Navigating through commercial lease agreements and dispute resolution during Covid-19

commercial lease agreements

In March 2020, the President announced that South Africa would enter into a nationwide lockdown for 21 days. Now, more than a year later, most South Africans continue to work remotely resulting in an increase in disputes over rental payments as both commercial tenants and landlords still find themselves uncertain of their rights and obligations regarding lease agreements during these unprecedented times.

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The Ombud strikes back – A victory for franchising and consumers


The Consumer Protection Act (“the CPA”) contains several mechanisms that consumers can use to enforce their rights against suppliers in relation to defective products or substandard services. Amongst these, section 82 of the CPA empowers the Minister of Trade and Industry to prescribe an industry code:

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Franchising law, franchise agreements and tips for franchisors

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Guidelines to ensure that franchisors and franchisees operate within the law


The franchisor may believe that once a franchise agreement has been signed with the franchisee and if the agreement contains the pertinent details that they discussed, then it is indisputable. What could possibly go wrong, if anything at all?

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Disclosure documents and tips for franchisors


The Disclosure Document is one of the key elements of a Franchisor’s franchise documentation requirements, and the legal requirements for a Disclosure Document are set out in Regulation 3 to the CPA, while FASA has supplemented these requirements for its members, in line with its Ethical Franchising requirements.

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The importance of trade secrets in business: Some things are better left unsaid


A key component in a good economy is the existence of competitive marketplaces. The success of a business is largely determined by its strategies and many businesses have ideas which give them a competitive edge but do not fall within the popular categories of intellectual property law comprising of copyright, trade marks, patents and designs. These ideas could potentially qualify as trade secrets, an often-overlooked category of intellectual property law which provides a unique form of protection.

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Popi Act coming into effect – what do you need to know to avoid being fined

Romany Thresher chats with Mercia Flynn from Kisch IP Intellectual Property Services, about the new POPI Act. Kisch IP has been entrenched in the history of South Africa for 146 years, assisting clients from individuals to multi-national corporations in all sectors, by safeguarding their intellectual property rights, both locally as well as internationally, worldwide.


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The Cannabis Bill – What you need to know

Interview discussion with Garth Kallis of Fairbridges, Wertheim and Beckham on the Cannabis bill which is still out for review.

Currently a private individual cannot sell or make a profit and can only be used for personal use. However, products made with cannabis, such as cannabis teas, herbs and CBD oils can be sold and bought, under certain laws and conditions.



Quantities of 600gms, if living alone, allowed for private use, not public or not for sale, otherwise not more than 1.2kgs for a couple. It is not allowed to be smoked near children or non-consenting adults. A person is allowed to carry 100grms on their person, but it must be concealed. It can be given as a gift but not for commercial benefit. If you are in out in public with 1kg or more, it will be presumed that you intend to sell it.

The bill differentiates between use for recreational purposes and that used for medicinal. Medicinal use is regulated by the Medicine Act. When the Bill becomes an act you will need a license to grow and, or to sell it.

There are now many stores selling CBD products. This is a very costly process so anyone intending to open a store needs to do their homework because it can be very costly. You will need a license and permission from the Medical Control board. It’s a complicated and costly process. Certain measures need to be put in place and it must meet the standards of the Medical Council. It’s imperative that you obtain proper legal advice before going down this route. Meeting the health standards can cost millions plus the fees and renewal of the license are things to take into consideration.

People are not sure whether they are allowed to grow it in their gardens. My advice is not to grow it until the Act is passed because at present there are no proper guidelines as to how much you can grow. The penalties for breaking the rules are very steep. For example, 15 years jail time for dealing. 4 years for smoking around children and 2 years for smoking around non-consenting adults.

At the moment the Bill is still in draft stage and only becomes law once it is passed and becomes an Act of law. Knowledge is power so it’s important to know the law because ignorance of the law is no ‘get out of jail free’ card. So until the Act is passed let us wait and see. We will revisit this at that time.

Royalty and relief in the midst of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the pockets of many South African businesses and the situation has been no different in the franchise industry as the majority of franchisees are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Most franchisees are classified as non-essential services and as a result, have been forced to close their businesses for the duration of the Covid 19 enforced lockdown. Even with the gradual phasing in of return to business, fast food franchisees remain closed for on-site consumption. Personal care franchisees such a beauty salons and hairdressers remain closed all together.

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