Monthly Archives: May 2016

Who are occupiers in terms of the EST Act and why are they excluded from the ambit of the PIE Act?

A4_bThe Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (“PIE Act”) provides, inter alia, the procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupiers. Section 1 of the PIE Act defines an “unlawful occupier” as someone who occupies land without the express or tacit consent of the owner or person in charge or without any other right in law to occupy such land. This definition expressly excludes a person who is an occupier in terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 (“EST Act”). Section 29 (2) of the EST Act states that the provisions of the PIE Act shall not apply to an occupier in respect of land which he is entitled to occupy in terms of this Act. Who are occupiers in terms of the EST Act and why are they excluded from the ambit of The PIE Act?

The EST Act has as its aim the provision of measures to facilitate long-term secured land tenure with state assistance. This Act grants occupiers the right to obtain a secured long-term right to occupancy with the permission of the owner, upon request on or after 4 February 1997.

Occupiers of rural land, farms and undeveloped land are specifically protected under this Act. The EST Act does not apply to, inter alia, occupiers living in already proclaimed township areas, land invaders, labour tenants and people using land for mining and industrial purposes and for commercial farming purposes. Occupiers in terms of the EST Act receive a secured right in law to live on and use the land they have been occupying, under permission, for continued periods of time. The occupier thus enjoys protection of this right and as a result such a secured right may not be unreasonably altered or cancelled by the owner or person in charge of the land without notice to, and the permission and/or consent of, the occupier. This includes protection against unfair or arbitrary eviction and, in fact, provides its own specific mechanisms for the eviction of long-term secured occupants, which must be followed.

Actions such as the removal of a right to occupancy, access to the land, water or electricity, denial of family or visitors on the said land and the prohibition of the use of the land for personal reasons are all forms of evictions in terms of the EST Act and are strictly regulated by this Act when applicable to occupiers classified under and granted rights in terms of this Act.

Many occupiers of land who do so with the proper and necessary consent and permission of the owner are not aware that they possess tenure rights to occupy such land on a long-term basis. Unless such an occupier commits a serious wrong or fails to honour any terms of the agreement with the owner, he/she may not be arbitrarily evicted in terms of any eviction process available to owners, including those available under the PIE Act. Such occupier’s rights are protected and regulated under the EST Act.

Bibliography:

  1. Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998; www.sarflii.org/za/legis/consol_act/poiefauoola1998627/ (accessed 11 March 2016);
  2. Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997; www.justice.gov.za/lcc/docs/1997-062.pdf (accessed 11 March 2016);
  3. People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty, PASSOP, www.passop.co.za/your-rights/housing-rights-esta (accessed 11 March 2016).

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. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace

A3_bEmployees are often faced with a difficult situation in the workplace when falling pregnant. Many establishments react unfavourably towards female employees that fall pregnant. These employees are often discriminated against in various direct and indirect manners. There are, however, clear provisions that protect employees in these situations which employees should familiarise themselves with.

There are different ways in which employees can be discriminated against in the workplace due to the fact that the employee has fallen pregnant. These forms of discrimination have different degrees of disadvantage towards the employee. It can range from having her contract terminated, being treated badly, being verbally abused or being ridiculed because she has fallen pregnant.

As a point of departure, it is stated in Section 9(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa[1], that nobody may be discriminated against based on the fact that they are pregnant. It is therefore a constitutional right for an employee not to be discriminated against in any form or manner because of her pregnancy. This right is further confirmed by Paragraph 4.2 of the Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy[2].

The most severe form of discrimination against an employee is the dismissal of an employee due to the fact that she has fallen pregnant. The Labour Relations Act [3] specifically mentions that an employer is not entitled to dismiss an employee due to her pregnancy. However, there are various other ways of discriminating against a pregnant employee that should be noted.

Employees should be mindful of more subtle forms of discrimination, such as contracts not being renewed when it was earlier apparent that it would have been, or where a promotion is not granted to an employee purely because she has fallen pregnant at a certain time. Whenever an employee can prove that there was a direct link between any disadvantage and her pregnancy, she will most likely be entitled to the appropriate remedy. Employees are further entitled to a certain amount of unpaid maternity leave and will be entitled to insist on it.

In the event of an employee being dismissed due to her pregnancy, or where it is clear that an employee was discriminated against in any way for this reason, there are various remedies for the employee to choose from. It is always a good idea to resolve the issue without taking legal action, as this will be an expensive exercise and will most likely cause a relatively uncomfortable atmosphere between an employee and an employer. An informal arrangement between the employer and employee is therefore recommended, yet it is not always a practical solution. However, if no other option is available to the employee, she will always have the option to approach the CCMA as well as Labour Courts to prove that she was discriminated against due to her pregnancy. She will then be in a position to request the appropriate remedy.

In conclusion, female employees should be mindful of possible forms of discrimination against them as it is clearly prohibited. Direct and indirect forms of discrimination exist but aren’t always easy to identify. However, if identified and proven, such discrimination will not be allowed and must subsequently be corrected.

Bibliography

Acts:

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy

Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995

[1] Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

[2] Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy

[3] Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995

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. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Registrasie van sterftes en doodsertifikate in Suid Afrika

A2_bSuid-Afrikaanse burgers beskik oor die algemeen nie oor voldoende kennis rakende die prosedures verbonde aan die registrasie van ʼn sterfte, die verkryging van ʼn doodsertifikaat, of hoe en waar hierdie prosesse afgehandel kan word nie. Om die afsterwe van ’n familielid te verwerk is op sigself ’n beproewende tydperk, sonder die ekstra drama daaraan verbonde om die nodige regsprosesse te probeer uitvind en voltooi. Daar is ʼn uiteensetting van die regulasies en vereistes, in die Wet op die Registrasie van Geboortes en Sterftes 51 van 1992, vir die registrasies van sterftes sowel as die stappe verbonde aan die verkryging van ʼn doodsertifikaat.

Volgens die Wet op die Registrasie van Geboortes en Sterftes moet die afsterwe van die persoon gerapporteer word aan ’n gemagtigde amptenare, soos aangewys deur die Departement van Binnelandse Sake. Amptenare by die Departement van Binnelandse Sake, Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens, Suid-Afrikaanse Ambassade of Konsulate is gemagtig, en ingevolge van die bemagtiging kan die betrokke amptenare ʼn sterfte registreer.

ʼn Vorm vir die kennisgewing van Sterfte (vorm BI-1663) moet voltooi word wanneer ʼn sterfte gerapporteer word. Hierdie vorm, tesame met alle ander relevante dokumente om die afsterwe van ʼn individu te registreer, is beskikbaar by alle kantore van die Departemente van Binnelandse Sake. Sommige afdelings van hierdie vorms moet deur bepaalde individue ingevul word, alvorens die sterfte geregistreer is. Die nodige individue is die persoon wat die sterfte rapporteer, ʼn mediese praktisyn of ʼn tradisionele geneesheer en ʼn lid van die Binnelandse Sake of die Polisiediens. Elk van die individue moet ’n deel van die vorm invul alvorens die vorm voltooi is.

Die Sterfteverslag (vorm BI-1680) sal uitgereik word nadat die sterfte by ʼn spesifieke, gemagtigde amptenare- soos deur die wet bepaal – aangemeld is. Hierdie verslag kan net uitgereik word deur iemand wat oor die nodige magtiging beskik. Hierdie aangewese persone kan ook ʼn begrafnisbevel uitreik. Geen begrafnis kan plaasvind totdat ʼn begrafnisbevel (vorm BI-14) deur een van die amptenare uitgereik is nie.

Die afsterwe van Suid-Afrikaanse burgers en Suid-Afrikaanse permanente verblyf permithouers, wat buite Suid-Afrika sterf, moet aan die naaste Suid-Afrikaanse Ambassade of Konsulaat gerapporteer word. Die land waarin die afsterwe gerapporteer is, is dan verantwoordelik vir die uitreiking van ʼn doodsertifikaat. ʼn Gesertifiseerde afskrif van die doodsertifikaat moet dan na die Suid-Afrikaanse Ambassade gestuur word. As die oorlede in Suid-Afrika begrawe word, sal amptenare van die betrokke Ambassade help om al die papierwerk en reëlings in orde te kry, sodat die liggaam van die oorlede burger na Suid Afrika gestuur kan word en te ruste gelê kan word.

Die Departement van Binnelandse Sake sal ʼn sterftesertifikaat uitreik met ontvangs van die volledige voltooide kennisgewing van sterfte vorm (vorm BI-1663), sowel as die Sterfteverslag (vorm BI-1680) en die aansoekvorm vir ʼn sterftesertifikaat. ʼn Verkorte sterftesertifikaat sal verniet uitgereik word sodra die nodige papierwerk ingehandig is. ʼn Volledige sterftesertifikaat sal uitgereik word (vir die verkryging van hierdie vorm sal daar ’n bedrag betaal moet word), met die indiening van die voltooide BI-132 vorm.

Indien ’n persoon foutiewelik as dood in die Nasionale Bevolking Registreer geregistreer is, moet hy/sy of enige belanghebbende party dit onmiddellik aan die Departement van Binnelandse Sake rapporteer sodat ʼn dringende ondersoek na die saak aanvang kan neem.

Hoofstuk 3 van die Wet op die Registrasie van Geboortes en Sterftes het ʼn uiteensitting van die prosesse wat gevolg moet word indien iemand in jou familie of vriendekring sterf. Die Wet stipuleer ook die spesifieke toestande waarin persone kan sterf en hoe dit die regulasies beïnvloed en verander. ’n Voorbeeld hiervan is wanneer ʼn mens aan natuurlike oorsake sterf of in teenstelling daarmee wanneer die dood die gevolg van andere oorsake is. Die prosesse en die amptenare wat vorms moet invul verskil vir die boegenoemde twee oorsake van dood. Die regsprosesse is baie eenvoudig en die amptenare by Binnelandse Sake kantore is baie behulpsaam en sensitief. Sodra ʼn mens weet waarheen om te gaan en met wie om te praat dan voel die proses reeds korter en nie so oorweldigend nie.

Verwysingslys

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. (E&OE)

So wanneer is ek by magte om as trustee op te tree?

A1_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. (E&OE)