AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS FOR USE IN AND OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA

Introduction Have you ever had to legalise documents within South Africa for use abroad or vice versa? If you have, then you have no doubt experienced the frustration of having same signed/executed only to find out later that the documents are not legally valid or acceptable Herewith a brief summary of the requirements for authentication …

Fairness and the FIDIC Silver Book

The FIDIC General Conditions of Contract, contained in the Silver Book version, requires the Employer to act in the “traditional” role of the Engineer. The purpose of this article is to examine the Employer’s power to make determinations in respect of the Contractor’s claims in terms of Clause 3.5 of the Silver Book Contract, and …

Defective works and succeeding contractor’s liability.

When a contractor is replaced by a new contractor it is of the utmost importance that the succeeding (new) contractor must understand the provisions of his/her appointment agreement, as well as the liabilities imposed in terms of the agreement. Depending on the intention of the parties to the contract, the contractor’s liability regarding defective works …

Safety Requirements for Swimming Pools

Swimming Pools represent a safety risk and for this reason the legislature deemed it prudent to promulgate regulations that govern the safety measures applicable to swimming pools. Part D4 of the National Building Regulations, (“regulations”) requires that an owner of any site which contains a swimming pool must ensure that access to such swimming pool is …

Exciting development at AM Theron Inc!

AM Theron inc is excited to announce a new development within the firm. As of January 2018, Mr Anton Theron has stepped into the shoes of director at AM Theron Inc and has taken the wheel from Hendrik and Amelia Markram, the founders of the firm. Hendrik and Amelia Markram retain a close working relationship …

THE LIABILITY OF THE ARCHITECT IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAW

THE LIABILITY OF THE ARCHITECT IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN LAW   McKenzie’s “Law of Building and Engineering Contract and Arbitration 7th Edition, p 129” defines an architect as “a duly qualified professional person whose function it is to design and supervise the erection of buildings.” In the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary an architect is described …

Construction Law – Governance of the architectural professions as a whole and the legislative framework determining inter alia architects’ scope of practice and registration requirements

1. In terms of the Council for the Built Environment Act, 43 of 2000 (hereinafter referred to as “the Built Environment Act”), a “registered person” means a person registered in terms of any of the professions’ Acts. These professions’ Acts are defined as the following: 1.1 The Architectural Profession Act, 2000. 1.2 The Project and Construction Management Professions …

Construction Law – Governance of the architectural professions as a whole and the legislative framework determining inter alia architects’ scope of practice and registration requirements

1. In terms of the Council for the Built Environment Act, 43 of 2000 (hereinafter referred to as “the Built Environment Act”), a “registered person” means a person registered in terms of any of the professions’ Acts. These professions’ Acts are defined as the following: 1.1 The Architectural Profession Act, 2000. 1.2 The Project and Construction Management Professions …

Contract Law – Our Courts’ approach to exemption clauses and the potential impact of the Consumer Protection Act thereon

Introduction: 1. Exemption clauses are provisions in a contract in terms of which a party is protected from certain claims in respect of damages, loss, negligence, non-performance etc. An example of an exemption clause is the following: “The buyer shall not have or acquire any claim against the seller, nor shall the seller be liable in …

Product Liability – Our Courts’ approach to product liability claims and the impact of the Consumer Protection Act thereon, with specific reference to manufacturers’ and suppliers’ liability

Prior to the Consumer Protection Act, Act 68 of 2008, (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) coming into force, a person seeking to recover damages from a supplier in respect of defective goods could rely on either contractual remedies or the common law warranty against latent defects. A person seeking to recover damages from a …

Medical Law – “Negligent misstatement” of a patient’s HIV status: what risk befalls the health care provider?

 1. In the matter of Geldenhuys v National Health Laboratory Services 2014 JDR 1656 (GP) the appellant (Ms Geldenhuys) instituted action against the respondents (the National Health Laboratory Services and the MEC for Health and Welfare, Limpopo) for damages suffered as a result of an alleged negligent misstatement in respect of her HIV status. The …

Medical Law – Res Ipsa Loquitur debate

It has until recently been accepted that the maxim of res ipsa loquitur (the facts speak for themselves) does not find application in cases involving medical negligence in accordance with the findings of the Appeal Court in the matter of Van Wyk v Lewis [1924 AD 438].  This position was recently reconsidered by the Supreme …

Construction Law – Certain instances where the NHBRC could be held liable by a home owner for rectification of major structural defects in a new home

INTRODUCTION: 1. In the unreported matter of Stergianos v National Home Builders Registration Council 2012 JDR 1982, the Plaintiff, Mr Stergianos, issued summons against the National Home Builders Registration Council (“NHBRC”), alleging that the NHBRC is obliged to remedy the defects evident in his home. 2. In our law the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of …

Construction Law – The nature of on-demand guarantees

1.  In construction contracts, on-demand guarantees or unconditional performance bonds are a means of guaranteeing the performance of the contractor to its employer.  2.  On-demand guarantees are similar to letters of credit or promissory notes payable on demand. 3.  In Lombard v Landmark & Others  the following was held: “… The guarantee creates an obligation to pay upon …

Insurance Law – The consequences of non-fulfilment of a condition precedent contained in an insurance policy: a recent decision

In Screening and Earthworks (Pty) Ltd v Hollard Insurance Company Limited the South Gauteng High Court recently considered whether a ‘condition precedent’ in an insurance policy placed a positive contractual obligation on an insured. The judgement is noteworthy to players in the machinery-breakdown-insurance field, but also to liability and indemnity Insurers. The Plaintiff claimed the …

Construction Law – Homebuilders must register with the NHBRC before commencement of building works to claim payment

1. The judgment in the matter of Cool Ideas 1186 CC (“Cool Ideas”) v Anne Christine Hubbard (“Hubbard”) & Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development confirms finally that an homebuilder is not entitled to receive compensation for a house constructed for a housing consumer unless registered in terms of the Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act.  BACKGROUND …

Engineering Law – Final Certification & Defences thereto

The issuing of a final certificate in terms of a building contract carries with it certain legal consequences for Employers and Principle Agents (normally Architects, Quantity Surveyors or Engineers). In the case of Ocean Diners (Pty) Ltd V Golden Hill Construction the Court clarified the legal position. These consequences depend in the first instance on …

Engineering Law – Should an Engineer’s duties be extended beyond its contractual obligations?

The question of what the extent of an engineer’s duties are, usually come into play whenever an engineered structure fails.  One prominent element to this question is whether an engineer’s duties extend beyond a contractual obligation with its employer.     In Strijdom Park Extension 6 (Pty) Ltd v Abcon (Pty) Ltd this issue was raised …

Engineering Law – Should an Engineer’s duties be extended beyond its contractual obligations?

The question of what the extent of an engineer’s duties are, usually come into play whenever an engineered structure fails.  One prominent element to this question is whether an engineer’s duties extend beyond a contractual obligation with its employer.     In Strijdom Park Extension 6 (Pty) Ltd v Abcon (Pty) Ltd this issue was raised …

Alternative Dispute Resolution – Does Adjudication Work?

In the government white paper on Creating an Environment for Reconstruction Growth and Development in the Construction Industry in 1999, it was argued that the conventional mechanisms and procedures for final dispute resolution (normally arbitration or litigation) are too costly and time consuming. In March 2001 government published a draft code of practice, entitled “Adjudication …