SA fuel price outlook: ‘Double blow to hit motorists’ – AA

Johannesburg – Stronger international oil prices, and a weakening rand, will combine to drive fuel prices higher at the end of September, reports according to the Automobile Association (AA).

The month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF) shows that SA motorists and the transport industry could be affected.

‘Impact on fuel’

The AA says: “The first half of September saw the rand appreciate against the US dollar, but this trend has been reversed since September 12, with the weaker currency eating into its earlier gains.”

“The current rand trend is strongly weaker, and we expect it to have an even bigger impact on fuel users in the medium term.”

International fuel prices gradually climbed throughout September.

The AA said: “As a result, petrol is set to rise by around 30 cents, diesel by 41 cents, and illuminating paraffin by 37 cents.”

“This month’s figures show just how vulnerable South African fuel users are to stronger fuel prices and rand depreciation.

“With the USA eyeing interest rate increases, and global oil markets remaining buoyant, our view is that further fuel price hikes are almost inevitable before year end.”

(Info provided by News 24)

 

Kind regards

Pam

 

Pam Murray

General Manager

Ekurhuleni North Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ENCCI)

Tel: (011) 452 2435

Fax: 086 576 8305

e-mail:  manager@encci.co.za

New Requirement of an Independent Trustee for a Trust

By Anja van Wijk, Associate and

Chantelle Gladwin-Wood, Partner

 

Introduction

After the “abuse of the trust form in business dealings” as pronounced on in the case of Land and Agricultural Bank of SA v Parker and another1 the Chief Master has issued a directive that requires that all trusts registered for the first time or that are considered “family business trusts” appoint an independent trustee. This directive is effective as from 6 March 2017.

1 2005 (2) SA 77 (SCA).

What is a “family business trust”?

If the trustees have the power to contract with third parties and make trust creditors, if the trustees are all beneficiaries and if the trustees/beneficiaries are all related to one another, then it is considered to be a family business trust and the Master of the court must consider the appointment of an independent trustee.

What is an independent trustee?

An independent trustee must be an outsider and:

  1. must have a proper appreciation of the responsibilities involved in being a trustee;

 

  1. does not have to be, but may be, a professional; for example an attorney, accountant or a trust company;
  2. may not have any family relation or connection (blood or otherwise) to any of the existing trustees;
  3. must be competent to scrutinise the conduct of the other trustees;
  4. must be knowledgeable about the law of trusts;
  5. must have no interest in the trust property as a beneficiary;
  6. is not disqualified to act as a trustee in terms of the Trust Property Control Act, 57 of 1988;
  7. has knowledge and experience in the business field that the trust operates; and
  8. is a person who is aware of the risks involved should there be breach of trust.

 

Although the trustees may nominate the independent trustee, the Master is not bound by such a nomination. 2

 

 

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Forgoing the requirement of an independent trustee

A Master may decide to forego the requirement of an independent trustee if good reasons are provided as to why an independent trustee is not required. It is anticipated that a Master shall dispense with the requirement of an independent trustee only if the trust provides security to the Master and the trust agrees to be financially audited annually.

 

Figure-head independent trustee appointments

Appointing an independent trustee in name only may open the remaining trustees up to severe financial consequences. In the case of Van Zyl. v Van Zyl and Others2 the court held that the assets of the trust were to be regarded as the assets of the founder for the purposes of a divorce action. The court came to this conclusion based on an analysis of the action (or rather inaction) of the “independent trustee”. The court found in this case that the independent trustee that did not apply his mind to the issues and simply did the bidding of the person instructing him (ie the founder) and therefore the court concluded that he was not truly independent.

2 (2011/5122) [2014] ZAGPJNC 42.

 

Conclusion

The Master has attempted to curb the abuse of debtors hiding behind a trust’s identity. In doing so, the Master has effectively directed an exercise of extreme trust by the trustees in appointing a stranger to oversee a fledgling or family enterprise. Whether such a directive will curb the abuse or the trustees will exercise such trust and not merely appoint a figure-head independent trustee, remains to be seen.

 

Chantelle Gladwin-Wood

Partner at Schindlers Attorneys

Phone: +27 (0) 11 448 9678

gladwin@schindlers.co.za

 

 

Kind regards

Pam (011) 452 2435

e-mail:  manager@encci.co.za

THE SEIFSA / TRADE UNION AGREEMENT

What is the relevance?
Read this here because you won’t read it in Engineering News 

This agreement between Seifsa, NUMSA and four other trade unions was signed on 23 August 2017. No other organisation on the MEIBC (NEASA, SAEFA, CEO, KZNEIA, SAUEO, BORDER Industries employers organisation and FEOSA) signed this agreement.


The organisations affiliated to Seifsa, therefore party to this agreement, only represent approximately 1000 employers in the Steel Industry, which currently comprises approximately 9 percent of employers in the Industry.

Of relevance in this regard, is the fact that only 4 SEIFSA affiliated organisations have a seat on the management committee (MANCO) of the MEIBC – where a decision in respect of any extension will be taken. Since Seifsa affliated organisations occupy only 4 out of 21 seats on MANCO and therefore does not meet representativity requirements, it is highly unlikely that an attempt to extend this agreement will succeed.

Any attempt by Seifsa and the trade unions to extend this agreement by unlawful means (as they have done in the past), will be met with the appropriate urgent legal action.

In respect of the 10 000 employers in the Steel Industry which are not bound by this industry regressive Seifsa/trade union agreement, the question remains how to deal with the issue of increases at plant level. As was undertaken in NEASA’s previous communiques, we will advise employers in due course. In the meantime employers are advised to retain the status quo.

Employers can direct any enquiries in this regard to our hotline 086 016 3272.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2030

Our future – make it work.

South Africa belongs to all its people and the future of our country is our collective future. Making it work is our collective responsibility. All South Africans seek a better future for themselves and their children. The National Development Plan is a plan for the country to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 through uniting South Africans, unleashing the energies of its citizens, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capability of the state and leaders working together to solve complex problems.

Zambia – Zambia Sets Indaba for US$6 Billion Batoka Gorge

Zamiba will hold a High Level Regional Investment Conference in February to mobilise resources for the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme which is estimated to cost US$ 6 Billion and produce 2,400MW of power to be shared equally between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The conference is aimed at regional governments, African Development Financial Institutions (DFI’s), Multilateral DFI’s, Bilateral Cooperating Partners and Local, Regional and Multinational Private Sector Organisations – with a view to marketing the financing requirements of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme through the Independent Power Producer Arrangement (IPPA). Ernst & Young, the transaction advisers recently released the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme strategy for project development. The Zambezi River Authority expects construction to commence in 2017 or 2018. (Source: Zambia Reports)

Zambia- One million farmers to benefit from AgriFin

Around one million smallholder farmers in Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania will benefit from a US$25-million AgriFin Accelerate programme which was launched in January. The AgriFin Accelerate Programme will help close the gap in access to financial and information services experienced by smallholder farmers. It is a six-year US$2 million initiative aimed at understanding barriers to the access and use of digital financial and information services by smallholder farmers. “New technologies and advances in mobile banking, as well as the increasing integration of smallholder farmers into better organised value chains can promote solutions and affordable delivery channels that help close the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers who lack access to basic financial products and services,” according to the promoters. (Source: Times of Zambia)

South Africa

South Africa to construct solar power plants for regional airports Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) regional airports corporate affairs senior manager Senzeni Ndebele says the solar programme forms part of ACSA’s environmental sustainability strategy, which is a chief component of the company’s 2025 plan. To date, ACSA has assembled solar power plants at the Upington, George and Kimberley airports, as part of the solar power plant project, with completion for regional airports projected by the end of 2017. Viability studies at various stages are assessing the likelihood of installing rooftop installations at OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town international airports, varying from 750 kWp to 1 500 kWp, as part of the project, says Ndebele. (Source: Construction Review Online)

Tanzania

90 cervical cancer centres planned The Tanzanian government has announced plans to set up 90 centres for test and treatment of cervical cancer diseases in 30 councils by June 2017. Minister for Health, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, told a press conference that the World Bank (WB) will finance the construction project and it has already released Ts2bn (US$1 million) for the work. The stations are expected to address a challenge whereby most of the patients are diagnosed when the diseases are at an advanced stage, a situation that defies treatment. “We are going to train 180 health experts for these centres. This means we will deploy two of them at each centre,” she said. It is estimated that the country records 50,000 cases of cancer every year, with only 11.4% getting treatment. (Source: Daily News Tanzania)