December 9, 2016
As the end of the year is fast approaching, silly season is in full swing. The pressure of getting all the items on the To Do List ticked off before the holidays start, can easily get the better of us. Deadlines at work, school holidays, that planned beach vacation and the menu for Christmas lunch with the in-laws, all threatening to push us over the edge of already spent nerves. Although we know that it must be mostly in our minds, our bodies are starting to scream one thing – I need a vacation!
But as we run around to get everything done and organised in time, one cannot help to start reflecting on the year that has past. When speaking to people it is evident that for many 2016 has been a tough year. And certainly it has been! The economy saw threats of junk status, we survived another election year, interest rates were hiked and generally South Africans have been left with a feeling of uncertainty.
But even in uncertain times in ones’ path of reflecting, there are many things to be thankful for. At KVV Inc we are certainly thankful! Thankful for another year in which our business could grow, thankful for exceptional clients and so many business opportunities. Running and growing a business is never easy, but being able to reflect on so many successful registrations, closed deals and outstanding bank rankings is for sure a blessing by which we are so humbled! Thank you to each and every one of our clients who supported us, partnered with us and walked side by side with us during this year! We look forward to continuing to do so in 2017!
Whether your 2016 has been a year of highs or lows, may you have the opportunity to rest and recharge your batteries these Holidays. May you have a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by loved ones and filled with happy memories and lots of joy. And may 2017 bring you everything your heart desires!
Have a blessed Christmas!
Mariette van Zyl | Director
December 8, 2016
“Why should a municipality be entitled to visit the sins of a predecessor in titleupon innocent third parties when there is no relationship or connection between that party and the debts in question?” (Extract from judgment below)
A recent Pretoria High Court judgment has come to the rescue of property buyers being pressured by the local municipality to pay the previous owner’s debts.
When you buy a property, the municipality won’t issue the seller with a “clearance certificate” – necessary for the transfer of the property to you – until all rates and taxes, water and electricity accounts etc due for the 2 years prior to transfer have been paid in full.
But there’s a problem when the seller’s debts are older than 2 years. The municipality cannot force the seller to pay those historical debts by holding back transfer.
Relax; you’re no longer the soft target
And – until this latest judgment – you were the softest target for the municipality’s debt collection department. It could cut off your electricity and water. It could threaten to have your property sold in execution. And you could end up shelling out a lot of money to settle someone else’s debts – R6,5m was claimed from one of the buyers in this matter.
If fear of that happening to you held you back from buying a house, relax – that’s all changed. Holding that “In the absence of an agreement to that effect, a new or subsequent owner ….. is not liable for the payment of historical debts incurred by previous owners or occupiers”, the Court declared the provision allowing such action by the municipality to be constitutionally invalid. It seems likely that this will be confirmed by the Constitutional Court and adopted by all the other High Courts.
December 8, 2016
“A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong” (Rodney Dangerfield)
With Wedding Season in full swing, here’s a timely reminder – take legal advice on choosing one of the three “marital regimes” available to you in our law before you actually tie the knot.
That’s important because if you don’t specify otherwise in a pre-marriage ANC (antenuptial contract), you will automatically be married in community of property. Which, as we discuss below, may well be a poor choice for you. And although you can usually change your regime after marriage it’s a lot easier and cheaper to get it right up front.
Your 3 choices
- Marriage in community of property: This is the default regime that will apply if you don’t specify otherwise in your ANC. With only a few exceptions, everything you own, everything you owe, and everything you accrue while married fall into one “joint estate”. Your spouse must consent in writing to certain transactions. On divorce or death your joint estate will usually be split equally between you, regardless of what each of you contributed to the marriage. And if one of you runs up debts or gets into financial difficulties, it is the joint estate that must pay and may be sequestrated – you could lose everything.
- Marriage out of community of property without the accrual system: Your own assets and liabilities, both what you bring in and what you accrue during the marriage, remain yours, and yours alone, to do with as you wish. You aren’t liable for your spouse’s separate debts and if your spouse’s estate is sequestrated your separate assets will be released to you (against proof that they are indeed yours). This may be the right choice for you, but be aware that without accrual the poorer spouse (usually a spouse whose contribution to the marriage was more on the home-making side rather than financial) risks being left destitute after many years of marriage.
- Marriage out of community of property with the accrual system: As with the previous option, your own assets and liabilities remain yours and under your sole control, and you can protect your assets from your spouse’s creditors. On divorce or death however, with only a few exceptions you share equally in the “accrual” (growth) of your estate. Although this is a fair and popular option for modern marriages, it is not necessarily the best choice for your particular circumstances, and proper advice is essential.
You have some important decisions to make. All three choices have their own advantages and disadvantages, what is set out above is of necessity just a general summary of your choices, and whichever regime you opt for you should ask your lawyer to tailor your ANC to suit your particular circumstances. So don’t leave it to the last minute!
December 8, 2016
This year’s new minimum wages for all domestic workers are set out in the table at the end of this article.
Who is covered?
- All domestic workers in South Africa working in a private household
- People employed by employment services
- Independent contractors who are doing domestic work
- A person doing gardening in a private home
- People who look after children, sick or old people and people with disabilities in a private home
- A person driving for the household
But excluding –
- Domestic workers employed on farms
- Domestic workers employed in activities covered by another sectoral determination or bargaining council agreement (such as contract cleaning workers).
Are you in Area A or Area B?
Area A includes most major metropolitan areas; Area B is all other areas.
See the full lists on the Department of Labour website.