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How laws change in South Africa and how women throughout our history have made an impact on legislation

Blog article by: Jacolene Jansen van Vuuren   A woman’s place is in changing the world. It is only over the last three or four decades that women's role in the history of South Africa has actually been given some recognition. As we celebrate Women’s Month we commemorate the history of women’s struggle in South Africa and the role of women in the progress towards the new South African democracy. In the not-so-distant past, it was the men who had the lion’s share of authority in society; women were seen as subordinate. A woman’s role was primarily a domestic one; it included raising...

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Is there ever grounds to cancel an offer to purchase?

Blog article by: Neil Mc Kinon Signing an offer to purchase is an exciting time for any buyer. The freedom of owning one’s own property or the thrill of a new investment is a major drawcard for property buyers. But signing an offer to purchase can also come with some buyer’s remorse and the question most often asked is “can I get out of the agreement once I’ve signed?” The answer complex, but in short, no. The terms and conditions in an offer to purchase are designed to protect both the buyer and the seller and prevent either party from unilaterally changing their mind...

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The property I bought has since been damaged, what happens now?

A blog article by: Neil Mc Kinon It’s a nightmare scenario for any buyer: “We are in the process of buying a property in KZN. We have signed the transfer documents from the transferring attorney but not the home loan documents from the home loan attorney. We have NOT occupied the property yet. The house has been damaged significantly by the recent floods. We are not confident that the owner will pay for the damages even though the deed has not been lodged with the Deed’s Office. We won't be able to afford to fix the damages ourselves. If we decide...

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Everything you wanted to know about sick leave

A blog article by: Carla de Waal It’s inevitable: There are days when one feels ill and cannot report to work or might have a medical emergency that requires rest and recuperation. Sick leave is regulated by Sections 22(1) to 22(4) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act ("the Act"), and a sick leave cycle starts as soon as an employee begins employment.   What exactly is a sick leave cycle? During 36 months beginning on the first day of employment, employees are eligible for paid sick leave with the same employer. The number of sick days should be equivalent to the exact number...

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I am going through a divorce. My soon-to-be ex-partner has hidden assets, what are my options and what are the potential consequences for my partner?

Blog article by Tania Jones    If you are married in community of property or married out of community of property with the accrual system applicable, the biggest obstacles that divorce attorneys and their clients face occurs when a spouse hides their assets.  This usually happens during the divorce or in the months and even years leading up to the separation of the parties.    How people attempt to hide assets  During the actual divorce, a spouse simply does not include all of their assets when they list their assets and liabilities.    A spouse will increase their expenses and liabilities to try to diminish...

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You’re almost an official homeowner. Here’s a closer look at what happens at the Deeds Office

A blog article by: Brendan Michie  The Deeds Office is responsible for the registration, management, and maintenance of the property registry of South Africa and is responsible for the accurate examination, registration and record-keeping of all property transactions.  It currently takes between 7 and 21 working days for a property to be registered at the Deeds Office.     But what actually happens at the Deeds Office?   In a nutshell, the Deeds Office procedure for registration follows several steps. A deed is examined on both a junior and senior level before arriving at the desk of a senior registrar who confirms whether the deed is passed...

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Unfairly dismissed? Five steps to take when dealing with the CCMA

Blog article by Tania Jones  Unfair dismissal is the termination of employment without substantive reasons existing and/or a fair procedure being followed - such as a disciplinary hearing - or both.   If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed, you may want to report the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), an organisation with specially trained staff, to assist employees and employers with labour disputes.   While it is never wise to ‘burn bridges’ with your employer, it is sometimes unavoidable, and you are within your rights to lodge a dispute with the CCMA if you feel it is...

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Pains and gains of buying a house: A nightmare scenario

Buying a new home is an exciting, if not daunting, experience, but excitement can quickly turn into disappointment if certain defects of your new home become apparent after you move in. When your dream home becomes a nightmare, what can you do? Legal expert from Hammond Pole, Michelle Orsmond, looks at this nightmare scenario and shares her advice on how to deal with it.  Scenario  You bought a house, and a certificate of compliance (CoC) was provided. However, after moving into the house, you discover that the gas geyser is not working, and there are other issues, including a leaking roof. How...

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How recent judgements are making it easier to claim maintenance

A blog article by Tania Jones (previously Abbotts)  It’s not often that a legal argument about maintenance reaches the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa. This is partly because most Magistrates’ Courts have their own maintenance division with court officials who are specially trained in maintenance law. They first attempt to reach a settlement between the parties and when they are not successful, the matter is then referred to the Maintenance Court. The Magistrate then considers evidence from both sides to make a ruling. While this process sounds easy, the reality is more complex and often takes over three to...

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How the new Property Practitioners Act (PPA) affects you

Property Practitioners Act

The Property Practitioners Act (PPA) officially came into effect on 1 February 2022. It’s an important piece of legislation designed to protect consumers in the property industry. Here’s everything you need to know about the PPA:   In a nutshell, what is the Property Practitioners Act (PPA) all about?  The legislation is a continuation of the former Estate Agencies Affairs Act and the Estate Agent Fidelity Fund. It touches on transformation in the property sector and the regulation of estate agents, also known as property practitioners.    Who counts as a property practitioner?   The new law goes beyond traditional estate agents and includes managing agents, property developers,...

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