Monthly Archives: September 2015

Public nuisances: Legal rights in terms of legistration

A5_b_newPersons who commit disruptive acts of unacceptable behaviour in public places may be warned, arrested and subsequently prosecuted by the authorities. The offender shall be liable for a fine, imprisonment or both upon conviction. How is this enforcement of our rights achieved by an ordinary citizen?

A public nuisance is a criminal wrong; it is an act or omission that obstructs, damages, or inconveniences the rights of the community. The term public nuisance covers a wide variety of minor crimes that threaten the health, morals, safety, comfort, convenience or welfare of a community.[1]

Legislation offers relief in this respect, in specific by-laws of local Municipalities. A by-law is a law that is passed by the Council of a municipality to regulate the affairs and the services it provides within its area of jurisdiction[2]. A municipality derives the powers to pass a by-law from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

With regards to Public Nuisances one would look to By-law Relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances, 2007[3]. The main body of this by-law lists certain acts that are deemed prohibited behaviour and are therewith criminalised. Various acts including begging, using abusive or threatening language, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing a disturbance by shouting, screaming or making any other loud or persistent noise or sound, including amplified noise or sound are listed therein.[4]

Should anyone and his conduct fall within this definition and perform any or multiple prohibited acts of public nuisance, the authorities are to be alerted immediately. The authorities have the power to instruct the offender to immediately cease the offending behaviour, failing which he will be guilty of an offence.

Section 23 states that any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this by-law or disobeys any instruction by the authorities enforcing this by-law, shall be guilty of an offence. This offender shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.

It is therefore evident that by identifying certain acts of unacceptable, aggressive, threatening, abusive or obstructive behaviour of persons in public the offender may be ordered to immediately cease such offending conduct or be arrested for not complying with any order to do so.

Reference List:

  1. http://openbylaws.org.za/za/by-law/cape-town/2007/streets-public-places-noise-nuisances/
  2. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Public+Nuisance
  3. http://openbylaws.org.za/
  4. https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/bylaws/Pages/Home.aspx

[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Public+Nuisance

[2] https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/bylaws/Pages/Home.aspx

[3] http://openbylaws.org.za/za/by-law/cape-town/2007/streets-public-places-noise-nuisances/

[4] Section 2 By-law Relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances, 2007

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

Claims from the road accident fund

A4_b_newIn terms of current legislation, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) is entitled to offer undertakings or guarantees to a Plaintiff who is in the process of instituting a claim against the Fund. The fact that an undertaking is offered instead of a traditional lump sum payment has certain positive and negative aspects to it. It is important to know when to accept or reject certain offers from the Road Accident Fund.

In terms of Section 17(4) of The Road Accident Fund Amendment Act[1], there are 2 categories of undertakings that can be offered by the Road Accident Fund.

Firstly, in terms of Section 17(4)(a) of the Act, an undertaking may be offered by the Road Accident Fund when the Claimant has a claim for medical expenses. When the Claimant has actually paid the amount required for whatever treatment was needed, the Fund will refund the proven amount. In terms of Section 17(4)(a) the Claimant has no option as to whether the amount may be accepted or not and when the Fund makes an offer in terms of future medical costs, it has to be accepted by the Claimant.

In terms of Section 17(4)(b), the Road Accident Fund is entitled to make an offer to the Claimant for an undertaking to pay the Claimant’s future loss of earnings. Payment would only be suspended when the Claimant reaches his predicted retirement age, or if the payments are made to the deceased breadwinner’s dependant. The payment will cease when the dependant’s right to maintenance is suspended.

This type of undertaking differs from the type as mentioned in terms of Section 17(4)(a), however, as the Claimant or his/her representative is not obliged to accept the offer that is made by the Road Accident Fund. There must be consensus between the Road Accident Fund and the Claimant regarding the content of the undertaking and the instalments paid to the Claimant must then reflect the agreement that was reached. This was established in the case of Coetzee v Guardian National Insurance Co Ltd.[2]

In this regard it is important to note that it is often advantageous for the Claimant if an initial lump sum is paid instead of an undertaking for the payment of a periodical amount. When future loss of income is paid in terms of a periodical payment from the Fund, payments will be terminated if the Claimant dies. This would be different if an initial lump sum was paid, because even if the Claimant dies before the predicted date, as future losses are calculated, the Fund will not be able to have any amount repaid to them by the Claimant. Of course this will benefit the Claimant’s estate and family, as a bigger amount will be paid than where an undertaking was made.

The benefit of accepting an offer by the Fund is that the Fund will be more likely to make a settlement offer to the Claimant when it is done in the form of an undertaking. This will be preferred by the RAF as it will have a lesser impact on the Fund’s cash flow. The important thing to consider is that a fair settlement should be negotiated between the RAF and the Claimant, bearing the aforementioned factors in mind.

It will be beneficial for a Claimant to appoint an attorney to make sure that the Claimant receives fair compensation from the Fund.

[1] Road Accident Fund Amendment Act 19 of 2005

[2] Coetzee v Guardian National Insurance Co Ltd 1993 (3) SA 388 (WLD)

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

A3_b_newDie 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.

(8) ‘n Fietsryer wat op ʼn openbare pad of op ʼn afgemerkte gedeelte van ʼn openbare pad fietsry, sal dit op so ʼn wyse doen dat beide wiele van sodanige padfiets te alle tye in kontak is met die oppervlak van die pad.

Die Wes-Kaapse Provinsiale Wet op Padverkeer is gepromulgeer op die 29ste November 2012, en die Wet hou implikasies vir beide fietsryers en voertuigbestuurders in. Hierdie Wet magtig die Provinsiale Minister van Vervoer om sekere sake te reguleer[4] om padveiligheid in die provinsie te verbeter. Onder andere is regulasies uitgevaardig om te verseker dat alle voertuie wat fietsryers wil verbysteek, minstens ‘n veilige afstand van 1.5 meter tussen hulle handhaaf, en wetstoepassing word voorgeskryf teen fietsryers wat nie in enkelgelid ry nie, of wat versuim om by rooi verkeersligte of stopstrate te stop.

Fietsryers het die reg om te verwag dat motorvoertuie hulle veilig verbysteek en op die uitkyk vir hulle is by kruisings. Die Wet op Padverkeer is duidelik waar dit bepaal dat bestuurders ander padgebruikers en fietsryers in ag moet neem. Fietsryers het ook die reg om die linkerkant van die pad te gebruik (nie die uiterste rand van die linkerkant nie). Ons is geneig om te vergeet dat daar fietsryers rondom ons is wat ook die paaie as ‘n middel van vervoer gebruik. Terwyl die wet bepaal dat alle fietsryers valhelms moet dra terwyl hulle fietsry, is dit vir baie ʼn uitgawe wat hulle eenvoudig nie kan bekostig nie, en dit maak hulle byna onsigbaar vir die bestuurders op die pad.

As ‘n bestuurder moet jy jouself afvra wat jy kan doen om ‘n botsing met ‘n fietsryer te vermy. Die AA bied ‘n paar veiligheidswenke vir bestuurders:

  • Gee toe vir fietsryers, veral by kruisings en ​​sirkels.
  • Maak seker dat u altyd u blindekolle dophou en dat die pad skoon en veilig is voor u ‘n draai maak of iemand verbysteek.
  • Moenie ry, stop of parkeer in ‘n fietsbaan nie.
  • Gee fietsryers genoeg ruimte wanneer u hulle verbysteek – daar moet ten minste 1,5 meter tussen u en die fietsryers wees.

Die verandering van die gedrag van bestuurders sal ook help in die stryd tussen padfietsryers en voertuigbestuurders en om sterftes op ons paaie te verminder. Fietsryers moet egter ook hul deel doen deur die volgende reëls na te kom en seker te maak hulle is sigbaar. Hier is ‘n paar veiligheidswenke vir fietsryers op die pad:

  • Gehoorsaam die verkeerstekens en die reëls.
  • Hou links en hou ten minste een meter weg van die sypaadjie en geparkeerde motors.
  • Ry saam met die verkeer en nie daarteen nie.
  • Wees sigbaar – dra reflektiewe klere en ‘n helderkleurige helm te alle tye.
  • Gebruik ligte in die nag – ‘n wit koplamp en ‘n rooi agterlig.
  • Gebruik handseine waneer u draai of om van bane te verwissel.
  • Fietsryers moet altyd agter mekaar ry en nie langs mekaar nie.

Ten einde die aantal sterftes op ons paaie te verminder, moet ons as padgebruikers saamwerk, en dit beteken dat beide fietsryers en motorbestuurders die reëls moet nakom. Die eerste stap sal wees om bewus te wees van die reëls en regulasies wat daargestel is om die belange van albei groepe padgebruikers te beskerm.

[1] 93 van 1996

[2] 6 van 2012

[3] Nasionale Padverkeersregulasies, 2000. Goewermentskennisgewing R225 in Staatskoerant 20963,  gedateer 17 Maart 2000. Aanvangsdatum 1 Augustus 2000 (bladsy 340/389).

[4] Des 6, 2013 – Provinsie WesKaap: Provinsiale Koerant 7208

Hierdie artikel is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet nie gebruik of staatgemaak word op as professionele advies nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of vir enige verlies of skade wat voortspruit uit vertroue op enige inligting hierin nie. Kontak atyd jou regsadviseur vir spesifieke en gedetailleerde advies.

Basiese registrasies en nakoming vir besighede

A2_b_newVir enige besigheid wat in Suid-Afrika sake doen, is dit ‘n uitdaging om op die hoogte te bly van alle vereiste registrasies en nakoming wat deur wetgewing en ander regulering voorgeskryf word. Hier volg ‘n opsomming van die mees algemene registrasies en nakoming wat op die meeste besighede van toepassing is.

  1. Jaarlikse opgawes en jaargelde (Maatskappye): Enige maatskappy wat by die CIPC geregistreer wil bly, moet jaarliks gedurende die maatskappy se verjaardagmaand ‘n opgawe van inligting by die CIPC indien en ook die gepaardgaande jaargeld betaal. (cipc.co.za)
  1. Inkomstebelasting: Enige onderneming wat handel dryf moet by die Suid-Afrikaanse Inkomstediens (SAID) as ‘n belastingbetaler registreer, hetsy as individu/eenmansaak, maatskappy, trust, of enige ander persoon. Jaarliks moet hierdie onderneming ‘n inkomstebelastingopgawe (IB12 of IB14) voltooi en indien. Verder moet daar elke ses maande voorlopige belasting bereken en ‘n opgawe (IRP6) ingedien word, en indien nodig, moet enige verskuldigde bedrag ook betaal word. Nie-nakoming kan aansienlike boetes tot gevolg hê. (sars.gov.za)
  1. Belasting op Toegevoegde Waarde (BTW): Indien die jaarlikse omset van die onderneming R1 miljoen sal oorskry, moet die onderneming vir BTW registreer. ‘n Vrywillige registrasie kan gedoen word indien die omset meer as R50 000 per jaar sal wees. BTW-opgawes moet gewoonlik elke twee maande ingedien word en, indien nodig, moet enige verskuldigde bedrag ook betaal word. (sars.gov.za)
  1. Werkloosheidsversekering: Indien ‘n onderneming werknemers in diens het, moet die onderneming as werkgewer vir werkloosheidsversekering registreer. Maandelikse opgawes vir betaling moet ingedien word. ‘n Bedrag gelykstaande aan een persent van die salarisse van werknemers is deur die werkgewer betaalbaar, en ‘n verdere een persent deur die werknemer. (labour.gov.za)
  1. Werknemersbelasting: Indien enige van die werknemers van ‘n onderneming se vergoeding die perk in die Belastingwet oorskry, moet die onderneming as werkgewer vir LBS (lopende betaalstelsel) registreer. Die belasting moet maandeliks van sodanige werknemers se vergoeding afgetrek word en aan die SAID oorbetaal word tesame met die indiening van die nodige opgawes. Daar moet ook twee keer per jaar ‘n LBS-rekonsiliasie (IRP501) opgestel en by die SAID ingedien word. Jaarliks moet daar saam met die LBS-rekonsiliasie ook IRP5-sertifikate vir alle werknemers uitgemaak word. (sars.gov.za)
    1. Vaardigheidsontwikkelingsheffing: Indien die totale jaarlikse salarisrekening van die onderneming R500 000 oorskry, of indien die onderneming meer as 50 werknemers het, moet die onderneming ook vir die vaardigheidsontwikkelingsheffing (SDL) registreer, en moet daar ook maandeliks opgawes ingedien en die nodige heffing betaal word. (labour.gov.za / www.sars.gov.za)
  1. Vergoedingskommissaris: Enige onderneming wat werknemers in diens het, ongeag die vergoeding wat vir sodanige werknemers betaal word, moet as werkgewer vir ongevalleversekering by die Departement van Arbeid registreer. Die onderneming moet jaarliks ‘n opgawe by die departement indien en word dan aangeslaan teen ‘n persentasie van die totale salarisrekening van die onderneming. Werknemers wat aan diens beseer word, kan dan vergoeding van hierdie fonds eis. (labour.gov.za)
  1. Gelyke Indiensneming: ‘n Onderneming wat meer as 50 werknemers in diens het, of wat die gestelde drempel van jaarlikse omset vir die spesifieke sektor waarin dit handel dryf, oorskry, moet elke twee jaar ‘n gelyke indiensnemingsplan opstel en by die Departement van Arbeid indien. (labour.gov.za)

Hierdie artikel is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet nie gebruik of staatgemaak word op as professionele advies nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of vir enige verlies of skade wat voortspruit uit vertroue op enige inligting hierin nie. Kontak atyd jou regsadviseur vir spesifieke en gedetailleerde advies.

Impact of divorce on validity of will

A1_b_newMost people think that they do not have a valid will, when in fact they do have a valid will. That document that you signed with your ex-spouse 10 years ago is still valid (if all formalities were met) unless you signed a new last will and testament in the meantime.

Yes, that means that your ex-spouse (if stipulated as such in your last will) will inherit your assets. The mere fact that you are divorced does not invalidate your last will. You need to make a new will and stipulate that all previous wills are revoked.

There is however one exception, should you pass away within three months after your divorce, the South African Law assumes that it was your intention to change your will to omit your ex-spouse. Your wishes in your will, excluding the requested made to your ex-spouse, will be adhered to.

Should you however pass away three months and 1 day after your divorce, with a will bequeathing everything to your ex-spouse; it will be assumed that it was your wish to, despite the divorce, that your ex-spouse should inherit your estate.

What happens when you remarried and did not change your will?  Your will is still valid (if all formalities were adhered to). Your current spouse will be entitled to half of the estate (if you were married in community of property) and will need to claim maintenance from your estate.  If his / her claim is not accepted if could lead to a lengthy and costly court case.

It is therefore advisable to change your will as soon as possible whenever your wishes or current situation changes. Do not be caught as the consequences could be disastrous.

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