Act competitively: A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act

Economic uncertainty appears to be the order of the day, especially on home soil, and the contest between businesses to gain market share remains challenging. We are all impacted in some way or another by this race for economic power and prosperity.

How then is it possible to strive towards a free market where businesses have equal opportunities, economic efficiency is achieved, consumers are protected and ultimately economic growth is stimulated?

The answer, in short, is a robust competition policy, which is underpinned at its foundation by sound economic policies. Read more

Follow-on damages – the new kid on the block for competition law non-compliance?

Until recently, the pecuniary risks of non-compliance with the Competition Act at a firm level involved a fine of up to 10% of a firm’s turnover, and for those guilty of cartel conduct, the risk of criminal sanctions that can take the form of fines or imprisonment.

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Compliance Online directors launch the much-awaited 2nd edition of “A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act”

This prestigious event that marked the launch of the second edition of the book, A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act, was held at the offices of the law firm, Webber Wentzel on the evening of 5 April 2017.

The keynote speaker of the evening was the honourable Judge President Dennis Davis and he held the distinguished audience captive with his presentation on “The rapid evolution of competition law in South Africa – navigating the precarious road ahead”.

The guests of honour included the editorial team and authors, Minette Smit (née Neuhoff), Marylla Govender, Martin Versfeld and Daryl Dingley. Minette and Marylla are both directors of Compliance Online and their in-depth knowledge of the competition legislation in South Africa has contributed to the success of the online training solutions they offer to private and public entities on this subject.

Read more about why this book will be appreciated by business people, legal practitioners, economists and academics alike in the article below.

“A Practical Guide to the South African Competition Act” is available from the Lexis Nexis online store.

Processing child information: it doesn’t get more personal than that…

Before we talk about the challenges of processing the personal information of minors, let’s take a step back.

It feels like popi has been in this kind of legislative limbo for years. Oh wait, it has been years. There seems to be some movement lately. Since adv pansy tlakula and the other members of the regulator was appointed last year, they have had their inaugural meeting. Despite a lot of speculation, there has been no indication of when the act will become effective. But we will be watching…

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You have a data breach…now what?

Data breaches are almost inevitable. So, in addition to working towards preventing data breaches, you should be asking yourself whether your business is ready to respond quickly and effectively when the pawpaw (or POPIA) strikes the fan.

When you look at data breaches around the world, businesses often get into hot water for not being prepared to deal with data breaches. Your response must be swift, it must give the affected people the tools to protect themselves, must not open you up to liability (the legal stuff like fines and civil actions) and you must manage the PR fallout. The harm to your reputation is the biggest risk when a breach happens.

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Policies and Procedures: what is the difference?

Well-defined Policies and Procedures can help your business to grow because they enhance your employees’ ability to deliver consistent, high caliber service without dramatically increasing the burden of employee management responsibilities on you.

Despite this generally accepted truth, it is surprising how many companies do not have Policies and Procedures in place that are easy to read and allow employees to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities.  Compliance policy documents in particular are usually full of legal jargon that makes it difficult to read – or just plain boring. They are there to “tick the box”.  Hardly anyone reads them.

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Emoluments attachment orders no longer free for all

There are a few civil matters in which the conduct complained of is so morally reprehensible that one is left aghast at the fact that such conduct managed to continue unchecked for so long. Yet, it took a determined legal aid clinic, a textbook test case and  a no-nonsense Constitutional Court to change a debt-recovery procedure that has been in operation (and subject to abuse) for nearly 40 years. Read more

Compliance with the NCA: credit providers are liable for the actions of their employees

Earlier this year the National Credit Regulator (NCR) referred a matter relating to Lewis Stores, to the National Consumer Tribunal for breach of the National Credit Act (NCA).

The role of the Consumer Tribunal is to adjudicate on applications and allegations of prohibited practice made in terms of the NCA and the Consumer Protection Act.

It was alleged that Lewis Stores and Monarch Insurance Company (its in- house insurance provider) sold retrenchment cover to pensioners and self-employed consumers. It was also alleged that Lewis Stores sold occupational disability cover as part of credit insurance to pensioners, and self-employed consumers. Read more

What you need to know about the largest competition law fine in South Africa to date

Over the past 16 years there have been various competition law cases pending against Arcelor-Mittal (Mittal).

In order to bring these cases to finality, Mittal has reached a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission to pay an eye-watering and record-breaking R1.5billion fine (payable in annual installments over the next 5 years) for its involvement in cartel conduct.  The fine (together with other remedies) is significant and represents the largest fine paid by a single firm to date for anti-competitive conduct. Read more

Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill – Back to basics

Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill – Back to basics

The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill [B33-2015] was published for comment on 29 April 2015. The parliamentary process is complete and the Bill is now awaiting presidential assent. Little has been made of this Bill in the media, perhaps because the changes envisaged by the Bill has no apparent nor immediate impact on ordinary consumers.

For accountable institutions (identified in FICA), however, the Bill is a call to action. It is an opportunity for businesses to take ownership of their processes to combat money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Merely ticking the boxes will no longer suffice. Read more