Discussion Paper: The Circular Economy – Mining the “new gold” for South Africa

This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview on South Africa’s achievements, current initiatives and future opportunities and challenges relative to the concept of the Circular Economy.  It is published on the occasion of the trade delegation of European companies to South Africa, led by the EU Delegation to Pretoria, interested in learning about the investment opportunities in South Africa’s nascent Circular Economy. Please find the full paper here (pdf).
 

Policy and Regulatory Alert: Summary on the White Paper on National Integrated Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) policy

On 28 September 2016, Cabinet approved the White Paper on the National Integrated Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Policy. The key aspects of the proposed new ICT policy are:

  1. affordability of mobile and internet services for every household,
  2. a higher diversity of products and services overall,
  3. a higher mobile and internet service coverage in rural areas, and
  4. provision of ICT services by a higher number of smaller, black market participants.

Please find the full paper here (PDF).

Policy and Regulatory Alert: The South African tourism status quo

The tourism sector has become increasingly important for the growth of the South African economy. South Africa’s natural beauty and diverse ecology, its dynamic history, and relative affordability make it an attractive destination for overseas visitors. However, the current regulatory framework often impedes, rather than facilitates the arrival of tourists to the country. Please find the full paper here (PDF).

Policy and Regulatory Alert: The Draft Liquor Amendment Bill 2016 and the National Liquor Policy 2016

The current Draft Liquor Amendment Bill and the Draft National Liquor Policy offer a broad range of suggestions to further regulate the manufacturing, distribution and retail of alcohol. Considering the two main objectives, the advancement of transformation in the liquor industry and the reduction of irresponsible drinking and alcohol abuse, the presented suggestions fall short. Read More (PDF)

Protection Of Investment Act: Draft Regulation On Mediation Rules

Draft Regulations on Mediation Rules

In December 2015, the Protection of Investment Act was assented by President Jacob Zuma but has yet to be gazetted in order to set a commencement date. The Act replaced pre-existing bilateral investment treaties between South Africa and EU Member States with a domestic regime thereby generating some apprehension as to the level of protection that foreign investors will enjoy in South Africa, notably with regards to the protection of property rights, as highlighted by several submissions made then by the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa. Read More

Policy and Regulatory Alert: The Central Supplier Database

On 1 September 2015, as part of the broader public procurement reform, the National Treasury launched the Central Supplier Database (CSD) to facilitate a public procurement system that is automated, fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective. It was introduced to simplify the way of doing business with the government whilst reducing the risk of corruption. 
The CSD became operational on 1 April 2016 and since then it has become compulsory for government and state owned enterprises to use the CSD. Please find our full alert here (PDF).

Policy and Regulatory Alert: The Industrial Waste Management Plans

In her Budget Vote Speech on 3 May 2016, Minister Edna Molewa, Department of Environmental Affairs, positioned the role of the waste sector as “one of the most important potentially emerging contributors to the generation of jobs in the green economy”. The current debate regarding the Industrial waste Management Plans must been considered in the context of this strategic intent. 

Our policy and regulatory alert focuses on the latest Notice published on 12 September, which requested feedback from the affected industry associations. Please find our full alert here.

 

 

Policy and Regulatory Alert: NRCS and LOA Issuance Delays

The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) has come under fire in the last 24 months by Importers, and by SA Industry or Members of Parliament alike, for the most part due to delays in emission of Letters of Authority (LOA’s), and the ensuing costs incurred by the private sector. LOA’s were issued by SABS in the past, and were often issued within 30 days, or even 21 days. In spite of NRCS’ and the DTI’s contentions about 120 days being the global “gold
standard” today, and self- declared efforts to curb the trend, some LOA’s can take up
to 18 to 24 months to be issued or more. This delay is now perceived by some industry associations as a non-tariff trade barrier, and therefore as impeding fair trade, which
is contrary to the NRCS’s mandate. Please read the full alert here.

Submission to the High Level Panel on the Assesment of Key Legislation

Parliament has appointed a High Level Panel whose mandate it is to investigate the impact of legislation in respect of the following areas: 

  • The Triple Challenges of Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality; 
  • The creation of, and equitable distribution of wealth; 
  • Land reform, restitution, redistribution and security of tenure; 
  • Nation building and social cohesion. 

The legislation in question would include that which has the greatest direct impact on the citizens of South Africa, such as combating poverty, services and the delivery thereof, education, health, employment, housing, combating crime, social development and the legislation that seeks to protect and improve the lives of women and children. 

The High Level Panel aims to review legislation, assess implementation, identify gaps and propose action steps that impact on specific areas. This will be done with a view to identifying laws that require strengthening, review and/or amending.  In other words, this intervention will entail the identification of existing legislation that enables the transformational goals of the developmental state, as well as laws that impede this goal. 

We have submitted our input to Committee 1, which will investigate the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment – including the creation and equitable distribution of wealth, and Committee 2, which will examine the extent to which land reform policies and legislation give effect to Section 25 of the Constitution and the extent to which they are adequately enforced.

Please find the submitted documents on 19 August here (cover letter, annex). Further information is provided here.

The outcome of the work of the High Level Panel will be a package of recommendations that will be considered by the South African Legislative Sector. A period of 18 months, starting in January 2016, has been allocated for the completion of the High Level Panel’s work and the Panel will conduct its work through the following three Committees.   

Policy and Regulatory Alert: Draft Preferential Procurement Regulations

On 14 June 2016, National Treasury published the Draft Preferential Procurement Regulations (“Draft Regulations”) of 2016 in terms of section 5(2) of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act 5 of 2000 (“PPPFA”) for public comment until 15 July 2016. The Draft Regulations intend to repeal the 2011 Preferential Procurement Regulations in their entirety.

The PPPFA and the related regulations form the legislative framework which governs all procurement processes run by the State.

If the new regulations are implemented in their current form, they will significantly alter the criteria in terms of provision of services for government contracts and the corresponding assessment of these services.

Please find a link here to the Alert summarising all potential implications.

 

Presentations on Gauteng Economic Indaba 2016 (Cedarwoods, Woodmead)

The following presentations were given as part of the Commissions conducted on day 2 of the Economic Indaba (9 June):

  • Stefan Sakoschek, Commission "Manufacturing" (presentation)
  • Ignaz Fuesgen, Commission "Economic Enablers" (presentation)
  • Bart van Uythem, Commission "Enterprise Development and Building the Social Economy" (presentation)

The full programme of the Indaba can be found here.

Discussion Paper on WTO's "Trade Facilitation Draft Agreement" regarding substandard, counterfeit, and dangerous goods imported into South Africa

In order to restore the balance and speed up the flow of trade in South Africa, and as South Africa is a subscriber to WTO rules and processes, EU companies, SACCI, and other stakeholders in South Africa solicit the urgent implementation of WTO-TBT, Art 5.3 , namely the requirement for a conformity assessment certificate (conformity to South African Standards, equivalent to a LOA as required in South Africa) as part of the documentation required for imported goods, pre-arrival into South Africa.
The negative impact on jobs, manufacturing and the economy at large of these sub- standard imports which are dumped on the African sub-continent, and in South Africa specifically, are a source of concern. Our joint suggestion comprises of pleas and operational suggestions, relative to the issuance of a Directive by the DTI, as well as recognition and utilization by NRCS of international standards conformity assessment bodies.

Please find the full document attached here.

Discussion Paper on Property Rights

The present paper intends to provide a succinct analysis of a broad range of policy initiatives affecting property rights in South Africa as well as a business perspective on their impact, notably in respect of foreign direct investments.

Find the full paper here.

Policy and Regulatory Alert: Changing the Trajectory for Health in South Africa

The regulatory and legislative landscape for the health sector in South Africa is shifting to ensure greater consumer protection, enforcement and compliance of the private sector, improved service delivery as well as better control of the illicit market for health products.

This alert covers four health sector-related areas:

  1. The new Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act,
  2. National Health Promotion Policy and Strategy (2015-2020)
  3. National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Obesity (2015-2020)
  4. National Health Insurance

The full alert can be downloaded here.

Policy and Regulatory Alert: Change in Partial Testing

An internal directive by South African Bureau of Standards CEO Dr. Boni Mehlomakulu in 2015 requires that SABS Test House only perform “full testing” in future, and puts an end to “partial testing” or “specific testing” to SANS Standards by the SABS. 

The policy alert examines the impact on domestic and foreign manufacturers. The full alert can be found here.

Legal Anatomy – a South African Act on the dissecting table

Have you ever wondered whether there was something like a legal anatomy of an Act allowing us to study its structure, position and interrelation of its various parts? A detailed and empirical analysis similar to a human body’s dissection for the purpose of judging functionality, expedience and performance quality?

In their latest book “G&A Methodology to Business Rescue and Compromises” South Africans Karl Gribnitz, former senior business rescue practitioner, and Robert Appelbaum, partner at law firm Webber Wentzel, have developed a ground-breaking methodology and dissected Chapter 6 of the South African Companies Act 2008 with an exclusive focus on business rescue proceedings and compromise offers (http://www.gnacompass.co.za/ga-methodology-business-rescue-and-compromises-1st-edition). 

The exemplary features of Chapter 6 listed below serve to illustrate the “burning platform” that drove Gribnitz and Appelbaum’s innovation:

  • The skeleton of Chapter 6 consists of 28 sections, which have 127 subsections and 131 sentences, which are made up of 10,383 words. The longest sentence is 154 words and the shortest sentence is 45 words. The average is 79 words.

  • For Business Rescue, within 25 days, 354 obligations have to be addressed including 323 related to the Company, directors and practitioners.

  • 163 rights exist.

  • The affected parties have collectively 895 implied rights and 28 obligations. Out of those, 99 are direct and common rights, which means that those rights are described in the Act. The remaining 796 rights arise from the 353 conditions and the 326 obligations, which must be met by other parties. If a condition is not met, even in case of all obligations being fulfilled, the affected party can still approach to have the business rescue set aside.

  • The Act contained 289 cross references (of all descriptions), of which 278 related to Business Rescue and 11 related to Compromise offers. 

Ignaz Fuesgen, Senior Advisor to the EU Chamber, has taken a closer look at this new methodology. His article can be found here