course of his employment"...

South Africa: Estate planning during a pandemic: are your affairs in order?
ENSafrica, April 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has disrupted lives and continues to wreak havoc on the global economy, has seen a sudden and dramatic shift in the way we live. Previously, uncommon concepts and practices such as social distancing, lockdown, quarantine and self-isolation have now rapidly become part of our daily parlance. Unsurprisingly, in view of the swift rise of death rates associated with the pandemic, many people are being reminded of their own mortality...

South Africa: Cost-cutting employment alternatives to retrenchment following the extended lockdown
ENSafrica, April 2020

Like many other countries worldwide, South Africa went into a 21-day national lockdown on 27 March, in an effort to help slow down the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The lockdown has already had a devastating impact on the economy and on employment in a country that was already in recession. This has already been felt by many in their pockets...

South Africa: How to choose a video conferencing platform in the time of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, April 2020

Given the fact that many countries are under some form of lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, organisations that are able to do so, are now working remotely, with video conferencing platforms enabling people to have virtual meetings just like they were face to face. However, there are growing privacy concerns over the use of these platforms, with some in the spotlight for sharing data with Facebook...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) financial services under lockdown
ENSafrica, April 2020

The lockdown regulations, as amended on 2,16 and 20 April 2020, designate which financial services businesses are “essential services”, permitted to operate from places of business during the lockdown period...

Compensation for loss arising from protected strikes: some thoughts on an employer’s options
ENSafrica, April 2020

A strike, and employees’ actions during a strike, will almost inevitably cause an employer losses. In terms of South African common law, an employer may have a delictual remedy at its disposal. It can, in certain circumstances, sue the union or its members for the losses suffered...

South Africa: Regulating employee conduct while working remotely
ENSafrica, April 2020

A new dawn has come in the world of employment where many South African employees are required to work from home as a measure to curb the rapid spread of the new life threatening Coronavirus (“COVID-19”). This raises two questions...

Mauritius: Competition Commission clarifies application of competition law rules during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis
ENSafrica, April 2020

The Competition Commission of Mauritius (“CCM”) has issued acommuniquéon 9 April 2020 stating that it understands that: enterprises may have to collaborate during these uncertain times in order to ensure provision of essential products and services; certain prohibitions as contained under the Competition Act 2007 (the “Act”) may create uncertainty as to what may be permissible in terms of collaboration in the context of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)...

Mauritius: Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on financial institutions
ENSafrica, April 2020

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the incidental measures adopted by the Mauritian government represent serious potential impact for financial institutions in general. Below, we examine the recourses available to borrowers facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and its aftermath. We consider only credit facilities, that is, agreements by which financial institutions advance money to their clients for repayment either in instalments or at term...

Uganda: the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the landlord and tenant relationship
ENSafrica, April 2020

In response to efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Ministry of Health published regulations providing for the closure of various places including bars, schools and institutions of higher learning, bars, cinema halls, shopping malls, arcades, hardware shops, all shops and stores selling non- food items, salons, gymnasiums, massage parlours, hotels and lodging houses, motor repair workshops and garages, with a few exceptions...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) TERS: a guide to the updated memorandum of agreement for employers
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 9 April 2020, in light of the amendments to the coronavirus (COVID-19) TERS Directives, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”) released four new memoranda of agreement (“MOAs”) to be used when employers apply for the COVID-19 Temporary Relief Scheme (“TERS”). It has also issued a revised application procedure. A MOA records the terms and conditions for the implementation of the TERS by the UIF and any employer who submits a claim under the TERS...

South African Mining Industry: Practical considerations for employers relating to coronavirus (COVID-19), post lockdown
ENSafrica, April 2020

Current state of affairs On 5 March 2020, the first case of novel Coronavirus Disease of 2019 ("COVID-19"), was confirmed in South Africa. Prior to, and with the advent of the various regulations issued in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, all industry sectors, including the mining industry, were directed to take reasonable measures to prevent or limit the exposure to COVID-19 at working places...

South Africa: New Amendments to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) TERS Directive Clarify who can Apply for Relief Benefits and Now
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 8 April 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour issued a notice amending a few significant aspects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Temporary Relief Scheme (“C19 TERS”) Directive of 25 March 2020 (the “Amendment”).The C19 TERS was established to compensate employees who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”)...

South Africa: Tax Considerations Arising from the Impact of COVID-19 on Contractual Obligations
ENSafrica, April 2020

Our firm has published several articles in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on the contractual obligations of parties, mainly due to the promulgation of emergency legislation impacting performance...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Obligations and Roles of the Electronic Communications Sector Amended
ENSafrica, April 2020

Directions pertaining to the communications sector were issued on 26 March 2020 by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies (the "Minister"), to ensure the smooth operations of the electronic communications sector – as essential services – during the national state of disaster period. You can read our previous article relating to the Directionshere...

Uganda: An Assessment of Uganda’s Legal Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, April 2020

Ten years ago, Uganda’s National Disaster Preparedness and Management Policy predicted that “an influenza pandemic may occur when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity. With the increase in global transport, as well as urbanization and overcrowded conditions in some areas, epidemics due to a new influenza virus are likely to take hold around the world, and become a pandemic faster than before”...

South Africa: ICASA Coronavirus (COVID-19) National State of Disaster Regulations
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 6 April 2020, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“ICASA”) published the Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) COVID-19 National Disaster Regulations (the "Regulations").   The stated purpose of the Regulations is to prescribe the minimum standards to which all licensee (electronic communication services and broadcasting services) must adhere for the duration of the National State of Disaster...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Closing Commercial Transactions during Lockdown
ENSafrica, April 2020

With South Africa currently under a nationwide lockdown, practical challenges arise for parties to existing (or new) commercial transactions that are scheduled to “close” during this period. While physical closings are (generally) not currently possible, depending on the type of transaction and the closing deliverables involved, this challenge need not delay closing...

Mauritius – Tax Measures in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, April 2020

In light of the widespread impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), various tax measures that companies and individuals should be aware of have been announced by the Mauritius authorities: WAIVER OF INTERESTS AND PENALTIES FOR LATE FILINGS OR LATE PAYMENTS On 20 March 2020, the Mauritius Revenue Authority (“MRA”) issued a communiqué stating that taxpayers who are unable to submit returns, or effect payment of tax because of the lockdown will not be charged any penalty o

Mauritius: Capital markets - Practical considerations in the Context of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, April 2020

An announcement made by The Stock Exchange of Mauritius Ltd (“SEM”) and the Central Depository & Settlement Co. Ltd (“CDS”) confirmed that on April 3 2020, the Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) revoked the order of 2 April 2020 for the temporary cessation of the operations of the SEM...

South Africa: The impact of the Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill, 2020 on the Time Periods for Tax Matters
ENSafrica, April 2020

The Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill, 2020 (“Bill”) was released for public comment on 1 April 2020 and once signed into law, will take effect from that date...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Illegal and Impossible Performances under Derivatives Transactions – Contractual Provisions and South African Common Law
ENSafrica, April 2020

Some reports claim that as many as one third of people around the world are subject to some degree of lockdown to stem the coronavirus (COVID-19) rate of infection. As a result, businesses everywhere are facing unprecedented circumstances that most of us would agree could never have been imagined, and certainly not anticipated, in negotiating a contract...

Uganda: Ministry of Health issues additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) rules
ENSafrica, April 2020

The Ugandan Minister of Health has issued the Public Health (Control of COVID-19) (No. 2) Rules, 2020 (“the Rules”) in addition to the previously published statutory instruments (discussed here)...

“Control” and Computer Programs – Who owns the Copyright?
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 1 April 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) granted an appeal against an order of Acting Justice Kose in the Cape Town High Court in favour of The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) (Bergh and Others v The Agricultural Research Council (Case no 93/2019) [2020] ZASCA 30). The appeal was against an order interdicting the appellants from infringing the ARC’s copyright in the BeefPro computer program and from unlawfully competing with the ARC...

Kenya: Key Highlights of the Business Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020
ENSafrica, April 2020

The Business Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 (the “Act”) was assented to by the President on 18 March 2020, introducing several significant changes to various existing laws, improving the ease of doing business...

ENSafrica: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Legal Update
ENSafrica, April 2020

a national state of disaster Now what? On 15 March 2020 the South African President declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. A national state of disaster lapses three months after it has been declared, but can be withdrawn or extended...

The Drugs (Pricing Policy) Don’t Work, They Just Make it Worse
ENSafrica, April 2020

A recent report published by the White House Council of Economic Advisers (“CEA”) on drug pricing in the United States of America has put the cost of medicine and the access thereto by the poor, firmly back in the spotlight, and on a global scale. In the CEA report, President Donald Trump’s administration argues that the USA pays higher prices for pharmaceuticals because other developed countries have systems in place to actively force down drug pricing...

WIPO Leadership: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse
ENSafrica, April 2020

A fierce fight for the leadership of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (”WIPO”) reflects an ever-growing recognition of the importance of IP. The US has seemingly secured a major victory in its quest to prevent a Chinese official from becoming the director general of WIPO. It has achieved this by backing a candidate from Singapore, Daren Tang, the head of the Singapore Intellectual Property Office...

Assessing the Fairness of Promotion Decisions: the Labour Appeal Court’s Approach
ENSafrica, April 2020

Disputes arising from an employer’s failure to promote an employee have become an established feature in South African workplaces, especially in the public sector. They have also been the subject of a large number of arbitrations by virtue of the provisions of section 186 (2)(a) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”). This section provides that the definition of an unfair labour practice includes unfair conduct by an employer relating to the promotion of an employee...

Unpacking Proposed Tax Amendments in the Budget
ENSafrica, April 2020

South Africa is in lockdown in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and although we aren’t able to meet face-to-face over this period, we know how important it is to stay in touch, and we will continue to keep you up-to-date on recent tax developments. In this regard, it feels like a lifetime ago that the South African Minister of Finance delivered his 2020 Budget Speech on 26 February 2020...

South Africa: Travel Directions during the National State of Disaster and the National Lockdown
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 26 March 2020, directions were issued by the Minister of Home Affairs pursuant to the regulations published in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 to provide temporary measures in respect of entry into or exit out of South Africa in order to prevent and combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)...

South Africa: New POPIA/Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance Note Issued
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 15 March 2020, the South African President declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. A number of measures have since been implemented by the government to counteract the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and several regulations, directives and guidelines have consequently been published...

Mozambique: Coronavirus (COVID-19) State of Emergency Comes into Effect
ENSafrica, April 2020

A state of emergency, in order to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, has been imposed in Mozambique, with effect from 1 April 2020. This follows the Presidential Decree issued by President Filipe Nyusi on 30 March 2020 and ratified by the Mozambican Parliament. This unprecedented state of emergency is intended to last until 30 April 2020...

South Africa: Essential Services during Lockdown - Employer FAQs
ENSafrica, April 2020

Following the issuing of what has colloquially been called the “Lockdown Regulations” to reduce the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa, there has been a hasty scramble for essential services to comply with the provisions of the Regulations and to register on the Essential Services Portal...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - VAT Relief Extension of the Prescribed Periods for the Exportation of Goods
ENSafrica, April 2020

In keeping with the promise of government to introduce fiscal measures to address the negative impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on business, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) released Binding General Ruling (VAT) 52 (“BGR 52”), dated 27 March 2020, that extends the prescribed time periods relating to the exportation of movable goods from South Africa...

South Africa: Litigating during the National State of Disaster
ENSafrica, April 2020

Since the declaration of the national state of disaster in South Africa in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it has been anything but “business as usual” for most professionals. This is equally true for legal practitioners trying to navigate the directives regarding litigation and court process during the national state of disaster...

South Africa: Inevitable Litigation on the Rise as a Result of the Disaster Management Act Regulations
ENSafrica, April 2020

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the South African Government has implemented various statutory measures to prevent the potential spread of the disease, and to limit, contain and minimise the risk of exposure of persons within the country...

Mauritius: Measures for the Informal Sector during the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, April 2020

Following our previous ENSight on the assistance scheme announced by the Mauritian Prime Minister, the government has decided to extend its scheme to the informal sector and take general measures aiming to facilitate the life of everyone during this crisis. Self-employed individuals Government has offered, to self-employed individuals, financial support amounting to half of the guaranteed income for the period between 16 March 2020 to 15 April 2020...

South Africa: Environmental Processes and Laws in the National State of Disaster
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 31 March 2020, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (“DEFF”) published directions (the “Directions”) under the National Disaster Management Act, 2002, to reduce the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The purpose of the Directions is to ensure fair processes with respect to certain environmental laws, as a result of the restrictions placed on the movement of people during the lockdown period...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) VAT Relief on the Importation of “Essential Goods”
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 27 March 2020, the South African Revenue (“SARS”) announced much needed value-added tax (“VAT”) relief on the importation of “essential goods” as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) tax relief measures. Section 7(1)(b) of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991 (“VAT Act”) imposes VAT on the importation of any goods into South Africa by any person. In terms of section 7(1), VAT is imposed at the standard rate of 15%...

Publication of Amendments to the MPRDA Regulations for Implementation
ENSafrica, April 2020

On 27 March 2020, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy (the “Minister”) published the Amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations (“MPRDA Regulations”) for implementation under GNR.420 inGovernment Gazette43127 (the “Amended Regulations”)...

South Africa: COVID-19 tax relief measures
ENSafrica, March 2020

On Monday, 23 March 2020, the President of South Africa announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown, with effect from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020. In brief, all persons in South Africa are prohibited from leaving their homes for the 21-day period, except if specifically exempted to perform an essential service (health care professionals, food distributors etc...

South African Mining Industry: is there an obligation on employers to report and investigate incidents of occupational-acquired Covid-19?
ENSafrica, March 2020

Is the employer obligated to notify the Principal Inspector of Mines of known cases of Covid-19 in the workforce? In terms of section 11(5B) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (the "MHSA"), the employer is required to notify the Principal Inspector of Mines of any occurrence at the mine that results in the illness of any person...

South Africa: FSCA provides general guidance to financial institutions on COVID-19
ENSafrica, March 2020

On Monday, 30 March 2020, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) issued a general communication to financial institutions relating to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on financial institutions and their customers. The circular sets out at a high level the expectations of the FSCA relating to the culture and responsibilities of financial institutions during the crisis. It does not have the force of law...

South Africa: beware of what you post online about COVID-19
ENSafrica, March 2020

Theregulationsissued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, on Wednesday, 18 March 2020, make it an offence for people to publish fake news or disinformation about the coronavirus (COVID-19) online...

South Africa: digitisation in the time of COVID-19
ENSafrica, March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19), has presented novel challenges for organisations in all sectors of the economy. Irrespective of the external circumstances faced, organisations are being forced to find a way to ensure that they still remain in business...

South Africa: time periods for civil proceedings during the lockdown period
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 26 March 2020, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services issued Directions in terms of Regulation10 of the Regulations under the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (the “Directions”).The Directions will apply during the period of the lockdown, between midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020 and midnight on Thursday, 16 April 2020...

Will the end of (L)IBOR be delayed?
ENSafrica, March 2020

Many banks and other financial services businesses and corporates have started preparing for life after the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). We are now less than two years away from the LIBOR and other Interbank Offered Rates (“IBORs”) being discontinued. Global banks are only required to submit LIBOR until the end of 2021. The proposal is to replace LIBOR and other IBORs with (nearly) risk-free rates (“RFR”) in certain major jurisdictions...

South Africa: is there an obligation on employers to report and investigate incidents of occupational-acquired COVID-19 in the mining industry?
ENSafrica, March 2020

Is the employer obligated to notify the Principal Inspector of Mines of known cases of COVID-19 in the workforce? In terms of section 11(5B) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (the "MHSA"), the employer is required to notify the Principal Inspector of Mines of any occurrence at the mine that results in the illness of any person...

South Africa: tips for essential service employees when being stopped by the police
ENSafrica, March 2020

In response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), South Africa entered a lockdown period on 27 March 2020 and subject to any further directions from government, this period is due to last until midnight on 16 April 2020. During the lockdown period, employees performing an essential service are allowed to travel to and from work...

South Africa: COVID-19, the Emergency Regulations and sectional title living
ENSafrica, March 2020

The Emergency Regulations published under the National Disaster Management Act, 2002 to reduce the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) were understandably, under the circumstances, published in a hurry with a number of scenarios not being thought of and being left to interpretation. One of those is sectional title living...

South Africa: Regulator’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on the retirement funds industry
ENSafrica, March 2020

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (“FSCA”) has been proactive in responding to the threats posed to the retirement funds industry by the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic affecting South Africa. In recent days, the FSCA has made two noteworthy pronouncements for the retirement funds sector in an effort to mitigate potential exposures that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have on the retirement funds industry...

ENSafrica: Coronavirus (COVID-19) legal update
ENSafrica, March 2020

a national state of disaster Now what? On 15March2020 the South African President declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act,2002. A national state of disaster lapses 3 months after it has been declared, but can be withdrawn or extended. A number of measures have since been implemented by the South African Government to counteract the impact of COVID-19, and several regulations, directives and guidelines have consequently been published...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Lockdown - Do Tenants Have an Obligation to Pay Rent?
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 23 March 2020, the President of South Africa issued a statement informing the public that a nationwide lockdown would be enacted in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. The lockdown commenced at midnight yesterday, 26 March 2020, and is set to end at midnight on Thursday, 16 April 2020...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Obligations and Roles of the Electronic Communications Sector Published
ENSafrica, March 2020

Directions pertaining to the communications sector were issued on 26 March 2020 by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies (the "Minister"), to ensure the smooth operations of the electronic communications sector – as essential services – during the disaster period to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa...

South Africa: TERS and the National Disaster Benefit - Some Much-Needed Clarity
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 25 March 2020, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (“CCMA”) published a statement on its website, in which it provided some much-needed clarity on the options available to employees, employers and CCMA users in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This clarity has been augmented by a Directive published today and the updated Guide for Employers released by the Department of Labour...

South Africa: extension of time for B-BBEE submissions and filings during the lockdown
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 23 March 2020, South African President Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020 as part of government’s integrated measures to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The nationwide lockdown will have a cascading effect on the operations of many South African businesses, courts and the regulators (including the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“B-BBEE”) Commission)...

South Africa: repercussions of allegations about a person’s coronavirus (COVID-19) status
ENSafrica, March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has, due to its high rate of transmissibility, unsettled many of us, forced us to distance ourselves socially, and to make adjustments to our way of life. We are living in a time where something as mundane as sneezing or coughing may earn you a death stare. While the fear of contracting COVID-19 is a real and devastating reality, one of the consequences of this fear is that it has the potential for social stigma...

South Africa: Travelling and Movement during Lockdown
ENSafrica, March 2020

South Africa entered its first day of lockdown on 27 March 2020 in response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This lockdown will last until 23h59 on Thursday, 16 April 2020. During this time, all movement of persons will be restricted...

Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Government Portals
ENSafrica, March 2020

COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. The disease has since been reported in over 190 countries. For more information on COVID-19, or for support and advice should you experience symptoms, please consult the below local resources: Angola:http://www.governo.gov.ao/ Benin:https://www.gouv...

Uganda: Legal Implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, March 2020

As the country grapples with the coronavirus (COVID-19), various directives are being issued by different authorities. It is incumbent on the authorities that the measures are issued within the law. Enterprises that endeavour to observe these measures or wish to take their own measures also need to ensure that their actions are within the law. There are many legal issues to bear in mind. We set out key issues below. The Public Health Act (Cap...

South Africa: What does the Lockdown Mean for Current Litigation Matters?
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 23 March 2020, President Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown commencing at midnight on 26 March 2020. In terms of the lockdown, everyone is to be confined to their homes for 21 days, save for certain workers involved in providing essential services...

South Africa: National Disaster Declaration – Now What?
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 15 March 2020, the President of South Africa, in a national address, announced the declaration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a "national disaster". Since then, many significant consequential announcements have been made, relating to restrictions on movement, business activity, travel and other matters, all in the interests of preventing an escalation of the national disaster and alleviating, containing and minimising the effects of the national disaster...

South Africa: Coronavirus -Electronic Signatures and Electronic Meetings
ENSafrica, March 2020

Now that South Africa is under lockdown for the next 21 days, as part of an organisation’s business continuity efforts, businesses will, to the extent possible, continue to run remotely. Two common legal issues that arise from remote working are: the electronic signing of agreements and instructions; and whether meetings can take place using technological means. In this article, we touch on both issues...

South Africa: Employers and Trade Unions Working Together to Give Employees Some Respite during the National Lockdown
ENSafrica, March 2020

On Monday, 23 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day national lockdown in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. The lockdown will result in all employees (except those performing “essential services”) being confined to their residences and, as a result, being unable to tender services in the “normal” course...

Uganda: Ministry of Health Issues Statutory Instruments to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, March 2020

The Minister of Health has invoked powers under the Public Health Act, (Cap. 281) to issue rules and orders aimed at combating the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Uganda as below: The Public Health (Notification of COVID-19) Order, 2020 Under this Order, Covid-19 is declared a notifiable disease to which the provisions on prevention and suppression of infectious diseases under the Public Health Act (Cap. 281) apply...

South Africa: Final Regulations for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Lockdown Published
ENSafrica, March 2020

The regulations published on 18 March 2020 in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (the “Act”) have been amended to regulate the lockdown announced by President Ramaphosa on 23 March 2020. A new chapter 2 specifically dealing with the lockdown has been inserted into the regulations. We summarise below the most significant provisions contained in chapter 2...

South Africa: Competition Exemptions for Banking and Retail Property Sectors to Support the Coronavirus Fallout
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 23 and 24 March 2020, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (the “Minister”) published Regulations under section 78(1) of the Competition Act, 1998 exempting the banking and retail property sectors respectively from certain provisions of the Competition Act in order to limit the impact of the ongoing national state of disaster announced on 15 March 2020...

South Africa: Special Leave Benefits Announced for Employees in Self-Quarantine
ENSafrica, March 2020

As a result of the increasing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many employees may consider placing themselves in self-quarantine after possible exposure to the virus. Self-quarantine is a precautionary measure taken by a person who has been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19, but has not tested positive or is not showing any symptoms of the virus...

South Africa: Can Employees, Who are Infected with COVID-19, be Compensated in Terms of COIDA?
ENSafrica, March 2020

The South African Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 ("COIDA") addresses compensation payable to employees, who suffer from occupational diseases, which has arisen out of, and in the course of their employment...

A Dismissal Dressed as a Breach of Contract is Still a Dismissal: A Warning to Employers
ENSafrica, March 2020

In terms of ordinary contract principles, if an employee commits an act of serious misconduct, this constitutes a breach of contract. This breach alone does not terminate the contract of employment. The employer can elect to either “accept” the breach or “reject” it. If the employer accepts the breach, it is this election of the employer to accept the breach that terminates the contract. This would, in common law terminology, constitute a dismissal...

Mauritius: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - New MeasuresIntroduced
ENSafrica, March 2020

Following the nationwide confinement measure announced by the Mauritian Prime Minister and effective since 6am on 20 March 2020 for a duration of two weeks in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the following measures have been adopted: 1...

Rwanda: Measures Issued to Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and their Potential Legal Implications
ENSafrica, March 2020

With effect from 14 March 2020, Rwanda’s Ministry of Health and other governmental bodies have issued several measures that will be implemented in order to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This was turned into an almost total lockdown with immediate effect by a communiqué issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on 21 March 2020 and which will be in force during a two-week period (with possibility of extension)...

New Ministerial Orders Cast Light onto Gross Misconduct and Working Hours, and Introduce Death Allowance in Private Sector
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 20 March 2020, the Rwandan Government issued nine ministerial orders implementing the Labour Code that entered into force in September 2018...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Landlord and Tenant Relationships and Force Majeure
ENSafrica, March 2020

Given the recent regulations published under the Disaster Management Act, 2002 and the State of Emergency Act, 1997, certain restrictions have been imposed by the South African Government to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat. These restrictions prohibit certain activities and compel limiting factors on certain businesses, such as educational institutions and businesses selling liquor. In addition, there are a number of protocols that have been issued by various agencies...

Ghana: Legal Considerations of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Businesses
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 11 March 2019, the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. WHO requested countries to “activate and scale up emergency response mechanisms”...

Africa Business in Brief
ENSafrica, March 2020

Africa Importance of gas for African energy transformation highlighted at IP Week Government cooperation is important but the private sector is expected to lead the way in boosting access to energy - this was the message from an African panel session at IP Week, held in London...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Competition Act
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 19 March 2020, the Minister of Trade and Industry (the “Minister”) published two Regulations under section 78(1) of the Competition Act, 1998 (as amended) (the “Competition Act”), pursuant to the National State of Disaster declared on 15 March 2020 (the “National State of Disaster”).Both of the Regulations are effective immediately. The first creates a block exemption for the Healthcare Sector...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Impact of the Disaster Management Regulations on Employers
ENSafrica, March 2020

At their core, the Regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 issued and brought into operation yesterday, 18 March 2020, outline the responsibilities of all government departments, the release and allocation of resources, and the conditions under which liquor industry may function. In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic being declared a national state of disaster, the Regulations are intended to contain the spread of the virus...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Restrictions - Implications for Employers and Employees
ENSafrica, March 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address to the nation on Sunday, 15 March 2020, declared a national state of disaster and introduced a numberof measures to curb the spread of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of 19 March 2020, South Africa has recorded 150 confirmed cases of COVID-19...

ENSafrica (Mauritius) Business Continuity
ENSafrica, March 2020

In consideration of the COVID-19 outbreak in Mauritius we want to take this opportunity to inform you of our business continuity and safeguarding procedures.ENSafrica’s top priority is to preserve the health and well-being of its people, its clients, all its business partners and their familiesas well as the ongoing success of business operations...

ENSafrica and Your Business
ENSafrica, March 2020

Background As you no doubt know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared to be a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (“WHO”).In this time of global crisis, what is most key-critical to us, is that we continue to look after the wellness of our people while we service your business’s requirements and structure ourselves in a way that we are able deliver to you at the level you have come to expect of ENSafrica...

South Africa: B-BBEE Verifications in a World of Social Distancing
ENSafrica, March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing the way we live, interact and conduct business. The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (“B-BBEE”) world in South Africa is no different. All companies undergoing a B-BBEE verification are required to permit their B-BBEE verification agencies to conduct on-site inspections and personal interviews as part of the verification process...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Can you Escape your Contractual Liabilities?
ENSafrica, March 2020

Background Other than hand sanitizer manufacturers, private hospitals and the like which stand to profit from the coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster unfolding, the vast majority of South African companies fall into two groups: those that are hemorrhaging but will ultimately survive, and those who will not...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19): BYOD, Working Remotely and Ensuring Information Security
ENSafrica, March 2020

With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many businesses have taken the decision to request that employees work from home. To work from home, employees will either be using their own personal devices or company-issued equipment to either access the company network remotely or to transmit data and information through their own personal network. There are a few inherent information security risks that are posed by these arrangements...

Kenya: Protocols for the Containment of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Announced
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 15 March 2020, President Kenyatta gave a speech on how the Kenyan Government intends to manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We outline these measures below and also provide some pointers: Travel For 30 days following the announcement, or as varied by the National Emergency Response Committee, travel is suspended for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported COVID-19 cases...

South Africa: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Lockdown Essential Services - Technology, Media and Telecommunications
ENSafrica, March 2020

In stark contrast to earlier media reports as to what would constitute “essential services”, the Regulations published in terms of the impending coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown are far from clear and explicit when it comes to ICT, including datacentres, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae...

South Africa: Department of Employment and Labour Releases Guidelines for how Employers can Prepare the Workplace for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
ENSafrica, March 2020

In a press release today, 17 March 2020, the Department of Employment and Labour (the “Department”) appealed to employers to use the prescriptions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 in governing workplaces in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Department has implored employers to prepare themselves and their employees as far in advance as possible for potentially worsening outbreak conditions...

When Can an Employer Refuse to Pay a Severance Package?
ENSafrica, March 2020

The economic climate in which many South African firms operate has meant that dismissals for operational requirements have become an inescapable concern. However are employees always entitled to severance pay? Section 41(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 provides that a retrenched employee is entitled to severance pay at least equal to one week’s remuneration for every year of completed service with the employer...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, March 2020

BOTSWANA: New tax management system introduced With effect from 1 April 2020, the Botswana Unified Revenue Service is introducing a new tax management system called Lekgetho Live. Under the new system, companies’ Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (“CIPA”) numbers will be used as their tax identification number (“TIN”), whereas citizens’ TINs will consist of the letter I and their Omang number...

Coronavirus: The Bank of Mauritius Introduces a Support Programme to Accompany Local Economic Operators Across all Sectors
ENSafrica, March 2020

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the Bank of Mauritius has been closely monitoring its economic impact on the banking sector and the Mauritian economy. On 10 March 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Mauritius reduced the key repo rate by 50 basis points to 2.85% per annum and on 13 March 2020, the Bank of Mauritius introduced a Support Programme to further assist Mauritian businesses across all economic sectors...

Department of Employment and Labour Releases Guidelines for How Employers can Prepare the Workplace for the Coronavirus
ENSafrica, March 2020

  In a press release today, 17 March 2020, the Department of Employment and Labour (the “Department”)  appealed to employers to use the prescriptions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 in governing workplaces in relation to Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus. The Department has implored employers to prepare themselves and their employees as far in advance as possible for potentially worsening outbreak conditions...

Mauritius: Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Bank of Mauritius Introduces a Support Programme to Accompany Local Economic Operators Across all Sectors
ENSafrica, March 2020

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Bank of Mauritius has been closely monitoring its economic impact on the banking sector and the Mauritian economy.On 10 March 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Mauritius reduced the key repo rate by 50 basis points to 2.85% per annum and on 13 March 2020, the Bank of Mauritius introduced a Support Programme to further assist Mauritian Businesses across all economic sectors...

South Africa: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employment Law Update Following President Ramaphosa’s Speech
ENSafrica, March 2020

In light of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on the country’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) last night, there are a number of new questions that we anticipate will be plaguing employers. Given all the restrictions on travel and gatherings, should employers close their doors and send employees home? No. An employer has the obligation to provide, as far as is reasonably practicable, a safe and healthy working environment...

South Africa: The Legal Implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Disaster - Booking Repayments and Data Protection
ENSafrica, March 2020

Following the South African President’s speech on 15 March 2020 that a national state of disaster has been declared in terms of the coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of measures were implemented to counteract the impact of the virus by the South African Government. We cover below the legal implications of some of these measures, particularly the repayment of bookings and data protection...

South Africa Update: A Pause in Corporate Governance? The Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Gatherings and Shareholders’ Meetings
ENSafrica, March 2020

This article is an updated version of the article published on 16 March 2020. On 15 March 2020, South African President Ramaphosa announced the declaration of a national state of disaster, as a result of the recent events surrounding the rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in South Africa. The declaration of a national disaster was made in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (the "DMA")...

Africa Business in Brief
ENSafrica, March 2020

Africa International Monetary Fund: World Economic Outlook, October 2019 In sub-Saharan Africa, growth is expected at 3.2% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020, slightly lower for both years than in the April 2019 World Economic Outlook (WEO)...

South Africa: National State of Disaster Declared in Response to Coronavirus
ENSafrica, March 2020

On 15 March 2020, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. This declaration will enable government to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak of Covid-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus. The president announced measures that South Africa will take to prevent and control of the Coronavirus...

Coronavirus: Legal Update
ENSafrica, March 2020

In the context of the Coronavirus outbreak worldwide, business and entrepreneurs are busy developing strategies and practical ways to mitigate and manage the risks associated with disruptions that may be caused as a result of the outbreak...

South Africa: Coronavirus Legal Update
ENSafrica, March 2020

Coronavirus: legal update In the context of the Coronavirus outbreak worldwide, business and entrepreneurs are busy developing strategies and practical ways to mitigate and manage the risks associated with disruptions that may be caused as a result of the outbreak...

A Snapshot of Rwanda’s Tightened Financial Crimes Laws
ENSafrica, March 2020

The Parliament of Rwanda recently passed two key laws to counter money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (“WMDs”), in an effort to strengthen and increase confidence in its financial system. Law No. 74/2019 of 29 January 2020 establishing the Financial Intelligence Centre (“Law No...

Lock-Outs: Tit for Tat or Just Tat?
ENSafrica, March 2020

The right to strike is enshrined in section 23 of the South African Constitution and regulated in some detail in the LabourRelations Act, 1995 (“LRA”). It is a valuable arrow in the quiver of strategies to be considered by employees when engaging in collective bargaining, but employers also have recourse when it comes to collective bargaining: locking out employees. In a sense, the right to strike and the recourse to a lock-out in this context are two sides of the same coin...

Regulations in respect of the Portable Gratuity Retirement Fund Published
ENSafrica, March 2020

In view of the impending implementation of the Portable Gratuity Retirement Fund (“PRGF”), the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training has issued The Workers’ Rights (Portable Retirement Gratuity Fund) Regulations 2020 (the “PRGF Regulations”), deemed effective as from January 1, 2020. The implementation of the PRGF was, by a decision of Cabinet on December 13, 2019, postponed from 1 January 2020 to 1 April 2020...

More Protection for Small Businesses and HDPs
ENSafrica, March 2020

On February 13, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the promulgation of certain significant sections of the Competition Amendment Act, 2018, including a change to the confidentiality regime, the new buyer power provision and the new price discrimination provision. The trade & industry minister has also published new regulations on buyer power and price discrimination...

Will Asset Sale attract Capital Gains or Income Tax?
ENSafrica, March 2020

Given the difference between the effective rate of tax on capital gains and the highest marginal rate of tax imposed on income, in particular for individuals, it is important to determine whether the proceeds from the disposal of an asset are subject to capital gains tax or to income tax. In the Pick ‘n Pay case, the proceeds from the sale of certain shares were found to be capital in nature...

The Coronavirus is in South Africa Limiting Your Risk
ENSafrica, March 2020

  In light of the first Coronavirus case being confirmed in South Africa yesterday, employers will need to be more stringent in their approach to managing what the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) has declared to be “a global health emergency” in their workplaces. It has been said that false information about COVID-19 (otherwise known as the Coronavirus) is spreading faster than the virus itself...

South Africa: Limiting your COVID-19 Risk
ENSafrica, March 2020

In light of the first Coronavirus case being confirmed in South Africa yesterday, employers will need to be more stringent in their approach to managing what the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) has declared to be “a global health emergency” in their workplaces. It has been said that false information about COVID-19 (otherwise known as the Coronavirus) is spreading faster than the virus itself...

Meghan makes a Smart Move with Copyright Complaint
ENSafrica, February 2020

South African readers will know that Meghan Markle was a recent visitor to our shores. Meghan’s husband Prince Harry came too, but people weren’t too interested in him. As far as I am aware, Meghan had no problems with the South African press. She also had no copyright issues in South Africa. So, a far cry from what she is experiencing right now in the UK, her adopted home. Meghan is now involved in legal proceedings with the Mail on Sunday, a major British newspaper...

Privacy in Brief - Issue 8
ENSafrica, February 2020

NEWSFLASH The commencement date of POPIA is no April Fool’s joke. the Chairperson of the Information Regulator, Advocate Pansy Tlakula, recently sent a request to President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare that the remaining provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (“POPIA”) commence on 1 April 2020 (“commencement date”). it is expected that the president will act on this request...

 

 

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