DGA - Debra Gouws Attorneys's Monthly Newsletter

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February 2022 NEWSLETTER
How the Property Practitioners Act Affects You as a Property Seller, Buyer, Landlord or Tenant from 1 February

From 1 February 2022 all property sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants acquire a series of new rights and responsibilities.

Although the Property Practitioners Act (“PPA”) is a complex piece of legislation and much of it will be of more interest to estate agents and conveyancers than to you as a seller or buyer, landlord or tenant, it is critical that you understand which provisions of the Act affect you on a practical level, and that you be prepared for them. To take just one example, as a property seller you will now have to disclose, in writing and with notice to the buyer, any and all defects and “deficiencies” known to you.

We highlight the main changes for you but as always with any property transaction, there is just no substitute for specific professional advice. 

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Why Life Partners Still Need Cohabitation Agreements and Wills

Some 32 million South Africans co-habit outside marriage (that’s actually from a 2016 census – the number is probably higher now). With the concept of “common law marriage” being a total fiction - albeit a persistent one - life partners need to understand the risks they run in not putting into place both valid wills and a cohabitation agreement to record their wishes as regards their relationship and its consequences. Our law reports are full of unfortunate tales of partners left destitute after decades of living together – a scenario easily avoided with some simple upfront paperwork.

A recent Constitutional Court decision has been rightly hailed as a victory for life partners in their fight to receive the same protections as spouses when it comes to inheritance and maintenance, but you still need a will and a cohabitation agreement. We discuss why… 

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When Does Attendance at a Rugby Match Trigger a Dismissal from Employment?

It may not seem like such a big thing on its own – an employee, keen to attend a big rugby match, calls in sick rather than apply for a day’s leave. But, as a recent Labour Appeal Court judgment confirmed, the employee’s dishonesty in doing so could impair the employer/employee relationship of trust sufficiently to justify dismissal.

Absenteeism (particularly on “big sporting event” days) is an ongoing issue for many employers, and they as well as their employees should take note of the Court’s attitude and decision here.

We discuss both in the context of the facts of this particular matter.
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Using the New Cybercrimes Act to Protect Yourself

Cybercrime of all sorts has been surging for many years now, with a more than 300% increase since the start of the pandemic.

For us potential victims, prevention will continue to be a whole lot better than cure, but our protections have also been strengthened by the (partial) coming into force of the Cybercrimes Act.

And whilst we tend to think of cybercrime only in terms of hacking, online theft, online fraud and the like, when we come to list some of the main categories of newly-created offence we find also criminalisation of “malicious communications” such as the disclosure of “intimate images” and incitements to, or threats of, violence to persons or property. We discuss this aspect with reference to Social Media users.

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Budget 2022: The Minister of Finance Wants to Hear from You!

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has invited the public to share suggestions on the 2022 Budget he is expected to deliver on Wednesday 23 February 2022.

The Ministry of Finance: “As usual, the budget allocation always aims to strike a balance between competing national spending priorities … suggestions must pertain to what should government be spending on, how to address a large budget deficit, new sources of tax revenues, and other budget-relevant information … Minister Godongwana looks forward to your contributions.”

Go to National Treasury’s “Budget Tips for the Minister of Finance” page and fill out the online form. 


Your Website of the Month: How to Smash Your Goals in 2022 (Even If It Is Already February)

“New Year’s Resolutions” are notoriously easy to make but hard to keep, and one wonders how many are still on the radar come February each year.

But perhaps February is an even better time to set your goals for the bright new year ahead than that first week in January with its slightly panicky vibe of “oh wow it’s January already I’d better set some goals and boy did I overdo it this festive season!”

Anyway, for some useful thoughts on how to actually get a new business up and running (or whatever you plan to do with 2022), have a read of “Run that marathon! Write that novel! How to make 2022 the year you finally smash your goals” on the Guardian 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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