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South Africa


It has been noted that the price volatility of essential food items in South Africa is under the watchful eye of the competition authority in South Africa. This is after legal interventions intended to guard against price increases during the pandemic were repealed when the National State of Disaster ended in early April 2022. At the same time, businesses that operate in the Consumer Goods and Retail sector are dealing with ongoing supply chain disruption.

The Minister of Employment and Labour in South Africa has recently published three important legal developments affecting South African employers and employees – the Draft National Labour Migration Policy and Employment Services Amendment Bill, the Code of Practice for Managing Exposure to Sars-CoV-2 in the Workplace 2022, and the Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace.

Slapping a colleague at an event is grounds for dismissal in most jurisdictions. Employee conduct at social gatherings and events generally does not escape the reach of their employer’s right to discipline and terminate for cause. In South Africa, the recently published Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace (“Code”) guides employers and employees in managing harassment at work and clarifies that the use of physical force or power is a form of harassment, albeit not its only manifestation.

The South African Competition Commission recently released its Economic Concentration Report, which highlights patterns of concentration and participation in the South African economy. The Report includes details on the Commission’s power to launch market inquiries into highly concentrated industries, as well as its increased authority to impose structural remedies on businesses in these sectors.

Over the last ten years, Africa’s trade growth has been one of the worst among the major global regions, mostly due to falling commodity prices, competition, inadequate foreign exchange liquidity, regulatory challenges and access to trade finance. Although trade finance remains a popular activity among banks, the participation rates have decreased. Despite this persistently large trade finance gap, trade remains a key driver of Africa’s social and economic development. As a result, development finance institutions such as the African Development Bank and the African Export-Import Bank have sought to provide solutions to boost intra-Africa trade.

To highlight data security and privacy laws and developments that are already in place, or in progress, in Africa, the new Baker McKenzie Africa Data Security and Privacy Guide outlines information on country-specific data privacy and security laws in 11 countries in Africa – Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe

The Labor Appeal Court in South Africa recently considered the binding nature of confidentiality agreements in the workplace. Both employers and employees should note that the courts will consider each case on its merit and will consider the scope and reach of the agreement, and the substance of any disclosure that breaches this undertaking.

In December 2021, the existing exemption that excludes medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics from the application of sections 18A and 18B of the Medicines and Related Substances Act was extended. This extension means that suppliers of medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics are permitted to supply their products according to bonus, rebate and incentive systems for another three years.