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In a time of recession, competition law regulations do not change in their content or enforcement. On the contrary, it is vital for companies to remain compliant with applicable antitrust laws and continue their commercially independent behavior. We provided an overview perspective on key antitrust and competition trends for emerging markets including, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa and Saudi Arabia in 2023.

The introduction of an augmented and accelerated capital expenditure deduction for the cost of constructing renewable energy infrastructure in South Africa is a boon for companies that have not yet reached their Environmental, Social and Governance goals. It provides the opportunity to undertake reportable ESG initiatives and simultaneously enjoy a reduction in tax costs. Fully leveraging this opportunity will require a comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of amended incentives and the dynamics of ESG reporting.

In late February 2023, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary officially “greylisted” South Africa when it concluded that it would adopt the Report on South African Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Measures. Being greylisted brandishes a country as being financially unsafe, in that it has inadequate safeguards against money laundering and terrorist financing. Countries and organizations shy away from, or increase their own compliance requirements for dealing with countries that may be unable to prevent these crimes.

The Competition Commission of South Africa has published the Fresh Produce Market Inquiry Terms of Reference, announcing its intention to conduct a market inquiry into the Fresh Produce Market of South Africa. The Commission has identified three broad themes for the inquiry, which will address the impediments to competition and market outcomes: the efficiency of the value chain; the market dynamics of key inputs and its impacts on producers; and the barriers to entry, expansion and participation in the fresh produce market.

In our 60-minute webinar on 14 March 2023 at 3:00pm CET, we’ll help in-house counsel and competition leaders track what to keep top of mind for 2023 in emerging markets, including Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. We’ll also provide practical takeaways to help navigate the new landscape.

The most precious commodity in any workplace is a thriving and happy workforce. Employees want to know they are working in a role that provides not only personal meaning, but that the business is fulfilling its responsibilities to society and the environment. Employers, including those in the mining sector, that are able to correctly identify the right mix of workforce policies available to them and then find ways of accommodating and communicating with their staff to create meaning, purpose and well-being for them, are at a strategic advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining valuable talent.

Crypto asset advertisers should be aware that they must now comply with new regulatory requirements around the publishing of crypt asset advertisements in South Africa. The South African Advertising Regulatory Board’s Code of Advertising Practice was broadened to include new requirements for crypto assets in January 2023. Crypto asset advertisers should prioritize compliance with new requirements under the ARB Code because, although the ARB’s rulings are not binding, an adverse decision is usually accepted by the advertising and publishing community and can result in reputational consequences for advertisers.

The implementation of Pillar 2, a principal rule of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s 15% global minimum tax proposal, has been debated for several years. Recently, Japan took a firm step towards affirming its adoption of Pillar 2 when the country outlined its 2023 Tax Reform Package, which included the implementation of the 15% global minimum tax. The Package also introduced an Income Inclusion Rule that in broad terms, aligns with the Global Anti-Base Erosion (GloBE) Model Rules, expected to become effective in 2024. This affirmative step by Japan puts some pressure on other states that have committed to implementing the GloBE rules, particularly in the European Union (EU), the United States (US) and South Africa.

In October 2021, the Financial Action Task Force published its Report on South African Anti-money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Measures. The Report concluded that South Africa is partially compliant with 17 of the FATF technical Recommendations and totally non-compliant with three of them, putting into doubt the country’s ability to ensure safeguards in accordance with international standards. FATF places countries that are not technically compliant with their Recommendations under increased scrutiny and monitoring. These states are considered “Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring,” and the list of these states is referred to as the ‘greylist.’

At COP 27 in November 2022, South Africa launched its new Just Energy Transition Investment Plan and announced a five-year investment plan for the USD 8.5 billion financing package, which was announced as part of the country’s Just Energy Transition Partnership with France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union at COP 26. The JET IP is aligned with the Cabinet-approved National Just Transition Framework and outlines the investments required to achieve the country’s decarbonization commitments, while promoting sustainable development, and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.