Driver Demerit System Rolling Out Countrywide – The Timetable
The AARTO traffic fines system is serious stuff, particularly from November when the points-based demerit side of the system commences. If you run up 13 or more demerits, your driver’s licence/professional driving permit/operator card will automatically be suspended (3 months’ suspension for every point over 12). And 3 suspensions will result in full cancellation. The general payment and enforcement provisions (but at this stage minus the points system) are currently effective in the Tshwane and Johannesburg areas. Despite problems and challenges arising during these pilot phases, The AARTO schedule follows: –
• 1 July 2010 – Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipalities
• 1 November 2010 – rest of South Africa (and commencement of the points system)
Forewarned being forearmed, learn all about it now at the official AARTO website. Note that there is some good news in all this – substantial discounts apply for early payment of fines. But there are also significant risks, so take advice in doubt.
Co-Owners Come To Blows? Courts To The Rescue
Co-ownership of immovable property can be problematic, particularly if and when you and co owner/s decide for whatever reason to part company, but cannot then agree on how to divide theproperty. Fortunately our courts will come to your rescue with a wide discretion to make any order that is “fair and equitable in the circumstances”. Some of the orders a court might make include: –
• Subdivision of the property if feasible, or
• Transfer to one of the co-owners against payment of a specified price to the other/s, or
• Sale of the property and division of the net proceeds between the co-owners.
The court can also make any “equitable adjustment” between co-owners where one of them has had occupation or a financial benefit from the property, or borne any expenses relating to it (e.g. rates and taxes).Note that where owners have agreed not to terminate the co-ownership for a period of time, this will be enforced. But any agreement to co-own in perpetuity is invalid, as no one can be forced to remain a joint owner indefinitely against their will.Before opting for co-ownership of anything, take legal advice. Ideally enter into a properly-drawn agreement upfront to avoid any possible disputes, both during the co-ownership and on its termination.
What’s In My Muesli? New Controls On Food Labelling, Advertising
New Department of Health regulations will control what must (and must not) be included in labelling and advertising of all foodstuffs. The idea is to assist consumers to make fully informed, healthy food choices based on clear disclosure of nutrient content in food products. Although most of the regulations only come into effect on 1 March 2011 – giving non-compliant food manufacturers and importers 9 months now to get their houses in order – there is one exception, namely the misleading practice of labelling contents as a “negative percentage” (such as “95% fat free”).
From 1 June 2010 disclosure must be correctly stated in the positive (“5% fat”), and that applies not only to fat content, but to other components as well (sodium, energy, cholesterol etc). “Trans fat”, with its reputation as a significant health risk, is of particular interest to consumers, but will unfortunately only be dealt with later in separate regulations.