DGA - Debra Gouws Attorneys's Monthly Newsletter

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Property Owners: Your Rates Could Quadruple for Unauthorised Land Use

One of your unavoidable ongoing expenses as a landowner is the monthly rates bill levied by your local municipality. As high as you think your rates may be now, they could get a lot worse if you use your property for something illegal or unauthorised. That will open the door to your municipality to impose a “penalty rate” on you.

We illustrate with reference to a case in which Johannesburg property owners faced a quadrupled rates bill after they let out two rooms in their house to students without municipal authority. The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld that increase, and whilst every municipality will have its own rates and land use policies, the principle is there – unlawful land use is likely to get expensive!

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Workplace Harassment: The New Code in a Nutshell

All employers and employees need to know of the new “Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the Workplace” which came into effect during March.

We discuss who the Code applies to, when and where it applies, and what you as an employer have to do about it now.  

We address also (with lists and tables of examples) what is meant by the terms “harassment”, “sexual harassment” and “racial, ethnic or social origin harassment” – with a final suggestion that if you think something might amount to workplace harassment, it almost certainly is!

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Don’t Just Leave Your Loved Ones Assets – Leave Them a Legacy!

We all want our loved ones to be properly catered for after we are gone, and formulating an estate plan is central to that.

First prize will always be a plan that goes beyond just the practical and the financial and leaves something far more personal, something of yourself.

Procrastination is a natural reaction to any contemplation of our own mortality, but this need not be an intimidating process, and no one can afford to procrastinate when it comes to caring for family. To which end, we share three simple steps to ensure that you don’t just leave behind assets, but also a lasting and valuable legacy…

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Beware The Badly Worded Bond Clause!

Whether buying or selling a property you are no doubt dealing with a high-value asset, and a reminder to have your sale agreement professionally drawn or checked, before you sign anything, comes from a recent High Court decision.

A seller with cold feet was unable to escape from an unfavourable sale agreement even after the buyer had failed to obtain a bond four years down the line.

The problem was the particular wording of the “bond clause”. That’s a clause that has tripped up many a seller and many a buyer in the past, and we analyse why things went badly for the seller (and well for the buyer) in this matter.

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Website of the Month: 3 Things the Most Productive People Do Every Day

“Here’s how to expand your mind’s abilities to get more done”

Boosting productivity is one of the fundamentals of success in both our personal and our professional lives.

“Get more done in less time” is the perfect strategy for making the most of everything we do, but how to go about it in practice? Our challenge in the Online Age is being swamped by productivity tips of every shape and size – so how do we cut through the noise and get to the nub of what will work for us and what won’t?   

For a quick and easy summary of three tried-and-tested ideas on cutting through to the essentials, read “3 Things the Most Productive People Do Every Day” on the Barking Up the Wrong Tree website.



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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