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Month: March 2014

DIE WISSELWERKING TUSSEN DIE WET OP VERBRUIKERSBESKERMING EN DIE NASIONALE KREDIETWET, EN DIE MOONTLIKHEID VAN BOETES BY DIE AFLOS VAN KREDIETOOREENKOMSTE

DIE WISSELWERKING TUSSEN DIE WET OP VERBRUIKERSBESKERMING EN DIE NASIONALE KREDIETWET, EN DIE MOONTLIKHEID VAN BOETES BY DIE AFLOS VAN KREDIETOOREENKOMSTE

Article 1_BMnr Swart koop ‘n BMW-motor in terme van ‘n huurkoop ooreenkoms en sy finansiering word deur BMW-finansiering gedoen. Na ‘n paar maande erf mnr Swart ‘n groot som geld en hy besluit om die finansiering in terme van die kredietooreenkoms heeltemal af te los. Mnr Swart is bekommerd dat die kredietverskaffer hom kan penaliseer met ‘n boete omdat hy die finansiering vroeër aflos.

Die eerste stap in die beantwoording van die bogenoemde vraag sal wees om te bepaal watter wetgewing die situasie reguleer. Die wetgewing wat hier van toepassing is, is die Nasionale Kredietwet 34 van 2005  en die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming 68 van 2008.

In hierdie aangeleentheid moet daar ‘n onderskeid getref word tussen die toepassingsgebied van elkeen van die bogenoemde wette, aangesien die een wet van toepassing sal wees op die kredietooreenkoms self, terwyl die ander wet van toepassing sal  wees op die goedere, met ander woorde die BMW-motor. Artikel 5 van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming sit uiteen wanneer die wet sal geld en wanneer nie. Artikel 5(2)(d) is van spesifieke belang vir mnr Swart, aangesien dit kredietooreenkomste wat ingevolge die Nasionale Kredietwet gereguleer word, uitsluit. Alhoewel artikel 5(2)(d) die ooreenkoms self uitsluit, word die goedere of dienste wat gelewer word ingevolge die kredietooreenkoms ingesluit. Hierdie kredietooreenkomste, soos beoog in die Nasionale Kredietwet, word gedefinieer in die wet self, en meer spesifiek artikel 8(4)(c) wat huurkoop ooreenkomste (paaiement ooreenkomste) insluit.

Mnr Swart se situasie val presies in artikel 5(2)(d) van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming. Die implikasie van hierdie artikel is dat alle kredietooreenkomste wat onderhewig is aan die Nasionale Kredietwet buite die bestek van die Wet op  Verbruikersbeskerming val, maar die goedere, en in dié geval die BMW-motor, en die kwaliteit van die goedere binne die bestek van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming val. Dit is hier waar die bogenoemde wette met mekaar oorvleuel. Die oorvleueling is eintlik daarin geleë dat beide wette op een ooreenkoms van toepassing kan wees. Die kredietooreenkoms moet voldoen aan die Nasionale Kredietwet, maar die goedere en dienste gelewer moet weer voldoen aan die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming. As daar ‘n gebrek in die kwaliteit van die goedere of dienste is, sal die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming die gepaste wetgewing wees, maar as dit gaan oor die kredietooreenkoms self, dan sal die Nasionale Kredietwet geld.

Artikel 2(9) van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming handel oor die interpretasie van die wet en meer spesifiek oor hoe die wet geïnterpreteer moet word in gevalle waar daar teenstrydighede ontstaan tussen die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming en enige ander wet. Volgens die artikel moet die saamlees van verskillende wette so ver as moontlik geskied, maar as dit nie meer moontlik is nie, dan moet die wet geld wat die meeste beskerming aan die verbruiker verleen.

Die twee artikels in die Nasionale Kredietwet wat handel oor die vervroegde aflos van kredietooreenkomste is artikel 122 en 125. Volgens artikel 122 van die Nasionale Kredietwet mag ‘n verbruiker ‘n kredietooreenkoms op enige tydstip beëindig. Die verbruiker kan enige tyd sy kredietooreenkoms beëindig deur die vereffeningsbedrag ooreenkomstig artikel 125 te betaal.

Artikel 125 bepaal dat ‘n verbruiker geregtig is daarop om ‘n kredietooreenkoms te eniger tyd te vereffen, met of sonder voorafgaande kennis aan die kredietverskaffer. Die bedrag wat betaalbaar is om ‘n kredietooreenkoms te vereffen, is die somtotaal van die volgende bedrae:

  • Die uitstaande balans op die hoofskuld / kapitale bedrag.
  • Alle rentes en heffings tot en met vereffeningsdatum. Byvoorbeeld as die uitstaande bedrag na 3 maande afgelos word, sal slegs 3 maande se rente gevra word. Die rente sal bereken word op die kapitale bedrag wat geleen is. 

In die geval van ‘n groot ooreenkoms (R250 000.00 of meer) sal die aflosbedrag dieselfde bereken word soos hierbo, maar met addisionele rente, wat bekend staan as ‘n vervroegde-aflos-fooi. Dié fooi mag nie meer as ‘n bedrag gelykstaande aan drie maande se rente op die kapitale bedrag wees nie.

Gevolgtrekking

Dus, indien mnr Swart se BMW-motor se kapitale bedrag, en dus die kredietooreenkoms, meer werd is as R250 000.00 dan sal die kredietverskaffer geregtig wees om in terme van die Nasionale Kredietwet ‘n boete van nie meer as 3 maande se rente te hef nie by die vervroegde aflos van die kredietooreenkoms. Indien dit minder werd is as R250 000.00 sal hy nie geregtig wees om enige boetes te hef nie.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

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THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AND THE NATIONAL CREDIT ACT, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF PENALTIES WITH EARLY SETTLEMENT OF CREDIT AGREEMENTS

THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AND THE NATIONAL CREDIT ACT, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF PENALTIES WITH EARLY SETTLEMENT OF CREDIT AGREEMENTS

Article 1_BMr Black buys a BMW car in terms of a hire purchase agreement and the financing is done through BMW Finance. After a few months Mr Black inherits a huge sum of money and decides that he wants to settle the outstanding amount. Mr Black’s concern is whether the credit provider is entitled to charge a penalty fee for early settlement of the outstanding finance amount.

The first step in answering the abovementioned question will be to determine which laws regulate the situation. The legislation that applies here will be the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008.

In the above scenario a distinction should be drawn between the scope of each of these Acts, as the one pertains to the credit agreement itself and the other to the goods, being the BMW car. Section 5 of the Consumer Protection Act lists the situations in which this Act will apply. Section 5(2)(d) is of particular interest to Mr Black as it excludes credit agreements which are regulated by the National Credit Act. However, the goods or services provided in terms of the credit agreement are included and will be regulated by the Consumer Protection Act, whereas credit agreements as contemplated in the National Credit Act, specifically section 8(4)(c), includes hire purchase agreements (instalment agreements) in the ambit of the National Credit Act.

Mr Black’s situation illustrates the position as stated in Article 5(2)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act. The implication of this section is that all credit agreements that are subject to the National Credit Act will be governed by the National Credit Act, but the goods and services in terms of the agreement will fall within the scope of the Consumer Protection Act. It is here that the above acts overlap with each other. The overlap actually lies in that both acts can apply to one agreement. The credit agreement must comply with the National Credit Act, but the goods and services must comply with the Consumer Protection Act. If there is a defect in the quality of the goods or the service the Consumer Protection Act will provide the appropriate remedy, but if it is about the credit agreement itself, then the National Credit Act will apply.

Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act deals with the interpretation of the Act and more specifically on how the law has to be interpreted in cases where there are discrepancies between the Consumer Protection Act and any other law. The Consumer Protection Act should be read in harmony with other legislation as far as possible, but if it is not possible, then the law that offers the most protection to the consumer shall apply.

The two sections in the National Credit Act which deals with the early settlement of credit agreements are sections 122 and 125 of the Act. According to section 122 of the National Credit Act, a consumer may terminate the credit agreement at any time. The consumer can do this by paying the settlement amount as calculated in accordance with section 125 of the National Credit Act.

Section 125 states that a consumer is entitled to cancel a credit agreement at any time with or without prior notice to the credit provider. The settlement amount will be the sum of the following amounts:

  • The outstanding balance of the principal debt / capital amount.
  • All rates and charges up to and including the settlement date. For example, if the outstanding amount can be settled after 3 months, then 3 months’ interest would be charged. The interest will be calculated on the principal amount borrowed. 

In the case of a large credit agreement (R250 000.00 or more) the outstanding amount will be calculated as above, but with additional interest, known as an early settlement fee. The fee may not exceed an amount equal to three months’ interest on the capital amount.

Conclusion:

Therefore, if the BMW that Mr Black bought was worth more than R250 000.00 the credit provider will be entitled to charge a penalty fee of not more than 3 months’ interest on the capital amount. In the event that the purchased item’s worth is less than R250 000.00 the credit provider will not be entitled to charge a penalty fee.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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MOENIE DEUR DIE LEWE JAAG NIE

MOENIE DEUR DIE LEWE JAAG NIE

Article 2_BJack Louw is gewoond daaraan om vinnige motors te ry – hy is feitlik gebore met een voet op die versneller. Jack kom boonop uit ‘n baie welgestelde familie, wat beteken dat daar altyd geld was om die boetes vir al sy verkeersoortredings te betaal. Jack se geluk kan egter binnekort draai en dan sal daar geen manier wees om net met ‘n boete weg te kom nie.

In terme van die Wet op Nasionale Padverkeer 93 van 1996 en die Regulasies, soos gepubliseer op 17 Maart 2000, is die algemene spoedgrense as volg: 60 km/h op ‘n openbare pad binne ‘n stedelike gebied, 100 km/h op ‘n openbare pad buite ‘n stedelike gebied wat nie ‘n deurpad is nie, en 120 km/h op elke snelweg.

Indien jy die spoedgrens met meer as 60 km/h oorskry, sal jy outomaties vervolg word en nie die geleentheid hê om ‘n afkoopboete te betaal nie. Indien jy meer as 100 km/h in ‘n 60 km/h-sone ry, sal jy waarskynlik nie die opsie hê om ‘n skulderkenningsboete te betaal nie, maar jy sal in die hof moet verskyn op ‘n aanklag van roekelose of gevaarlike bestuur.

Afhangende van die erns van die oortreding, sal jy nie toegelaat word om ‘n skulderkenningsboete te betaal nie. ‘n Skulderkenningsboete is ‘n boete waar ‘n persoon met ‘n eerste oortreding die opsie het om skuld te erken en ‘n boete te betaal sonder om in die hof te verskyn. Dit mag dalk soos ‘n maklike uitweg lyk, maar indien jy skuld erken, het jy ‘n kriminele rekord.

Skulderkenningsboetes vir spoedoortredings word bereken op die basis van die een rand per km/h wat die spoedgrens oorskry is. Hierdie boetes kan by enige kantoor van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens in die Landdrosdistrik waar die oortreding plaasgevind het, betaal word. Die boete moet getoon word op die dag van die betaling van die boete.

Indien jy kies om nie die skulderkenningsboete te betaal nie, maar eerder die saak in die hof te beveg, moet jy op die boete kyk om vas te stel op watter datum jy in die hof moet verskyn, en wat die saaknommer is. Navrae oor die boete moet gerig word aan die klerk van die kriminele hof van die Landdrosdistrik van uitreiking, en jy moet die boete saamstuur.

Dit is belangrik om kennis te neem van die spoed wat jy ry. Dit kan vir jou belangrik wees om betyds by jou bestemming uit te kom, maar is dit die moeite werd om ‘n boete te betaal, of met ‘n kriminele rekord te sit? Dit is veral belangrik om te onthou dat indien jy die boete in ‘n ander dorp as jou tuisdorp kry, jy terug na daardie dorp moet gaan om in die hof te verskyn. Dit is jou plig om in die hof te verskyn, ongeag of jy in die gebied woon of nie.

Dink voor jy skuld erken op ‘n spoed oortreding, of selfs beter, dink twee keer voor jy die spoedgrens oortree en jouself in daardie posisie plaas.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Kliek hier om die volledige vrywaring te sien

DON’T SPEED THROUGH LIFE

DON’T SPEED THROUGH LIFE

Article 2_BJack Louw was used to driving fast cars – he was practically born with one foot on the accelerator. Jack was also born into a very rich family, which meant there was always money to pay for the fines he kept receiving for exceeding the speed limit. However, Jack’s luck would soon change and he might end up with more than a fine.

According to the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 and the Regulations published on 17 March 2000, the general speed limits are: 60 km/h on a public road within an urban area; 100 km/h on a public road outside an urban area which is not a freeway, and 120 km/h on every freeway.

Prosecution or the imposition of a spot fine is automatic if you are caught exceeding the 60km/h and general speed limits. However, if you speed in a 60km/h zone, and it is greater than 100km/h, you will not have the option of paying an admission-of-guilt fine, but will have to appear in court to answer a charge of reckless or dangerous driving and contravention of the Act.

Depending on the seriousness of the offence, you may or may not be given the alternative of an admission-of-guilt fine as opposed to having to appear in Court. An admission-of-guilt fine is a fine that a person is issued with after admitting guilt. It may seem like an easy exit to all problems. However, once admitting guilt, the person will have a criminal record.

Admission-of-guilt fines for speeding are calculated on the basis of rands per km/h in excess of the speed limit. These fines may be paid at any office of the South African Police Service in the Magisterial district where the offence occurred, by the date stipulated on the notice that will be posted to you within two weeks after you received the ticket. You must produce the ticket when paying the fine.

Should you choose not to pay the admission-of-guilt fine, but rather state your case in court, you should check the fine to ascertain the date on which you must appear in Court and the case number. Queries about the fine must be directed to the clerk of the criminal court of the Magisterial district of issue, and the actual document must accompany your query.

It is important to take notice of the speed you are driving. It may be important for you to get to your destination in time, but is it worth paying a fine, or having a criminal record? It is also important to remember that if you get a fine in a town other than your home town, you will have to travel back to that town to appear in court.

Think before admitting guilt to a speeding offence, or even better, think twice before committing an offence that would put you in that position.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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HERSIENING VAN DIREKTEURE SE BESLUITE

HERSIENING VAN DIREKTEURE SE BESLUITE

Article 3_B‘n Vorige artikel het gehandel oor die “informele” besluite geneem deur direkteure, en is die optrede en besluite deur direkteure wat as “informele” besluite deur direkteure beskou kan word, behandel. Die presedente geskep deur die howe is bespreek, welke presedente oorweeg word wanneer die afdwingbaarheid en geldigheid van sodanige “toestemmings” deur die howe beslis moet word. Direkteure van huiseienaarsverenigings is gewaarsku om waaksaam en versigtig te wees wanneer hulle in informele gesprekke met ander lede tree, veral wanneer hierdie lede lugkastele bou en beplande aanbouings met die direkteur bespreek. Direkteure is gemaan om hul opinies eerder te lug wanneer die direksie die formele aansoek deur die lid debatteer, veral wat betref lede se beplande aanbouings of ander boubedrywighede. Die reëls van die huiseienaarsvereniging wat betref die estetiese en ander vereistes neem voorrang in hierdie formele besluitnemingsproses.

Maar hoe gemaak as die lid wel aan die formele voorgeskrewe vereistes van die huiseienaarsvereniging voldoen het, en die direksie wys die aansoek van die hand?  Waar laat dit die lid en die direksie?

Die howe sal nie sommer inmeng met die besluite geneem deur ‘n huiseienaarsvereniging nie, behalwe in gevalle waar die erkende gronde van regterlike hersiening wel van toepassing is, soos toegepas op vrywillige verenigings wie se lede hulself verbind het aan die vereniging se reëls, en waar welke reëls die raad van verkose direkteure beklee met besluitnemingsbevoegheid (Turner vs Jockey Club of South Africa 1974 (3) SA; SA Medical & Dental Council vs McLoughlin 1948 (2) SA 355 (AD) and Marlin vs Durban Turf Club & Others 1942 AD 112). 

Die gronde van regterlike hersiening word egter beperk tot of die tribunaal bevoeg was om die besluit te neem en of die tribunaal beide prosedureel en substansieel regverdig en billik was.  Effektiewelik word die hersiening dus beperk tot die vraag of die besluit of proses enigsins wederregtelik of onreëlmatig was – onregverdigheid per se is nie voldoende gronde nie (Bel Porto School Governing Body & Others vs Premier, Western Cape & Another 2002 (3) SA). 

In die tradisionele gemenereg hersieningsgronde vir ‘n vrywillige vereniging word wederregtelikheid, prosedurele onregverdigheid en irrasionaliteit ingesluit. Voor die inwerkingtreding van die grondwet is die reikwydte van vrywillige verenigings in gesagdraende uitsprake gevestig. Die Promotion of Administrative Justice Wet, Wet 3 of 2000 (PAJA) is van toepassing op enige administratiewe optrede geneem deur ‘n staatsliggaam of ‘n regspersoon in die afdwinging van ‘n openbare bevoegdheid of die uitvoering van ‘n openbare funksie.  Gevolglik val direkteure van huiseienaarsverenigings nie binne die reikwydte van PAJA nie.  Aan die ander kant, Artikel 39(2) van die Grondwet verplig howe, in die ontwikkeling van die gemenereg, om die gees, bedoeling en oogmerke  van die Handves van Menseregte in ag te neem.

Die beslissing in die aangeleentheid van Theron en Andere vs Ring van Wellington van die NG Sending Kerk in Suid-Afrika en Andere 1976 (2) SA 1 (A) het reeds bevestig dat ‘n redelikheids-toets gebaseer op rasionaliteit ‘n geoorloofde grond in die gemeneregtelike bevoegdhede van die howe daarstel om besluite van vrywillige verenigings te hersien. Die hof sal derhalwe ‘n hersieningsaansoek oorweeg wat gronde van onredelikheid insluit, in dat die besluit deur die direksie nie redelik gestaaf word deur die getuienis nie. Daar blyk geen verskil te wees in beginsel, vir doeleindes van hierdie skrywe, tussen gemeneregtelike hersieningsgronde van toepassing op vrywillige verenigings en die hersieningsgronde soos voorsien deur PAJA nie.

Verskeie uitsprake bevestig dat ‘n hof net sal ingryp met ‘n besluit deur direkteure van ‘n vrywillige vereniging waar die vereniging nie die beginsels van natuurlike geregtigheid, te wete wettigheid, prosedurele regverdigheid en redelikheid toegepas het nie. Laasgenoemde in die sin van ‘n rasionele nexus tussen die feite soos voorgelê en die oorwegings wat toegepas is in die neem van die besluit.

Waar die Memorandum van Inkorporasie of die reëls van die huiseienaarsvereniging ‘n formele proses voorskryf vir die verkryging van toestemming of instemming vir byvoorbeeld ‘n bouprojek, sal enige lid wie nie sodanige voorgeskrewe aansoek indien en aan die voorgeskrewe proses voldoen nie, selfs al is dit net vir die oprigting van ‘n heining, en wie nie die voorgeskewe goedkeuring voor die oprigting van die heining ontvang het nie, se sodanige opgerigte heining as “onwettig” beskou word.

Die Raad van Direkteure van enige huiseienaarsvereniging het ‘n verpligting om die Memorandum van Assosiasie of Memorandum van Inkorporasie en die reëls van die vereniging af te dwing en moet sodanig optree in belang van die landgoed en al die lede daarvan.

Enige bouprojek waarmee daar reeds aanvang geneem is of selfs afgehandel is sonder dat die formele voorgeskrewe proses gevolg is deur die huiseienaar, of dit aan die estetiese vereistes van die huiseienaarsvereniging soos voorgeskryf in die huiseienaarsvereniging se reëls voldoen al dan nie, is “onwettig” in dat die lid gebou het sonder om formeel aan die vereistes van die huiseienaarsvereniging te voldoen. Direkteure moet omsigtig ieder en elke sodanige bouprojek binne die jurisdiksie van die landgoed identifiseer, en in belang van al die lede van die huiseienaarsvereniging, lede wat geraak word nooi vir ‘n informele, vriendelike gesprek oor die verwydering of verdere toevoegings van die gebou of bouprojek, selfs al is dit net ‘n heining, en die tydperke vir sodanige optrede. Dit is belangrik om daarop te let dat sulke lede steeds verplig is om die formele vereistes soos voorgeskryf deur die vereniging, na te kom. Sodanige aansoeke moet voorgelê word vir beslegting en terugwerkende goedkeuring deur die raad van direkteure, volgens die voorgeskrewe formele vereistes van die vereniging op voorwaarde dat alle voorgeskrewe vereistes ten volle nagekom is, selfs al is dit bloot esteties.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Kliek hier om die volledige vrywaring te sien

 

REVIEW OF DIRECTORS’ DECISIONS

REVIEW OF DIRECTORS’ DECISIONS

Article 3_BIn the previous article regarding “informal” decisions by directors, we considered what acts or decisions may be considered as informal decisions by directors. The precedents established by the courts were discussed, which precedents are considered regarding the enforceability of these “consents” and the validity of informal decisions by directors. Directors of homeowners’ associations have been forewarned to be diligent and carefully choose their words in conversations with other members, especially when these members paint pictures of proposed building projects. And more specifically, directors are to keep their opinion for the debate of the properly tabled application, especially concerning additions and alterations to the property of the member. The rules of the homeowners’ association regarding aesthetics and other such requirements should be paramount in the decision-making process.

But what if the member did comply with the prescribed formal requirements and the board of directors did not approve the request? Where does that leave the directors and the member?

The courts will not interfere with the decision made by a homeowners’ association save on recognised grounds of judicial review as applied to voluntary associations whose members have bound themselves to its rules, which include the conferring of decision–making functions of elected body of directors (Turner vs Jockey Club of South Africa 1974 (3) SA; SA Medical & Dental Council vs McLoughlin 1948 (2) SA 355 (AD) and Marlin vs Durban Turf Club & Others 1942 AD 112). 

The grounds of judicial review are restricted to whether the tribunal was competent to make the decision and whether it complied with the requirements of procedural and substantive fairness which effectively is limited to whether the procedure or decision taken was tainted by irregularity or illegality – unfairness per se is not enough (Bel Porto School Governing Body & Others vs Premier, Western Cape & Another 2002 (3) SA). 

The traditional common law grounds of review of a voluntary association tribunal include illegality, procedural unfairness and irrationality. Prior to the constitutional dispensation, the ambit of the voluntary associations had been settled in case law. The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA) applies to administrative action on the part of an organ of state or a juristic person exercising a public power or performing a public function.  Accordingly, directors of homeowners’ associations do not fall within the scope of the PAJA.  Section 39(2) of the Constitution on the other hand, requires a court, when developing the common law, to promote the spirit, purport and objectives of the Bill of Rights.

The judgement in the matter of Theron and Andere vs Ring van Wellington van die NG Sending Kerk in Suid-Afrika en Andere 1976 (2) SA 1 (A) has already confirmed that a reasonableness test based on rationality was a competent basis under the common law powers to review decisions of voluntary associations. The court will therefore consider a ground of review that included unreasonableness in the sense that the decision could not reasonably be supported by evidence. There appears to be no difference in principle for present purposes between common law grounds of review in relation to voluntary associations and the grounds of review provided for by PAJA.

Various case laws confirm that a court will only interfere with the decision of the directors of a homeowners’ association where that body has failed to comply with the natural justice requirements of legality, procedural fairness and reasonableness, the latter in the sense of a rational connection existing between the facts presented and the considerations that were applied in reaching the conclusion.

If the Memorandum of Incorporation or rules of the homeowners’ association prescribe a formal procedure to follow for permission or consent to be obtained regarding any alteration or other building projects, any member who did not submit a formal request for the building project, even if it is only the erection of a fence and did not include the detail of the fence to be erected for approval prior to the erection thereof, then the fence is “illegal”.

The board of directors of any homeowners’ association has an obligation to enforce the Memorandum of Association and/or the Memorandum of Incorporation and the rules of the association, and should do so in the interests of the whole of the estate and all its members.

Any building project which has been embarked on or even finished without proper procedures followed by the homeowner, and which does not comply with the aesthetical requirements of the homeowners’ association as is prescribed in the rules, are “illegal” in that the member erected the building without formally complying with the requirements of the homeowners’ association.   Directors should carefully consider each and every such building project within the jurisdiction of the association and, in the best interest of all members of the association, invite such members affected for an informal, amicable discussion regarding the removal or further alteration of the building or building project, even if it is only a fence and the time periods to do so. It is important to note that such members should still be obliged to comply with the formal requirements as prescribed by the association. These applications can be tabled in terms of the formal procedures prescribed with consideration to formally consent thereto retrospectively by the board of directors on condition that all prescriptive requirements have been fully met, even if it is merely aesthetically.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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SO WANNEER IS EK BY MAGTE OM AS TRUSTEE OP TE TREE?

SO WANNEER IS EK BY MAGTE OM AS TRUSTEE OP TE TREE?

Article 4_BDie Wet op Beheer van Trustgoedere 57 van 1988 definieer ‘n trustee as “enige persoon (ingesluit die oprigter) wat optree as trustee uit hoofde van ‘n magtiging in terme van Artikel 6.”

In die saak van Lupacchini teen die Minister van Veiligheid en Sekuriteit (16/2010) [2010], ZASCA 108 (17 September 2010), is die posisie van ‘n trustee wat sonder die nodige magtiging opgetree het, oorweeg, waar die trustee regstappe gemagtig het.

‘n Trust wat tot stand kom deur ‘n trustakte is nie ‘n regspersoon nie – maar ‘n spesiale verhouding beskryf deur die skrywers van Honoré’s South African Law of Trusts[1] as “a legal institution in which a person, the trustee, subject to public supervision, holds or administers property separately from his or her own, for the benefit of another person or persons or for the furtherance of a charitable or other purpose.”

Alhoewel die trust eiendom in elke trustee individueel vestig, moet hulle gesamentlik optree, tensy die trustakte anders bepaal. Hulle individuele belange negeer nie die vereiste dat hulle saam moet optree nie.

Die gevolg van ‘n handeling wat in stryd met ‘n statutêre verbod gepleeg is, is al telkemale oorweeg in ander sake, en dit hang af van die behoorlike konstruksie van die wetgewing en die bedoeling van die wetgewer.

Die doel van die wet is om die Meester in staat te stel om toesig oor trustees te kan hou en hulle administrasie van die trust en Artikel 6(1) is essensieel hiervoor, en om die trustees te belet om op te tree alvorens hulle gemagtig is deur die Meester, verseker die wet dat trustees net kan optree as hulle sodanig voldoen aan die wet.

In Kropman NO teen Nysschen[2] is bevind dat ‘n hof die diskresie het om handelinge van ‘n trustee wat sonder die nodige magtiging opgetree het, terugwerkend goed te keur. Hierdie standpunt is met oortuiging in latere sake verwerp.

Locus standi in iudicio” daarenteen is iets anders en is nie afhanklik van die magtiging om op te tree nie, maar hang af of die litigant geag word deur die hof om ‘n genoegsame belang in die litigasie te hou.

Alhoewel Artikel 6(1) ‘n trustee se bevoegdheid om in daardie hoedanigheid op te tree opskort, kan hy of sy ‘n genoegsame belang in die administrasie van die trust hou om locus standi te hê.

Die essensie van die verbiedende frase in artikel 6(1) “… shall act in that capacity only if authorised thereto …”, moet geïnterpreteer word om te bedoel dat ‘n trustee nie voor die Meester se magtiging, enige regte mag bekom vir of kontraktueel verpligtinge aangaan namens, die trust nie en is nie bedoel om die kwessie van locus standi in iudicio te reguleer nie.

Litigasie wat ingestel word deur ongemagtigde trustees en kommersiële transaksies wat die trust bind, is ongeldig en nietig.


[1] 5th ed (2002) by Edwin Cameron with Marius de Waal, Basil Wunsh and Peter Solomon para 1.

[2] 1999 (2) SA 567 (T) at 576F.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Kliek hier om die volledige vrywaring te sien

SO WHEN AM I AUTHORISED TO ACT AS TRUSTEE?

SO WHEN AM I AUTHORISED TO ACT AS TRUSTEE?

Article 4_BThe Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988 defines a trustee as meaning “any person (including the founder of the trust) who acts as a trustee by virtue of an authorisation under Section 6.” 

In the matter of Lupacchini vs Minister of Safety and Security (16/2010) [2010], ZASCA 108   (17 September 2010), the position of a trustee acting without the authorisation of the Master was considered, where that “trustee” authorised legal proceedings.

A trust that is established by a trust deed is not a legal person – it is a legal relationship of a special kind that is described by the authors of Honoré’s South African Law of Trusts[1] as “a legal institution in which a person, the trustee, subject to public supervision, holds or administers property separately from his or her own, for the benefit of another person or persons or for the furtherance of a charitable or other purpose.” 

Although the trust property vests in each trustee individually they have to act jointly unless the deed of trust provides otherwise. Their individual interests do not waive the requirement that they have to act jointly.

The consequence of the validity of an act that has taken place in conflict with a statutory prohibition has been considered in numerous cases, and depends on a proper construction of the particular legislation and the intention of the legislature.

The whole scheme of the act is to provide a manner in which the Master can supervise trustees in the proper administration of trusts, and their knowledge of Article 6(1) is essential to such purpose, and by placing a bar on trustees from acting as such until authorised by the Master, the Act endeavours to ensure that trustees can only act as such if they comply with the Act.

In the Kropman NO vs Nysschen[2] it was held that a court has the discretion to retrospectively validate acts of a trustee that are performed without the requisite authority. This proposition was in later cases rejected persuasively.

“Locus standi in iudicio” on the other hand is something else and does not depend on the authority to act but depends on whether the litigant is regarded by the court as having a sufficiently close interest in the litigation.

Although section 6(1) suspends a trustee’s power to act in that capacity he or she could have a sufficiently well-defined and close interest in the administration of the trust to have locus standi.

The essence of the prohibitory phrase in section 6(1), “… shall act in that capacity only if authorised thereto …”, must be interpreted to mean that a trustee may not, prior to the Masters authorisation, acquire rights for, or contractually incur liabilities on behalf of, the trust and is not intended to regulate questions of locus standi in iudicio.’

Legal proceedings commenced by unauthorised trustees and commercial transactions binding the trust are invalid and void.


[1] 5th ed (2002) by Edwin Cameron with Marius de Waal, Basil Wunsh and Peter Solomon para 1.

[2] 1999 (2) SA 567 (T) at 576F.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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