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Prohibition no more: Loop structure rules amended and related considerations
22 January 2021 Tax & Exchange Control

Prohibition no more: Loop structure rules amended and related considerations

In our Tax & Exchange Control Alert of 17 August 2018, we discussed how South Africa’s exchange control rules prohibit the creation of so-called loop structures, with certain exceptions. A loop structure entails the formation by a South African resident of an offshore structure which, by reinvestment into the Republic, acquires shares, loan accounts or some other interest in a South African resident company or a South African asset. Fast forward to January 2021 and it is now official that the loop structure prohibition is no more, after the release of Exchange Control Circular 1/2021 (Circular) by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on 4 January 2021.

VAT and vouchers: A recent High Court decision
22 January 2021 Tax & Exchange Control

VAT and vouchers: A recent High Court decision

The VAT implications of vouchers may, on the face of it, seem to be of little significance and straightforward. However, VAT on vouchers has been the subject of a significant amount of litigation in the United Kingdom and the European Union. New Zealand has amended its VAT legislation twice in this regard and the United Kingdom substantially amended its VAT rules on vouchers from January 2019. SARS issued two draft interpretation notes during 2012 on the subject but neither have been finalised. It is therefore somewhat surprising that there have been very few VAT disputes in South Africa in relation to vouchers.

Implementation of the final EPR Regulations for the electrical, lighting, and paper and packaging sectors is postponed to 5 May 2021
21 January 2021 Environmental

Implementation of the final EPR Regulations for the electrical, lighting, and paper and packaging sectors is postponed to 5 May 2021

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) published draft regulations on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on 26 June 2020 to give effect to Sections 18 and 69 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008. On 5 November 2020, and following an extended comment period on the draft regulations which saw the submission of extensive inputs from various industries that will be potentially impacted by the implementation of EPR, the DEFF published the final regulations (EPR Regulations) and Notices, which were to take effect on date of publication.

Adjusted Level 3 regulations
21 January 2021 Employment Law

Adjusted Level 3 regulations

Tamsanqa Mila, Associate in the Employment Law practice, joined SAfm to discuss the adjusted Level 3 regulations. He discusses amongst other things, disciplinary actions that an employer can impose if there is lack of compliance in the workplace.

Can shareholders be held to have “traded recklessly”?
20 January 2021 Corporate & Commercial

Can shareholders be held to have “traded recklessly”?

It is well understood that shareholders retain power in respect of certain significant decisions relating to the company, and it is accepted that as a general rule, shareholders do not owe a fiduciary duty when exercising their rights and powers. The shares are the shareholder’s property, and the rights attached thereto may be exercised at the total discretion and whim of the shareholder in disregard of consequences for others – but a recent case has indicated that there are limits to this.

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Prohibition no more: Loop structure rules amended and related considerations
22 January 2021 Tax & Exchange Control

Prohibition no more: Loop structure rules amended and related considerations

In our Tax & Exchange Control Alert of 17 August 2018, we discussed how South Africa’s exchange control rules prohibit the creation of so-called loop structures, with certain exceptions. A loop structure entails the formation by a South African resident of an offshore structure which, by reinvestment into the Republic, acquires shares, loan accounts or some other interest in a South African resident company or a South African asset. Fast forward to January 2021 and it is now official that the loop structure prohibition is no more, after the release of Exchange Control Circular 1/2021 (Circular) by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on 4 January 2021.

VAT and vouchers: A recent High Court decision
22 January 2021 Tax & Exchange Control

VAT and vouchers: A recent High Court decision

The VAT implications of vouchers may, on the face of it, seem to be of little significance and straightforward. However, VAT on vouchers has been the subject of a significant amount of litigation in the United Kingdom and the European Union. New Zealand has amended its VAT legislation twice in this regard and the United Kingdom substantially amended its VAT rules on vouchers from January 2019. SARS issued two draft interpretation notes during 2012 on the subject but neither have been finalised. It is therefore somewhat surprising that there have been very few VAT disputes in South Africa in relation to vouchers.

Implementation of the final EPR Regulations for the electrical, lighting, and paper and packaging sectors is postponed to 5 May 2021
21 January 2021 Environmental

Implementation of the final EPR Regulations for the electrical, lighting, and paper and packaging sectors is postponed to 5 May 2021

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) published draft regulations on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on 26 June 2020 to give effect to Sections 18 and 69 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59 of 2008. On 5 November 2020, and following an extended comment period on the draft regulations which saw the submission of extensive inputs from various industries that will be potentially impacted by the implementation of EPR, the DEFF published the final regulations (EPR Regulations) and Notices, which were to take effect on date of publication.

Can shareholders be held to have “traded recklessly”?
20 January 2021 Corporate & Commercial

Can shareholders be held to have “traded recklessly”?

It is well understood that shareholders retain power in respect of certain significant decisions relating to the company, and it is accepted that as a general rule, shareholders do not owe a fiduciary duty when exercising their rights and powers. The shares are the shareholder’s property, and the rights attached thereto may be exercised at the total discretion and whim of the shareholder in disregard of consequences for others – but a recent case has indicated that there are limits to this.

Call for Public Comment: Expropriation Bill, Bill 23 of 2020
19 January 2021 Dispute Resolution

Call for Public Comment: Expropriation Bill, Bill 23 of 2020

Public participation is a well-established and critical process in South Africa’s legislative process. On Wednesday 2 December 2020, the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure officially invited stakeholders and interested parties to submit written submissions on the Expropriation Bill [B23 - 2020]. Written submissions are to be submitted to expropriationbill@parliament.gov.za by no later than Wednesday, 10 February 2021.

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Regulating the consequences of force majeure in your contract
20 May 2020 Corporate & Commercial

Regulating the consequences of force majeure in your contract

The emergence of Covid-19 introduced a host of governmental directives that made it impossible for some parties to meet their contractual obligations, often leaving them scrambling for their contracts to see how this has been regulated, if at all.

The question of adequate protection for essential service healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Labour Court analyses a trade union's complaints
14 April 2020 Employment Law

The question of adequate protection for essential service healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Labour Court analyses a trade union's complaints

On 8 April 2020, the Labour Court heard an urgent application launched by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union ("NEHAWU") against the Minister of Health ("the Minister"), the Minister of Employment and Labour, and the Provincial MECs for Health. This application concerned whether adequate provision of personal protective equipment ("PPE") was being made available to healthcare workers on the front line in public hospitals.

5 legal tips for start-ups
25 October 2018 Corporate & Commercial

5 legal tips for start-ups

Many highly successful start-ups are bedevilled by legal disputes, often between founders or funders, which could have been easily avoided. The story of McDonalds is one example. It was founded by brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, who were ultimately allegedly short-changed by Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc, who joined the business after its establishment but took all the glory (and the money). How? Because they did not put legal agreements in place to regulate their partnership.

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Vaccinations policy in the workplace
18 January 2021 Employment Law

Vaccinations policy in the workplace

Hugo Pienaar, Director in the Employment Law practice featured on an eNCA interview discussing the vaccinations policy in the workplace and the ten legal principles that should be considered when deciding to create or implement such a policy.

Mid-term Budget Speech
30 October 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

Mid-term Budget Speech

Louis Botha Tax & Exchange Control Senior Associate, took part in a panel discussion on CNBC's Closing Bell to unpack some highlights from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's mid-term budget speech on 28 October 2020.

Working from home and drinking on the job
23 October 2020 Employment Law

Working from home and drinking on the job

Bongani Masuku, Director in the Employment Law practice joined eNCA to discuss the implications of drinking on the job whilst working from home. He explains the obligations of employers and employees responsibilities arising from the continued applicability of the Occupational Health and Safety Act; the provisions of the LRA and Contracts of Employment during the National Lockdown

Working from home and consuming alcohol or drugs
19 October 2020 Employment Law

Working from home and consuming alcohol or drugs

Employment Law Director Phetheni Nkuna joined SABC's Morning Live to discuss the legalities around the consumption of and intoxication from alcohol, drugs and dagga while working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COSATU Nationwide Strike
7 October 2020 Employment Law

COSATU Nationwide Strike

Hugo Pienaar, Director in the Employment Law practice joined CNBC Africa to discuss the federation union's strike on 7 October 2020. He unpacks the legislative framework and the impact of the strike.

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Adjusted Level 3 regulations
21 January 2021 Employment Law

Adjusted Level 3 regulations

Tamsanqa Mila, Associate in the Employment Law practice, joined SAfm to discuss the adjusted Level 3 regulations. He discusses amongst other things, disciplinary actions that an employer can impose if there is lack of compliance in the workplace.

Is 2021 bringing about a change? A consideration of mandatory vaccinations in the workplace
18 January 2021 Employment Law

Is 2021 bringing about a change? A consideration of mandatory vaccinations in the workplace

With businesses preparing to resume as near to “normal” operations, as is possible, and with the rollout of covid-19 vaccinations worldwide, it is unlikely that the government will impose a mandatory vaccination program across the country. The question of mandating inoculation within the employee population will therefore need to be determined by individual employers on a case by case basis. A decision to be made sooner rather than later.

Exchange control
3 December 2020 Tax & Exchange Control

Exchange control

Tax and Exchange Control Senior Associate, Louis Botha, joined Cape Talk to discuss the legality of holding onto unspent foreign currency and related exchange control issues.

Drinking while working from home
30 November 2020 Employment Law

Drinking while working from home

Bongani Masuku, Director in the Employment Law practice joined Rise FM to discuss drinking whilst you are working from home during the new normal.