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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.

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.

Novice and junior miners struggle to raise traditional debt capital when acquiring or developing a mine. However, the successful implementation of a variation on the streaming contract theme provides an interesting alternative for miners lacking the requisite balance sheet capacity to attract traditional debt finance. This form of alternative financing can ensure that junior miners have sufficient cash upfront to acquire, operate and generate profit from a mine. As such, the possibility arises that the ideals laid out in the Preamble of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act can be realized, specifically that the minerals of South Africa can be used as vehicle for socio-economic upliftment.

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.