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April 2019 NEWSLETTER
Your Dog, Cat or Cow (Even Your Bees) Could Cost You Millions
We all know that causing someone else loss either negligently or intentionally lays us open to being sued for damages.

What is less well known – and in this case ignorance is extremely dangerous – is that animal owners can be held liable for loss or damage caused by their animals on a “no fault” or “strict liability basis”. You can be sued for millions when you are in no way at fault.

On what basis can you be held liable? Are there any defences you can raise? How can you protect yourself? We investigate, with reference to a recent case in which the owner of three dogs was sued for R2.3m after his dogs viciously attacked an innocent passer-by, causing him to lose an arm.
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Neighbours Building? Know Your Rights Re Plan Approval
ArticleImage Disputes with neighbours take many forms, and they can quickly escalate into costly and expensive litigation. So nipping them in the bud will always be first prize, and when it comes to fights over construction activity – whether it be a whole new building or additions/alterations – a good place to start is with municipal approval of building plans. Without such approval, construction cannot as a general rule proceed.

We discuss a recent Constitutional Court decision regarding what factors the municipality (or rather the “decision maker” municipal employee tasked with the job) must take into account when considering building plans. Know and enforce your rights here! It could save you from having to live with a major problem next door.
   
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Losing Your Licence with AARTO Demerits: More Danger than You Thought, and The Wheels are Turning
ArticleImage Government has “cried wolf” on the AARTO demerit system so many times now that many of us have lost sight of just how seriously it will affect us when it finally comes into force. Now the wheels of implementation are turning – fast. It’s time to prepare!

The fact is that every motorist, every vehicle owner, every professional driver, every transport operator, indeed every employer, will be at risk. We discuss what demerit points are, how they are allocated and reduced, how and when your driver’s licence is at risk.

Last but certainly not least, we share a table of some common traffic offences and the demerit points they carry. There are some real surprises there…
   
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Small Claims Courts - From 1 April You Can Sue For Up To R20,000
ArticleImage Access to Justice can be a costly and complicated affair, leading government to provide an alternative to our mainstream courts. The idea is to help you resolve disputes in a “speedy, affordable and simple manner” using our Small Claims Court system.

Who can use the Small Claims Court? Who can you sue? What sorts of claims can you pursue? How much can you claim and what happens if your claim exceeds the limit?

We address all those questions, and end off with a thought on seeking legal advice when even a seemingly minor claim might have wider ramifications.
   
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Your Website of the Month: Music for Productive Work
ArticleImage Can music affect how productive we are at work? How creative, and how successful at learning new material?

No less a scientist than Albert Einstein once said “I often think in music”, so if you find music an important part of your work life you’re in good company.

We refer you to a website discussing what science says we should be listening to and when, what the “right track” is for the “right task”, and the ideal musical tempo for “alpha state” calm alertness and concentration.

Happy (and productive) listening awaits!
   
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Disclaimer

The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as 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 professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.


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