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Middle East – Africa


As battery energy storage systems become increasingly crucial to grid resilience and a key driver in the race to achieving the Net Zero target by 2050, the case for energy companies to consider battery storage as a valuable addition to their sustainable investments portfolios is very strong.
In this episode we explore key challenges and opportunities when developing battery storage initiatives in EU markets, regulatory frameworks for battery storage investments and support schemes that make a significant difference to the success of an energy company’s projects.

This article, by Francis Mayebe, Candidate Attorney in the Tax Practice in Johannesburg and Virusha Subban, Head of the Johannesburg Tax Practice, looks at the criteria and guidelines for voluntary tax disclosure in South Africa. The article outlines a recent case, and analyses the meaning of “voluntary” within the context of the voluntary disclosure program in South Africa.

The Kenyan Government, in its latest Finance Act 2022, has enacted some key changes in the area of direct tax. This article, written by Francis Mayebe, Candidate Attorney in Johannesburg, and Virusha Subban, Partner and Head of the Johannesburg Tax Practice, highlights an important update on the country-by-country reporting threshold for multinational companies.

Amidst a shift to a low-carbon economy, the EU Taxonomy is a mechanism aiming to accelerate the European energy transition. In our new podcast, EMEA EMI Talks, Andy Moody (Partner, London; Head of Disputes and Chair, EMEA Energy, Mining and Infrastructure Group) and William-James Kettlewell (Associate, Brussels; Member of the Baker McKenzie Energy Transition Group) explore the impact of the EU Taxonomy mechanism on businesses that are active in the energy and renewables sectors, as well as risks and opportunities in the energy, mining and infrastructure sector in EMEA.

In the latest episode in the series, Episode 27: Fintech in South Africa and the Sub-Saharan African Region, Ashlin Perumall, a partner from our Corporate and M&A practice in Johannesburg and Sarah Williams, an associate from our financial services practice in London, discuss the fintech landscape in South Africa and other key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. They take a closer look at investment drivers and opportunities, current and emerging market segments, and key commercial and regulatory developments affecting the fintech ecosystem in the region.

In February this year, the South African Hydrogen Society Roadmap was published by the South African government. This is the culmination of efforts spread over many years. As the country navigates its energy transition, the Roadmap is considered to be an important marker on its path towards implementing hydrogen development, which is envisaged to be at the centre of South Africa’s strategy for economic growth and mitigating climate change.

Bilateral trade between China and Africa is increasing year on year. While COVID lockdowns have resulted in logistics bottlenecks, trade between the two regions has not been severely impacted, especially in terms of exports from Africa into China. China has continued to import African agricultural goods and raw materials, with food security and materials needed for the energy transition considered to be a priority. The ties between these two regions continue to strengthen, and are expected to be further bolstered as free trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area takes hold.

The settlement of employment disputes include, as standard practice, the addition of a confidentiality clause to settlement agreements. However, what happens when an employee breaches such an agreement by disclosing confidential information during legal proceedings or where the information pertains to wrongdoing by the employer? The Labor Appeal Court in South Africa recently considered this matter.

The Competition Commission in South Africa recently published a Practice Note on the Promotion of Competition and Inclusion in Supplier Panels of Banks and Insurers. This Note is intended to guide Banks and Insurers on the best practices and pro-competitive principles that can be applied when appointing suppliers to Supplier Panels (including conveyancing and automotive panels). Banks and Insurers should take measures to comply with this guidance, as non-compliance could attract enforcement action.