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Month: March 2015

VERVREEMDING VAN EIENDOM WAT DEEL VORM VAN ‘N AFTREE-OORD: WAT OM TE WEET

VERVREEMDING VAN EIENDOM WAT DEEL VORM VAN ‘N AFTREE-OORD: WAT OM TE WEET

MHI_A4blBuiten die normale wetgewing van toepassing by die verkoop van onroerende eiendom, word die vervreemding van enige eiendom wat deel vorm van ‘n aftree-oord breedvoerig deur die Wet op Behuisingsontwikkelingskemas vir Afgetrede Persone 65 van 1988 (“die Wet”) gereël.  Lees meer oor die spesifieke vereistes waaraan die Ontwikkelaar en die koopkontrak moet voldoen soos voorgeskryf deur voormelde Wet.

Bogemelde Wet bevat streng voorskrifte waaraan voldoen moet word wanneer sekere belange in behuisingsontwikkelingskemas aan afgetrede persone vervreem word.

‘n “Afgetrede persoon” word in die Wet gedefinieer as “‘n persoon wat 50 jaar of ouer is”, en ‘n “behuisingsbelang” met betrekking tot ‘n behuisingsontwikkelingsskema word gedefinieer as “enige reg om oordrag van die grond waarop die skema betrekking het, te eis , of om daardie grond te gebruik of te okkupeer”.

Dit is nie altyd so maklik om die onderliggende regsaard van ‘n aftree-oord te bepaal nie, en die aantal regstrukture waarop aftree-oorde gebaseer word kan wydgesproke in 3 kategoriee verdeel word, naamlik:

  1. Skemas waar Kopers ‘n behuisingsbelang in die vorm van eienaarskap van die betrokke behuisingseenheid bekom;
  2. Skemas waar die behuisingsbelang wat verkoop word neerkom op ‘n mindere reg as eiendomsreg, welke “mindere regte” deur die Wet as ‘n reg op okkupasie beskryf word. Voorbeelde hiervan is aandeelblokskemas asook die verlening van sogenaamde “lewensregte”.
  3. Gemengde skemas met ander woorde skemas waar ‘n Ontwikkelaar beide eienaarskapsregte sowel as “mindere “ regte vervreem (gewoonlik in die vorm van “lewensregte”).

“Lewensregte” kan verskeie vorme aanneem & bepalings met betrekking tot vergoeding vir die verlening van hierdie regte wissel van skema tot skema.

AFTREE-OORDE WAAR KOPERS EIENAARSKAP VAN HUL BEHUISINGSBELANGE BEKOM

In aftree-oorde waar die Ontwikkelaar besluit om eiendomsreg (in kontras met die sogenaamde lewensregte) te verkoop, is daar ‘n keuse om ‘n skema tot stand te bring gebaseer op eie titel eienaarskap of deeltiteleienaarskap.

By eie titel aftree-oorde verkoop ‘n Koper eiendomsreg van ‘n aparte erf met ‘n behuisingsbelang wat reeds daarop gebou is of daarop gebou sal word. Die Koper ontvang in laasgenoemde geval sy eie aparte titelakte as bewys van eienaarskap en kan die eiendom as sekuriteit onder ‘n verband dien. Die regulering om die werking van ‘n eie titel ontwikkelingskema word uitsluitlik deur die Wet gereël.

‘n Aftree-oord wat as ‘n deeltitelskema bedryf word, word gereguleer deur die bepalings van die Deeltitelwet 95 van 1986 in samewerking met die Wet.

Van die belangrikste vereistes waaraan ‘n koopakte tussen ‘n voornemende Koper en Ontwikkelaar van ‘n aftree-oord ontwikkeling moet voldoen, is die volgende :

  • Die duur van die behuisingsbelang wat vervreem word & enige beperkings daarop;
  • Vermelding of die behuisingsbelang registreerbaar is of nie;
  • Die bedrag of aard van die teenprestasie;
  • Vermelding van die plek waar en ure waartydens reëls waarvolgens die betrokke behuisingsbelang benut moet word, geinspekteer kan word;
  • ‘n vermelding van die amptelike taal wat deur die Koper gekies is as amptelike taal waarin die akte opgestel is;
  • Die datum waarop die Koper geregtig sal wees om die behuisingsbelang te benut en die datum waarop risiko van die behuisingsbelang oorgaan op die Koper.

‘n Belangrikste punt is dat die kontrak ook ‘n raming vir ‘n tydperk van drie jaar vooruit van alle uitgawes vir die beheer, bestuur en administrasie van die behuisingsontwikkelingskema en alle betrokke dienste en fasiliteite asook ‘n aanduiding van die persoon/e wat vir betaling daarvan aanspreeklik sal wees, moet bevat. Die kontrak moet verder ook die grondslag waarop enige heffing deur die Koper betaalbaar, bereken word, tesame met ‘n raming vir ‘n tydperk van twee jaar vooruit, van die bedrag van die heffing bevat.

Art 6 van die Wet bepaal verder dat geen Ontwikkelaar enige teenprestasie of gedeelte daarvan mag ontvang tensy ‘n argitek of bourekenaar ‘n sertifikaat uitgereik het dat die behuisingontwikkelingskema wesenlik in ooreenstemming met die goedgekeurde bouplanne en verordeninge van die plaaslike owerheid opgereig is.  ‘n Okkupasiesertifikaat  soos uitgereik deur die plaaslike owerheid  is dus ‘n voorvereiste voordat die koopprys of enige gedeelte daarvan aan die Ontwikkelaar in sodanige geval oorbetaal mag word.

Kontak Marcelle Strydom vir verdere navrae.

BRONNELYS:

  • Wet op Behuisingsontwikkelingskemas vir Afgetrede Persone 65 van 1988
  • Retirement Villages: An introduction to their legal nature, applicable legislation and the risks faced by investors in such schemes (2) – Lizelle Kilbourn

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.

ALIENATION OF PROPERTY FORMING PART OF A RETIREMENT VILLAGE: WHAT YOU HAVE TO KNOW

ALIENATION OF PROPERTY FORMING PART OF A RETIREMENT VILLAGE: WHAT YOU HAVE TO KNOW

MHI_A4blApart from the normal legislation applicable to the sale of immovable property, the Housing Development Schemes for Retired Persons Act 65 of 1988 (“the Act”) extensively regulates the alienation of any property forming part of a retirement village.  Read more about the specific requirements that a Developer and a deed of sale must adhere to as prescribed by the Act.

The abovementioned Act contains strict requirements that have to be adhered to when an interest in a housing development scheme is alienated to retired persons.

A “retired person” is defined in the Act as “a person who is 50 years of age or older.”

A “housing interest” in relation to a housing development scheme, means “any right to claim transfer of the land to which the scheme relates, or to use or occupy that land”.

The underlying legal nature of a retirement village is not always easily ascertained and the number of legal structures on which retirement villages can be based, can, broadly speaking, be divided into 3 categories, namely:

  1. Schemes where Purchasers acquire housing interests in the form of ownership of the particular housing unit;
  2. Schemes where the housing interest for sale amounts to something less than ownership, and which “lessor rights” are defined by the Act as rights of occupation. Examples hereof are shareblock schemes and the granting of so called “life rights”.
  3. Mixed schemes, in other words schemes where both rights of ownership and lessor rights (usually in the form of life rights) are alienated by the Developer.

“Life rights” take many forms and the provisions of payment of consideration for the granting of these rights also vary from scheme to scheme.

RETIREMENT SCHEMES WHERE PURCHASERS AQUIRE OWNERSHIP OF THEIR HOUSING UNITS

Where a Developer decides to sell ownership in retirement villages (as opposed to the so called lesser rights) there is a choice between establishing a scheme based on freehold ownership or sectional title ownership.

In freehold retirement schemes a Purchaser acquires ownership in a separate erf with a housing unit already built, or to be built. The Purchaser receives a separate title deed proving his ownership, and the property can serve as security under a mortgage bond. The regulation and operation of a freehold retirement scheme is governed exclusively by the Act.

A sectional title retirement scheme is governed by both the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 in cooperation with the Act.

The most important requirements that a deed of sale between a prospective Purchaser and Developer of a retirement village needs to adhere to, are the following:

  • The duration of the housing interest and any limitations thereon;
  • A statement as to whether the housing interest is registerable;
  • The amount or nature of the consideration concerned;
  • A statement of the place where and the hours during which rules, in accordance with which the housing interest concerned is to be utilized, may be inspected;
  • A statement of the official language chosen by the Purchaser as the language in which the contract was drawn up;
  • The date on which the Purchaser will become entitled to utilize the housing interest and the date upon which the risk of the housing interest will pass to the Purchaser;
  • An important point is that the deed of sale must include on estimate, for a period of 3 years in advance, of all expenditure for the control, management and administration of the housing development scheme and all services and facilities concerned and an indication of the person/s who will be liable for the payment thereof.  The Deed of Sale must furthermore include a statement of the basis upon which any levy payable by the Purchaser is to be calculated and an estimate, for a period of two years in advance, of the amount of the levy.

Section 6 of the Act furthermore dictates that no Developer may receive any consideration or any part thereof unless an architect or a quantity surveyor has issued a certificate that the housing development scheme concerned has been erected substantially in accordance with the officially approved building plans and town planning scheme and applicable local authority by-laws. An occupation certificate as issued by the local authority is a prerequisite before the purchase price or any portion thereof may be paid over to the Developer of a scheme.

Contact Marcelle Strydom at MHI Attorneys for advice on Retirement villages.

REFERENCE LIST: 

  • The Housing Development Schemes for Retired Persons Act 65 of 1988
  • Retirement Villages: An introduction to their legal nature, applicable legislation and the risks faced by investors in such schemes (2) – Lizelle Kilbourn

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.

MHI BORG EIENDOMSONTBYT

MHI BORG EIENDOMSONTBYT

MHI was die mede-borg, tesame met C2M Geoktrooieerde Rekenmeesters,  van hierdie jaar se welbekende Rode-eiendomsontbyt wat in samewerking met die Sakeburger gehou is by D’Aria in Durbanville.

Dowwe Dolla (die aktrise Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck) het gesorg vir ligte vermaak en kwinkslae.

Dawie Roodt, direkteur en hoofekonoom van die Efficient Groep, het weer op sy beurt gepraat oor “Goed, sleg, lelik en bloot dom : jou ouma se advies aan ekonome”.

Erwin Rode, eiendomsekonoom en direkteur van Rode & Genote het gesels oor die vooruitsigte vir Suid-Afrika se ekonomiese groei  in die eiendomsmark en die invloed en uitwerking van verskeie faktore op eiendomsbeleggings.

MHI
By die Rode-eiendomsontbyt is voor van links Jurgens Tubb, direkteur van MHI, Dowwe Dolla, Elzaan Schoeman, direkteur van C2M, en Michael Dreyer, assosiaat by C2M. Agter van links is Carel Steenkamp en Carel Bester, albei direkteure van C2M, Erwin Rode, bestuurshoof van Rode & Genote, Chris Faure, direkteur van MHI, Arno Nel, direkteur van C2M en Dawie Roodt van die Efficient Groep.

1March ended on a sad note with our clerk Melanie Visagie leaving us on completion of her articles. She is going to persue her career as a Legal Advisor to a well known property developer. We wish her all of the best. We are sure that she will make MHI proud!

 

 

2

Desilene Abrahams of Stefanus’ practice is also spreading her wings and we will surely miss her bubbly personality. We wish you well!

 

 


We at MHI wish all our valued clients, a safe and Blessed Easter.

SIEKBRIEWE OF VALS BRIEWE?

SIEKBRIEWE OF VALS BRIEWE?

MHI_A1blHierdie artikel handel oor mediese sertifikate en of ‘n werknemer geregtig is om ‘n dag af te neem vir ‘n “siekte”.

Angela het haar werkgewer Maandagoggend in kennis gestel dat sy tuis gaan bly, aangesien sy baie siek gevoel het en nie in staat was om haar werk te verrig nie. Angela het eers Woensdag besluit dat sy die dokter sal besoek omdat sy geweet het dat sy Donderdag moet terugkeer werk toe en dat sy ‘n mediese sertifikaat vanaf die dokter sal benodig om te verhoed dat haar werkgewer die geld van haar salaris aftrek. Daar het egter ‘n verrassing op Angela gewag.

In terme van Reël 15(1) van die Etiese en Professionele Reëls van die Mediese en Tandheelkundige Beroepsraad van die Raad vir Gesondheidsberoepe van Suid-Afrika mag ‘n praktisyn alleenlik ‘n sertifikaat van siekte verleen indien die sertifikaat die volgende inligting bevat:

  • die naam, adres en kwalifikasie van die praktisyn;
  • die naam van die pasiënt;
  • indiensnemingsnommer van die pasiënt (indien van toepassing);
  • die datum en tyd van die ondersoek;
  • of die sertifikaat uitgereik word as gevolg van persoonlike waarnemings deur die praktisyn tydens ‘n ondersoek, of as gevolg van die inligting wat van die pasiënt ontvang is en wat gebaseer is op aanvaarbare mediese gronde;
  • ‘n beskrywing van die siekte, ongesteldheid of kwaal in leketerme, met die toestemming van die pasiënt, met dien verstande dat indien die pasiënt nie bereid is om sodanige toestemming te gee nie, die geneesheer of tandarts bloot bepaal dat die pasiënt volgens sy of haar opinie, gebaseer op ‘n ondersoek van die pasiënt, ongeskik vir werk is;
  • of die pasiënt heeltemal ongeskik vir werk is en of die pasiënt minder inspannende take in die werksituasie kan uitvoer;
  • die presiese tydperk van aanbevole siekteverlof;
  • die datum van uitreiking van die sertifikaat van siekte; en
  • ‘n duidelike aanduiding van die identiteit van die praktisyn wat die sertifikaat, wat persoonlik en oorspronklik langs sy of haar voorletters en van onderteken is, in gedrukte of drukskrif uitgereik het.

As voorafgedrukte skryfbehoeftes gebruik word, moet die praktisyn woorde wat irrelevant is, verwyder. Die praktisyn moet ‘n kort feitelike verslag aan die pasiënt verskaf waar so ‘n pasiënt dit vereis.

Die bogenoemde is grootliks selfverduidelikend. Subreël (e) verwys na daardie omstandighede waar die werknemer byvoorbeeld siek is op ‘n Maandag en Dinsdag en dan op Woensdag die dokter besoek en die dokter inlig dat hy sedert Maandag griep het en ‘n siekbrief vereis. Die dokter sal dan gewoonlik op die siekbrief skryf: “Ek is deur die pasiënt ingelig dat …”

‘n Werkgewer hoef nie hierdie as ‘n ware siekte te aanvaar nie. Die dokter vertel jou net dat die pasiënt sê hy was siek. Die dokter bevestig nie dat hy ‘n ondersoek gedoen het en in staat is om die siekte te bevestig nie. Jy sal dus ten volle geregverdig wees om die werknemer in te lig dat die tyd wat geneem was, as onbetaalde verlof beskou sal word en dat hy in die toekoms die dokter moet besoek op die dag wanneer hy siek word en nie nadat hy herstel het van die beweerde siekte nie.

Ongelukkig vir Angela het haar werkgewer onlangs ‘n artikel gelees wat hom ingelig het oor sy regte om die geld van haar salaris af te trek, omdat sy nie op Maandag of Dinsdag by haar werk opgedaag het nie en eers Woensdag die dokter besoek het, en omdat daar geen manier vir die werkgewer was om vas te stel of sy definitief op daardie dae siek was nie.

In die lig van die bogenoemde sal dit wys wees vir werknemers om die dokter te besoek op dieselfde dag wat hulle siek voel en vir die werkgewers om daarop aan te dring om die mediese sertifikaat te sien en dit behoorlik te ondersoek.

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.

SICK LETTERS OR FAKE LETTERS?

SICK LETTERS OR FAKE LETTERS?

MHI_A1blThis article deals with medical certificates and whether or not an employee is justified in taking the day off for an “illness”.

Angela informed her employer on Monday morning that she would be staying at home as she felt very sick and was unable to do her work in her condition. Angela only decided on Wednesday that she would go to the doctor because she knew she would be returning to work on Thursday, and therefore needed a medical certificate from the doctor so that her work would not deduct the money from her salary. However, Angela had a surprise waiting for her.

In terms of Rule 15(1) of the Ethical and Professional Rules of the Medical and Dental Professions Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa a practitioner shall only grant a certificate of illness if such certificate contains the following information:

  • the name, address and qualification of the practitioner;
  • the name of the patient;
  • the employment number of the patient (if applicable);
  • the date and time of the examination;
  • whether the certificate is being issued as a result of personal observations by the practitioner during an examination, or as the result of information received from the patient and which is based on acceptable medical grounds;
  • a description of the illness, disorder or malady in layman’s terminology, with the informed consent of the patient, provided that if the patient is not prepared to give such consent, the medical practitioner or dentist shall merely specify that, in his or her opinion based on an examination of the patient, the patient is unfit to work;
  • whether the patient is totally indisposed for duty or whether the patient is able to perform less strenuous duties in the work situation;
  • the exact period of recommended sick leave;
  • the date of issuing of the certificate of illness; and
  • a clear indication of the identity of the practitioner who issued the certificate which shall be personally and originally signed by him or her next to his or her initials and surname in printed or block letters.

If preprinted stationery is used, a practitioner shall delete words which are irrelevant. A practitioner shall issue a brief factual report to a patient where such a patient requires information concerning himself/herself.

The above is largely self-explanatory. Subrule (e) refers to those occasions where, for example, the employee has been off sick on Monday and Tuesday and then on Wednesday he goes to the doctor and informs the doctor that he has had flu since Monday and requires a sick note. The doctor is then required to write in the sick note, “I was informed by the patient that …”

An employer does not have to accept this as a genuine illness. The doctor is only telling you that the patient says he was ill. The doctor is not certifying that he made an examination and is able to confirm the illness. You would therefore be perfectly justified in informing the employee that the time taken off will be regarded as unpaid leave and that in future he should visit the doctor when he falls ill and not after he has recovered from the alleged illness.

Unfortunately for Angela her employer recently read an article informing him of his rights to deduct money from her salary because she failed to come to work on Monday and Tuesday and only went to see the doctor on Wednesday, and there was no way of ascertaining that she definitely was ill on those days.

In light of the above it would be wise for employees to see the doctor on the same day that they feel ill, and for employers to insist on seeing the medical certificate and examining it properly.

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.

IS ‘N HANDELSBEPERKINGSKLOUSULE ALTYD GELDIG EN AFDWINGBAAR?

IS ‘N HANDELSBEPERKINGSKLOUSULE ALTYD GELDIG EN AFDWINGBAAR?

MHI_A2blIn die verlede was handelsbeperkingsooreenkomste ongeldig en onafdwingbaar, tensy die werkgewer kon bewys dat die ooreenkoms billik is. Gelukkig vir werkgewers het hierdie situasie verander. 

Wat is ‘n handelsbeperking?

‘n Ooreenkoms wat ‘n party se reg om te handel of ‘n besigheid of beroep te bedryf, beperk op sodanige manier of met sodanige partye as wat hy/sy goeddink, is ‘n handelsbeperking.

‘n Werkgewer sal tipies in die dienskontrak of ‘n aparte ooreenkoms ‘n handelsbeperkingsklousule insluit wat gewoonlik van krag word wanneer die kontrak getermineer of die besigheid of praktyk verkoop word. 

Hoekom is hierdie tipe klousule omstrede?

Dit is omstrede omdat daar ‘n botsing van fundamentele waardes is: aan die een kant is daar ‘n algemene kontrakteursvryheid wat daarop staatmaak dat partye by hul kontrakte gehou moet word, en aan die ander kant is daar handelsvryheid wat ‘n erkende reg volgens die grondwet is.

Soos ander ooreenkomste is handelsbeperkings prima facie geldig en afdwingbaar. Voorheen het die werkgewer die bewyslas gehad om te bewys dat die implementering van die handelsbeperkingsklousule billik en in openbare belang is. Die situasie is nou omgekeerd en die werknemer het nou die bewyslas om te bewys dat afdwinging van die beperking teen openbare belang sal indruis.

‘n Onredelike beperking sal teen die openbare belang wees en dus onafdwingbaar. Die redelikheid van ‘n handelsbeperkingsklousule word beoordeel op die basis van breë belange van die gemeenskap en die belange van die individu self.

Redelikheid inter partes hang van verskeie faktore af:

  • Het die werkgewer ‘n beskermingswaardige belang?
  • Geografiese omvang en tydperk van die handelsbeperking (moontlikheid van gedeeltelike afdwinging)
  • Toegewing deur die werknemer in die kontrak dat die beperking redelik is, en ongelyke bedingingsvermoë van die verskillende partye (hierdie faktore dra min gewig)

Voorbeelde van beskermingswaardige belange is vertroulike inligting, handelsgeheime, kliëntverhoudings en -lyste, en die welwillendheid van die besigheid. Dit sluit egter nie planne om die kompetisie te elimineer en die belegging van tyd en kapitaal in die opleiding van die werknemer in nie.

Dit is nie genoeg dat vertroulike inligting net as sulks beskou word nie. Vir inligting om as vertroulik beskou te word, moet dit kommersieel nuttig wees, met ander woorde dit moet toegepas kan word in die industrie, ekonomiese waarde hê vir die persoon wat dit wil beskerm, en slegs bekend wees aan ‘n beperkte aantal persone.

Die bewys van handelsverbintenisse sal slegs relevant wees indien die werknemer toegang het tot die werkgewer se kliënte en sodanige verhouding met die werkgewer se kliënte het dat dit hom/haar in staat sou stel om so ‘n invloed oor hulle te hê dat die kliënte hom/haar sal volg indien hy/sy die diens van die werkgewer verlaat. Die volgende faktore is hier van belang:

  • die pligte van die werknemer;
  • die persoonlikheid van die werknemer;
  • die frekwensie en tydsduur van die werknemer se kontak met die kliënte;
  • sy/haar invloed or die kliënte;
  • aard van sy/haar verhouding met die klënte (mate van aanhang, omvang van hul vertroue in hom/haar);
  • vlak van kompetisie tussen die mededingende besighede;
  • die tipe produk wat verkoop word; en
  • bewyse dat kliënte verloor is as gevolg van die werknemer se vertrek.

Met verwysing tot die bogenoemde moet die volgende vrae gevra word:

  1. Is daar ‘n belang van party A wat waardig is om beskerm te word?
  2. Word daardie belang benadeel deur party B?
  3. Indien wel, weeg die belang van party A kwalitatief en kwantitatief meer teenoor die belang van party B, wat sal inhou dat daardie party ekonomies onaktief en onproduktief sal wees?
  4. Is daar enige openbare beleid wat vereis dat die handelsbeperking gehandhaaf of van die hand gewys word?

Al is die handelingsbeperkingsooreenkoms billik inter partes, mag dit nog steeds beslis word dat dit nie in openbare belang afgedwing moet word nie.

Bronnelys:

Basson v Chilwan & Others 1993 (3) SA 742 (A)

Sunshine Records (Pty) Ltd v Flohing & Others 1990 (4) SA 782 (A)

Magna Alloys & Research (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Ellis 1984 (4) SA 874 (A)

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.

ARE RESTRAINT OF TRADE AGREEMENTS ALWAYS VALID AND ENFORCEABLE?

ARE RESTRAINT OF TRADE AGREEMENTS ALWAYS VALID AND ENFORCEABLE?

MHI_A2blHistorically restraint of trade agreements were void and unenforceable unless the employer could prove that it was a reasonable agreement entered into between the parties. Fortunately for employers the position in our law has changed.

What are restraint of trade agreements?         

An agreement that seeks to restrict a party’s right to carry on a trade, business or profession in such manner or with such persons as he/she sees fit, is restraint of trade.

Restraint of trade clauses are most commonly found in employment and partnership contracts, which usually takes effect after termination of the contract, or in sale of a business or practice.

Why are they controversial?

They are controversial because there is a clash of fundamental values: on the one hand there is freedom or sanctity of contract which relies on agreements being honoured, and on the other hand there is freedom of trade which is a constitutionally recognised right.

As with other contracts, restraint of trade agreements are presumed to be prima facie valid and enforceable. Whereas the onus had earlier been on the employer to prove that implementation of restraint of trade was fair and in public interest, the onus is now on the employee to show why enforcement in the particular circumstances would be against the public interest.

An unreasonable restraint is contrary to the public interest and hence unenforceable. The reasonableness of a restraint of trade clause or agreement is judged on two bases: broad interests of community, and interests of the parties themselves.

Reasonableness inter partes depends on a variety of factors:

  • Does the employer have a protectable interest?
  • Area and duration of restraint (possibility of partial enforcement)
  • Concession by the employee in the contract that restraint is reasonable, and inequality of bargaining power of parties (these factors carry little weight)

Examples of protectable interests are confidential information, trade secrets, customer connections and lists, and goodwill of the business. However, it does not include interest in the elimination of competition, and the investment of time and capital in the training of the employee.

It is not sufficient simply to label confidential information as such. In order to be confidential the information must be commercially useful, in other words capable of application in trade or industry, have economic value to the person seeking to protect it, and be known only to a restricted number of people.

With regards to trade connections, it will only be relevant when the employee has close working relations with the customers, to such an extent that there is a danger of him/her taking them with him/her when he/she leaves the business. Relevant factors here include the following:

  • duties of the employee;
  • his/her personality;
  • frequency and duration of the contact with the customers;
  • his/her influence over them;
  • nature of his/her relationship with them (degree of attachment, extent of their reliance on him/her);
  • level of competition between the rival businesses;
  • type of product sold; and
  • evidence that customers were lost when he/she left the business.

With reference to the above the following questions must be asked:

  1. Does party A have an interest deserving of protection?
  2. Is such interest being prejudiced by party B?
  3. If so, how does A’s interest weigh up qualitatively and quantitatively against B’s interest in not being economically inactive and unproductive?
  4. Is there some broader facet of public policy that requires the enforcement or rejection of the restraint?

If restraint of trade agreement is reasonable inter partes, it may still be unenforceable if it is damaging to the public interest for a reason not peculiar to the parties.

Sources:

Basson v Chilwan & Others [1993] 3 SA 742

Sunshine Records (Pty) Ltd v Flohing & Others 1990 (4) SA 782 (A)

Magna Alloys & Research (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Ellis 1984 (4) SA 874 (A)

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.

ROAD CYCLISTS vs. MOTORISTS

ROAD CYCLISTS vs. MOTORISTS

MHI_A1blThe popularity of road cycling as a competitive sport and a form of transportation is on the rise. This naturally leads to major safety concerns and serious accidents among both groups of road users.

Both the National Road Traffic Act[1] and the Western Cape Provincial Road Traffic Act[2] regulate the rights of and rules for pedal cyclists and motor vehicle drivers on roads in the Republic of South Africa. The National Road Traffic Act has specific regulations pertaining to cycling safety and every cyclist should be alert to these regulations. Regulation 311[3] states as follows:

  1. No person shall ride a pedal cycle on a public road unless he or she is seated astride on the saddle of such pedal cycle.
  2. Persons riding pedal cycles on a public road shall ride in single file except in the course of overtaking another pedal cycle, and two or more persons riding pedal cycles shall not overtake another vehicle at the same time.
  3. No person riding or seated on a pedal cycle on a public road shall take hold of any other vehicle in motion.
  4. No person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall deliberately cause such pedal cycle to swerve from side to side.
  5. No person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall carry thereon any person, animal or object which obstructs his or her view or which prevents him or her from exercising complete control over the movements of such pedal cycle.
  6. A person riding a pedal cycle on a public road shall do so with at least one hand on the handle bars of such pedal cycle.
  7. Whenever a portion of a public road has been set aside for use by persons riding pedal cycles, no person shall ride a pedal cycle on any other portion of such road.

[1] 93 of 1996
[2] 6 of 2012
[3] National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000. Government notice R225 in Government Gazette 20963, dated 17 March 2000. Effective as from 1 August 2000 (page 340/389).

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.

PADFIETSRYERS TEENOOR MOTORISTE

PADFIETSRYERS TEENOOR MOTORISTE

MHI_A1blDie gewildheid van padfietsry as ‘n mededingende sport en ‘n vorm van vervoer is aan die toeneem. Dit lei natuurlik tot groot kommer oor veiligheid en ernstige ongelukke tussen alle padgebruikers.

Beide die Nasionale Padverkeerswet[1] en die Wes-Kaapse Provinsiale Wet op Padverkeer[2] reguleer die regte en verpligtinge van fietsryers en voertuigbestuurders op paaie in die Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Die Nasionale Padverkeerswet het spesifieke regulasies met betrekking tot fietsryveiligheid, en elke padfietsryer moet bedag wees op hierdie regulasies. Regulasie 311[3] bepaal die volgende:

  1. Niemand mag ‘n padfiets ry op ‘n openbare pad nie, tensy hy of sy wydsbeen op ʼn saal van sodanige trapfiets ry.
  2. Persone wat padfietse ry op ‘n openbare pad moet agter mekaar ry tensy een fietsryer ʼn ander verbysteek. Twee of meer fietsryers mag nie ʼn ander voertuig tegelykertyd verbysteek nie.
  3. Geen staande of sittende fietsryers mag aan ʼn bewegende voertuig op ʼn openbare pad vashou nie.
  4. Geen fietsryer mag op ‘n openbare pad doelbewus veroorsaak dat sodanige padfiets van kant tot kant oor die pad swenk nie.
  5. Geen fietsryer op ‘n openbare pad sal enige persoon, dier of voorwerp op die padfiets vervoer wat sy of haar sig belemmer nie, of wat sy of haar volle beheer oor die padfiets belemmer nie.
  6. ‘n Fietsryer wat op ‘n openbare pad ry, sal te alle tye ten minste een hand op die stuurstang hou.
  7. Wanneer ‘n gedeelte van ‘n openbare pad voorsiening maak vir fietsryers, mag geen fietsryers op enige ander gedeelte van daardie openbare pad ry nie.

[1] 93 van 1996
[2] 6 van 2012
[3] Nasionale Padverkeersregulasies, 2000. Goewermentskennisgewing R225 in Staats-koerant 20963, gedateer 17 Maart 2000. Aanvangsdatum 1 Augustus 2000 (bladsy 340/389).

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.

MAINTENANCE

MAINTENANCE

MHI_A2blWhat can you do to enforce a maintenance order against a person who is responsible for paying maintenance, but fails to do so or is paying too little?

When someone fails to pay maintenance in terms of a maintenance order you have the option of lodging a complaint against them with the Maintenance officer, stating that the person is legally liable to maintain, for example, yourself or your minor child(ren) and is not doing so. The Maintenance officer must investigate the complaint and may then institute an enquiry in a maintenance court. The Maintenance officer, not the complainant, decides whether to institute an enquiry.[1] In investigating a complaint about maintenance, the Maintenance officer may obtain statements or any relevant information pertaining to the payment of maintenance. An enquiry under the Maintenance Act is a procedure which empowers people to enforce their rights and those of their child(ren) at the State’s expense. During the course of a maintenance enquiry the parties usually come to an agreement and seek to withdraw the proceedings, or have the terms of the agreement made an order of court, which cannot be disregarded by the magistrate.[2] If the parties cannot come to an agreement the matter will be referred to the maintenance court.

Whenever a person against whom a maintenance order has been issued under the Act fails to make any payment in accordance with that order, the order is enforceable in respect of any amount that person has failed to pay, together with any interest:

  1. by execution against property;
  2. by the attachment of emoluments; or
  3. by the attachment of debt.

If a maintenance order made under the Act remains unsatisfied for a period of ten days from the day on which the amount became payable or the order was made, the person in whose favour the order was made may apply to the maintenance court in which the order was made:

  1. for authorisation of the issue of a warrant of execution,
  2. for an order for the attachment of emoluments or
  3. for an order for the attachment of debt.

The application must be accompanied by a copy of the maintenance order or other order in question and a statement under oath stating the amount that the person against whom the order was made has failed to pay.[3]

Subject to the defence that failure to make a payment in terms of a maintenance order is due to a lack of means, a person who fails to make a particular payment in accordance with a maintenance order is guilty of an offence and liable to conviction with a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to imprisonment without the option of a fine.[4]

On the application of the public prosecutor and in addition to or instead of imposing a penalty, a court convicting any person of the offence of failing to make a payment in accordance with a maintenance order may grant an order for recovery from that person of the amount he or she has failed to pay, together with any interest.[5]

Your best option would be to approach the Maintenance officer in order to reconcile the outstanding amounts. Thereafter, if the person still fails to effect payment, you can approach an attorney to either proceed with execution of the order, if the person has sufficient movable or immovable property, or obtain an emolument order which will be served upon the employer of the person (ordering the employer to pay the maintenance), or you may approach the maintenance court for an order for the attachment of any debt accruing, then or in the future, to the person responsible for paying maintenance.

[1] The Maintenance Act 99 of 1998.
[2] Young v Young 1985(1) SA 782 (C).
[3] The Maintenance Act 99 of 1998.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.

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.