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The Blurred Line

Freedom of speachIn every democratic country a central tenant of liberty is the freedom to express one’s mind, for one to be able to form one’s own unique opinion and, despite any logical flaws or inconsistencies with the communities’ values, profess such views to all and sundry. In South Africa the right of expression itself is enshrined in Section 16 of the Constitution 1996, the stalwart bastion of every fundamental right in our land.

South Africa is a land of a rich but checkered history, a melting pot of social, racial and cultural diversity where a unique sense of sensitivity is required in order to maintain the dignity of all our people. As with the freedom of expression, the right to human dignity is also enshrined and is, arguably, of even greater fundamental importance within our Constitution.

With the advent of social media, forums such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp provide an unknown opportunity for the most politically savvy or the most socially adept to have their voice costlessly broadcasted to entire populations.

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The liability of new property owners for historic municipal debt - Constitutional Court comes to the rescue!


liability blog

The Local Government Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 (“the Act”) places a statutory duty upon municipalities to provide services to the whole of the community within their respective jurisdictions and to progressively realise the rights of access to housing, water and sanitation as enshrined in section 27 of the Constitution.

The municipalities achieve this Constitutional prerogative by, inter alia, revenue generated from the provision of these services.

Section 96 of the Act provides that a municipality must collect all money that is due and payable to it and, for this purpose, maintain and implement credit control and debt collection policies consistent with the Act.

In Mkontwana v Nelson Mandela Metropolitian Municipality 2005 (1) SA 530 CC the Constitutional Court held that a municipality has a duty to send out regular accounts, develop a culture of payment, disconnect the supply of electricity and water in appropriate circumstances and take appropriate steps to collect amounts due.

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Spring has Sprung: With Great Weather comes Great Responsibility.

spring dayToday marks the official start of Spring, and it’s steadily downhill to a scorching summer, holidays, and general end-of-year-debauchery from here. With having been snuggled up indoors for much of winter, summer tends to bring the ‘sun’s out, buns out’ mentality to many.

We bid farewell to gluhwein and roasted marshmallows, and usher in the braais, pool parties, beach days and the “sure, I’ll stay for one more” evenings with family/colleagues/friends.

The summer months see far more bravery than their winter counterparts, and while we are all for dutch courage and making “hold my beer” memories, we like to  promote somewhat civilised behaviour in accordance with what society expects from us. And just in case you thought society doesn’t know how we like to have fun, here are some actual bylaws of our country. From the weird and wonderful, to the seemingly obvious, to the downright ridiculous – they’re all here!

Just when you thought you’d found the perfect spot to slaughter…

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Newly purchased goods damaged or not working as advertised, do not fear the Consumer Protection Act is here.

damaged goodsThe Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) provides consumers with numerous rights which can be enforced against the suppliers of goods and services.

Prior to the inception of the CPA, consumers had limited rights at their disposal for goods and services they received, which were faulty and/or defective. Luckily consumers now have various remedies at their disposal to rectify the previously daunting task of returning defective and/or faulty items.

We have all at some stage or another, thanks to sale promotions and the ease of online shopping, purchased goods, which were delivered defective and/or faulty. Prior to the inception of the Consumer Protection Act, returning a defective product was a nightmare. The consumer would in all probability have had to negotiate with a reluctant supplier, in the hope of being treated in an amicable and fair manner.

With the inception of the Consumer Protection Act ("CPA"), those days are over – even if the store “policy” or “management” disagrees.

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  • Karl Christian Schuler
  • Rudi Jack Heerschop
  • Mark Pienaar
  • Quentin Van Huyssteen
  • Hein Gouws
  • Kevin Van As
  • Samantha Coetzee
  • Sorina Wallis
  • Thuli Nhlapo
  • Amelda Strauss
  • Renette Heerschop
  • Wilria Wepener
  • Dylan Williams
  • JP Spangenberg
  • Brenda Smit
  • Carla Caroto
  • Justine Roode
  • Velme Olivier
  • Rebecca Pabe
  • Larisa van Niekerk

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