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Fasten your seatbelts as the Competition Commission revs up the motor industry
2 March 2020 Competition

Fasten your seatbelts as the Competition Commission revs up the motor industry

The Competition Commission (Commission) has released draft guidelines for competition in the automotive aftermarket industry (Guidelines) for public comment. The Guidelines have been labelled as controversial by some bodies, with some claiming that the Guidelines could have serious negative consequences for consumers and the country’s road safety initiatives. Below, we unpack the Guidelines and what they could mean for businesses and customers.

OHSA – yes, this includes mental health – what does the law say?
2 March 2020 Employment

OHSA – yes, this includes mental health – what does the law say?

Our Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation places a duty on every employer to maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of its employees. Indeed, the recently introduced SANS 45001 standard dealing with Occupational Health and Safety management in South Africa, which was introduced in August 2018, specifically acknowledges that an organisation’s duty on workplace safety includes the promotion and protection of both its workers’ physical and mental health

Reviewing a collective agreement?
2 March 2020 Employment

Reviewing a collective agreement?

It is always interesting to find a case where different areas of law collide, bond and diverge. One such matter is Mampane N.O and Others v National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers and Another [2020] 2 BLLR 115 (LAC). In 2011, where the National Lotteries Board (NLC), in response to the Lotteries Act, sought to deploy new staff members to their different provincial offices. This resulted in some employees having to be transferred to different locations. The NLC consulted with the relevant trade unions such as NUPSAW about the deployment of staff and new job

The time has arrived – proposed modernisation of South Africa’s exchange control regime
27 February 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

The time has arrived – proposed modernisation of South Africa’s exchange control regime

For a long time, South Africa’s exchange control (Excon) regime has been viewed as cumbersome, onerous and greatly complicating the transfer of funds abroad. This sentiment is captured in the following statement in the Budget: “Since 1933, South Africa has operated a “negative list” system. By default, foreign-currency transactions are prohibited, except for those listed in the Currency and Exchanges Manual. As a result, even small individual transactions – such as for travel – require onerous approval processes. This regime constrains trade and cross-border flows, particularly in relation to fast-growing African economies.”

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Contract mining and capital expenditure: Proposed amendments following the benhaus mining judgment
27 February 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

Contract mining and capital expenditure: Proposed amendments following the benhaus mining judgment

Mining by its nature requires large initial capital outlays and in recognition of this the Act provides for an accelerated deduction of such capital expenditure by miners. In Benhaus Mining (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (165/2018) [2019] ZASCA 1, it was held that this special regime extended to contract miners who engage in mining operations, under a contract with the holder of a mining right, and who earn a determinable fee under such agreement. For a discussion of this case see our Alert of 12 April 2019.

Clarifying rollover relief for unbundling transactions involving non-resident shareholders
27 February 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

Clarifying rollover relief for unbundling transactions involving non-resident shareholders

Generally, as a matter of tax parity within South Africa’s corporate tax system, the distribution of an asset (including shares) by a company to its shareholders should have the same tax impact as a company sale of the asset followed by a distribution of after-tax cash proceeds. However, section 46 of the Act makes provision for rollover relief where shares of a resident company (referred to as an unbundled company) that are held by another resident company (referred to as an unbundling company) are distributed to the shareholders of that unbundling company in accordance with the effective interest of those shareholders.

Restriction on the use of assessed losses – broadening the corporate tax base
27 February 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

Restriction on the use of assessed losses – broadening the corporate tax base

Given the current economic climate, often the only light at the end of the financially crippling tunnel is the knowledge that the losses incurred in this year of assessment (YOA) can (hopefully) be set off against taxable income in the following YOA. However, the light appears to be dimming as the Minister proposes restricting the extent to which an assessed loss may be used to offset future taxable income.

The sun begins to set on tax incentives
27 February 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

The sun begins to set on tax incentives

Tax incentives are aimed at encouraging certain behaviours and activities by providing businesses and individuals with favourable tax treatment. The introduction of a tax incentive is generally based on a social, economic or environmental need that has been identified, which need can be alleviated by the actions or behaviours of taxpayers in exchange for a tax benefit.

Proposed measures to curb excessive interest deductions
27 February 2020

Proposed measures to curb excessive interest deductions

National Treasury proposes the introduction of a new interest limitation rule which is aimed at addressing profit shifting and base erosion by multinational corporations. The rule is aimed at practices involving the artificial inflation of company debt and/or interest rates to a related party in a jurisdiction with a lower corporate tax rate. The interest is claimed in South Africa as an income tax deduction, subject to transfer pricing provisions and existing interest limitation rules and taxed in a jurisdiction with a lower corporate income tax rate. This practice results in the exportation of the South African tax base to be taxed at a lower rate offshore. The proposal applies to years of assessments commencing on or after 1 January 2021 and limit the net interest expense (NIE) deductions to 30% of “earnings”.

Potential dividend deductions by banks or other covered persons
27 February 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

Potential dividend deductions by banks or other covered persons

Currently banks or other covered persons must, subject to certain exclusions, include in or deduct from their Statement of Comprehensive Income all amounts from qualifying financial assets and financial liabilities that are recognised as profits or losses.

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Video: Nationals Schools Moot Competition Seminar hosted by the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice
29 January 2016 Pro Bono & Human Rights

Video: Nationals Schools Moot Competition Seminar hosted by the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice

The National Schools' Moot Court Competition (the Competition) is a nation-wide high school level moot court competition aimed at building awareness amongst learners about the Constitution, providing them with exposure to the legal profession and facilitating access to legal education. It is a joint initiative of the University of Pretoria, the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Foundation for Human Rights.

Think twice before you tweet
22 January 2016 Employment

Think twice before you tweet

South Africa has walked into a veritable social media storm in the early parts of the year, with employers increasingly being placed in the difficult position of having to decide whether or not to take action against employees for their behaviour online.

Uber: Convenience vs controversy
6 October 2015 Insurance Law

Uber: Convenience vs controversy

Members of public are increasingly making use of the convenient service offered by Uber. While this is undeniably an essential service, questions arise as to its legitimacy and whether this service is not already on offer by existing legitimate transportation services. The latter consideration sparked conflict between Uber service providers and the metered taxi industry and the issue was also recently debated in National Parliament.

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Chris Charter comments on the Massmart complaint
26 February 2015 Competition

Chris Charter comments on the Massmart complaint

Massmart has launched a complaint with the Competition Commission targeting Pick n Pay, Spar and Shoprite in a bid to end lease exclusivity clauses. Chris Charter, Head of our Competition practice comments.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr continues to support the Come Together Home
10 October 2014 Pro Bono & Human Rights

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr continues to support the Come Together Home

Come Together is a key project in Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio. We have seen the Come Together project flourish over the years. We are proud to be part of this worthy initiative, which has and will continue to make a significant difference to the lives of a number of children and adults in the Sebokeng community.

Nicholas Preston comments on Shakes Mashaba and Isegund Gordan having a contract at the same time.
6 August 2014 Employment

Nicholas Preston comments on Shakes Mashaba and Isegund Gordan having a contract at the same time.

Newly appointed Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba arrives back in South Africa after a tour of Mali as the official coach of the senior national team. Isegund Gordan’s contract with SAFA runs until the end of the month, but a employment lawyer says this is perfectly legal that both men can be contracted for the same position at the same time. Director, Nicholas Preston gives comment.

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Gender Parity in Private Equity
30 May 2018 Private Equity

Gender Parity in Private Equity

Directors in our Corporate and Commercial Practice, Nonhla Mchunu and Tessa Brewis, joined Cape Talk's Early Breakfast with Abongile Nzelenzele to discuss was "Gender Parity in Private Equity"