The year that was - 2019

Casting my eye over the 370 or so articles published in the Lexis® Digest during 2019, a number of newsworthy, notable and interesting ones spring to prominence and are worthy of a revisit before PCs are switched off, offices shut and holidays embarked upon. By far the biggest story for us this year was the slick redesign and renaming of the GhostDigest to the Lexis® Digest to reflect its new brand Corporate Identity and with it the ability to deliver improved functionality and responsiveness across mobile devices.

While a roundup of noteworthy stories published during the year include the following:

The Cybercrime webinar which Lexis Convey hosted with guest speaker, Mark Heyink, in which he discusses cybercrime and more specifically, Business Email Compromises has been very popular. Cybersecurity and cybercrime are becoming more of a concern and articles such as Cyber liability insuranceDo not compromise cybersecurity  and Account Verification Searches highlighted practical aspects for attorneys to consider when combatting cybercrime.

The signing of the Property Practitioners Bill by President Ramaphosa into law, will see many aspects of the property profession change substantially. Deon Welz discussed these in depth in the following series of articles:  Property Practitioners Bill Commentary - 1Property Practitioners Bill Commentary - 2Property Practitioners Bill Commentary - 3,  Property Practitioners Bill Commentary - 4, and Property Practitioners Bill Commentary - 5

The Conveyancing Tables are by far the most used resource on the LexisDigest. This year’s editions reflected changes in the Recommended Guideline of fees for conveyancers and to the Deeds Office fees. These changes came into effect in the following order – Deeds Office fees: 1st April and Recommended Guideline of Fees: 1st June. 

Three cheers went to Mari van Wyk and Lee-Ann King who summited Mount Kilimanjaro on Women's Day alongside Professor Thuli Madonsela, after a gruelling five-day journey. They were part of the 23-strong expedition team who took on the Thuli Madonsela Women’s Day Executive Climb for Dignity & Social Justice to raise funds for Caring4Girls.

In Instalment sales, Sascha Ramirez-Victor discussed the formalities, advantages and disadvantages of selling land by instalments in terms of the Alienation of Land Act and in October President Ramaphosa signed the Electronic Deeds Registration System (e-DRS) Bill  into law, the implementation of which will be have far reaching effects.

John Saner dispelled a common misconception amongst the public, and even the legal profession, in Restraint of trade that restraint of trade agreements are invalid and unenforceable, and in Quandary Wiseman Bhuqa aimed to give a proper construction to Section 53 of SPLUMA, thereby removing the consequences of the threat of uncertainty on registration.

Turning to a few of the cases covered during the year, a desperate attempt to avoid the consequences of accepting an OTP, based on only one spouse having signed the OTP, and a ‘successful sale’ of property meaning its ‘registration of transfer’, was at issue in the judgment of Terry v Solfafa  while in Due and payable an appeal to the Constitutional Court decided when in land instalment sales, a debt becomes due and payable.

Not in effect  brought our attention to the fact that the Rental Housing Amendment Act is not yet in force so references to it in lease agreements would be incorrect.

The year also saw the publication of the final Code of Conduct for all legal, candidate legal practitioners, and juristic entities as defined by the Legal Practice Council.

Lastly a stocking filler: Landlord and Tenant by Dr Sayed Iqbal Mohamed is a very useful and welcome guide to the rights, duties and responsibilities landlords and tenants owe each other, and is available as an eBook and in an online format in addition to the print version.

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