It’s not us it’s them: the KZN Department of Health has spent virtually its entire budget for the year on medical negligence claims – that department is reportedly facing claims to the tune of more than R17bn. The department blames unscrupulous lawyers, doctors et cetera et cetera. Imagine what could be achieved if one spent that sum on beefing up the provision of medical services?


The principle that one needs to be registered to lend money, as a credit provider, was reaffirmed a month ago in the Du Bruyn case. Business partners parted ways. One bought the other out, paying in instalments, plus interest. It was argued that this was not an arm’s length transaction but a familial relationship that was being terminated. Nice try. This type of arrangement sneaks up on one: typically, someone wants to buy a house but can only get a loan for just less than the purchase price. So, the parties, quite logically, decide to let the transaction go through on the basis that the balance of the purchase price is on credit. Care must be taken to make sure that such a transaction falls outside of the national credit act.



One of the risks, when leasing property to an individual, is that section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act entitles a consumer to cancel a fixed-term agreement by giving twenty business days’ notice and thus walk away from the term imposed in the lease. Section 14(3) allows the landowner to impose a reasonable cancellation penalty. The response from the profession was to impose, say, a two-month rental penalty on such cancellation. Would such a penalty be valid? A short note, written for STBB is available on the topic – ask me.


There are a number of extra-judicial ways to change one’s matrimonial property system during marriage. One of them is to donate from one spouse to another subject to the exclusion of joint ownership: in theory this is acceptable but has been rejected by our courts with reference to the immutability rule (I have been asked this several times!). The article boils down to two useful discussions i.e. underhand separation agreements and the conclusion of a universal partnership by spouses married out of community of property.

The article in question is written by V Schalkwyk and is in Afrikaans. Ask me for a copy.