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1 day 8 hours ago

With the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act) now in effect, it has significant implications for owners, tenants and executives in community housing schemes like sectional title complexes, apartment blocks, residential estates and retirement villages.

Specialist Sectional Title Attorney and BBM Law Director, Marina Constas say that it seems that in the last few years, sectional title owners have been hit left, right and centre with new legislation and directives.

“Trustees have been promoted to ‘scheme executives’ in the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act and are now held to a higher standard in terms of their fiduciary duties. The latest piece of legislation to burst onto the scene after a long delay is the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act). Now that it is here, the wisest course of action for trustees is to get up to speed with what it says.”

She explains that Section 1, Part A of Chapter 5, Section 11 of the POPI Act commences on the 11th of April 2014 and the commencement date of the other sections was on the 1st of July 2020 except for two sections.

The Act is designed to promote the protection of personal information and to bring South Africa’s privacy laws in line with international standards. It limits the rights of businesses to collect, process, store and share personal information.  It also makes businesses accountable for protecting the privacy of this information”.

She says that trustees must now be able to respond when owners want to know what they are doing with their personal information. Trustees need to consider how they will warn residents that their personal information may be made available to those inspecting the books of account and record.

“They must be able to account when it comes to visitors who provide their personal information to the guards at the gate.”

Constas recommends that every body corporate have a clearly expressed and up to date policy about its management of personal information. The policy should include details of the type of personal information that the complex collects and holds as well as how the complex collects and stores personal information.

The purposes for which the complex collects, uses and discloses personal information must also be detailed, along with information on how an individual may access personal information. The policy document must also outline how an individual can complain to the Information Regulator and how the complex will deal with that type of complaint,” she advises.

This list of recommendations is not exhaustive. I would strongly suggest that, with the enactment of POPI, all sectional title complexes and community housing schemes obtain professional advice and assistance to review and update their privacy policies and privacy statements,” she concludes.

1 day 8 hours ago

Practice note on the Consumer Protection Act, 2008

 

This practice note is advisory only and is not intended as specific professional advice, legal or otherwise. The merits of every situation should be considered separately and specific professional advice in relation thereto should be sought.

1.   Introduction

The Consumer Protection Act 2008, Act No. 68 of 2008) was enacted to protect the interests of all consumers in South Africa. Architectural professionals provide various architectural services to consumers; therefore, the Consumer Protection Act binds them. We set out below provisions of the Act that Architectural Professionals should take notice of and comply with, when providing services to consumers as envisaged by the Consumer Protection Act.

 

2.   Consumer rights

Protection against discriminatory marketing

  • Architectural Professionals may not directly or indirectly treat any customer or consumer differently than any other, in manner that constitute unfair discrimination.

 

Right to restrict unwanted direct marketing

  • Architectural Professionals must not infringe consumer?s right to privacy through direct marketing. Should a consumer request that an Architectural Professional should cease further direct marketing, an Architectural Professional should cease any direct marketing as requested.

 

 Consumer?s right to select suppliers

  • Architectural Professionals may not require as a condition of offering architectural services to a consumer require that consumer should use contractors, subcontractors or suppliers nominated by him/her unless he/she can demonstrate advantages for such a proposal to a consumer. 

 

Expiry and renewal of fixed term agreements

  • If an Architectural Professional undertakes to perform architectural services on a fix term agreement, such fixed term agreement must not be exceeded. The Architectural Professional should notify a consumer in writing about the expiry of the fix term agreement, including about any changes to the agreement if it is renewed or continues beyond the expiry date.
  • If an Architectural Professional cancel a fix term agreement due to a consumer?s breach of the fix term agreement, for example due to failure to pay fees, an Architectural Professional must first afford a consumer 20 business days within which to remedy the breach.
  • A consumer remains liable to an Architectural Professional for any amounts owed to the Architectural Professional until the date of cancellation and an Architectural Professional is entitled to impose a reasonable cancellation penalty with respect to the services provided. In addition, an Architectural professional must credit a consumer for any amount that remains the property of the consumer as of the date of cancellation.

 

Consumer?s right to choose or examine services

  • If a consumer agrees to appoint an architectural professional to design a building based on the description or samples of designs advertised by the architectural professional, the designs delivered to the consumer must in all material respects and characteristics correspond to the advert as the case may be.

 

Consumer?s rights with respect to services

  • Architectural professionals are required to perform services they are appointed for within the agreed timelines or within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the agreement and the professional is responsible for the designs and/or building plans until they are delivered to the consumer.
  • If the agreement between the architectural professional and a consumer does not provide for specific date or time for performance of the service, the architectural professional must not require a consumer to accept performance of services at unreasonable time.
  • When an architectural professional delivers designs to a consumer, the architectural professional should allow a consumer reasonable opportunity to examine the designs and to ascertain whether he/she is satisfied with the quality of work undertaken and whether designs are in accordance with the brief.  Architectural designs should be delivered at a place, on a date or at a time agreed with the consumer.

 

Right to information in plain and understandable language.

  • Architectural professional appointed to undertake architectural work should explain architectural vocabulary to consumers in plain language to enable an ordinary consumer with average literacy skills to understand.

 

Product labelling and trade descriptions

  • Architectural professionals must not knowingly promote their services to mislead consumers.

 

Sales records

  • Architectural professionals must provide a written record of each transaction to a consumer, the record should include the following; ?Architectural Professional full names; principal place of business; date; services to be provided; price for the services; total price before taxes; amount of taxes payable; and the total price including taxes.

 

 Marketing of services

  • Architectural professionals should not market their services in a manner that is reasonably likely to imply a false or misleading representation or fraudulent conduct to consumers.

 

Bait marketing

  • Architectural professionals must not advertise services at a specific price to deceive consumers when the actual price for services is higher than the advertised price.

 

Referral selling

  • Architectural professionals must not offer architectural services to consumers on condition that a consumer will receive a rebate or other benefits, if the consumer subsequently furnishes the professionals with names of consumers who may require architectural services or refer other consumers to the professional.

 

Unconscionable conduct

  • Architectural professionals must not use physical force, coercion, undue influence, pressure, duress, or harassment, or unfair tactics or any similar conduct for negotiating, conclusion, execution or enforcement of an agreement to provide architectural services to a consumer.

 

False, misleading or deceptive representation

  • Architectural professionals should not market their services, by word or conduct, directly or indirectly to mislead or deceive consumers. A deception could be a claim that an architectural professional is affiliated to an organisation when he or she is not or a false statement about his/her status, and/or connection. Or that a consumer will derive a particular benefit if they assist the architectural professional in obtaining a new or potential customer.

 

Unfair, unreasonable or unjust contract terms

  • Architectural professionals must not offer architectural services on unfair, unreasonable or unjust prices or on terms that are unfair, unjust or unreasonable.

 

Written consumer agreements 

  • Architectural professionals should furnish consumers with a copy of the terms of the agreement which must be plain and understandable setting out the itemised breakdown of the consumer?s financial obligations.

 

Consumer?s right to demand quality service

  • When an architectural professional undertakes to perform architectural services for a consumer, such consumer has a right to the timely performance and completion of those services and timely notice if any unavoidable delay in the performance of the services. Services delivered must be of good quality. If an architectural professional fail to perform a service to the standard accepted, a consumer may demand specific performance or a refund having regard to the extent failure.

 

Protection of consumer rights

  • If a consumer has exercised his/her rights set out in the Consumer Protection Act, architectural professionals must not penalise that consumer or alter the terms or conditions of the agreement to the detriment of the consumer or take any action to suspend or terminate the agreement.

 

Identification of supplier

  • Architectural professionals must not provide services to consumers under any name except the architectural professional?s full names, identity document, and registration number. In the case of a juristic person, business registration number, and professional registration number. Furthermore, business letters should include the following information:

 

?  The name, title, or description under which the business is carried
?  Statement of the primary place at which, or from which, the business is carried on;
?  The name of the person to whom the business is registered.

 

2 days ago

Property Wheel recently caught up with Jason Elley of the Rabie Property Group to discuss their latest development in Century City, Cape Town, Sable Corner.

Currently under construction, this new future-focused development boasts 7,000 square metres of premium grade office and showroom retail space, ideal for environmentally aware corporates looking for a prominent location for their offices.

How does Sable Corner differ from a development that you would have done five years ago?

A couple of things that are different would be that we increased the generator capacity (to cover the majority of the building and not just emergency lighting and lifts), this allows Tenants to keep on working regardless of load shedding, and lift speeds are also above industry standards allowing quicker movement with-in the building. 

Airconditioning, fire escapes and ablutions allow for densities of 5.5mper person making the building suited to more flexible working environments with more workspaces being able to be accommodated in smaller areas than older buildings allow for.

Sable Corner also has more glazing than typical allowing more natural light into the building with out necessarily increasing the heat load (much of the glazed elevation is south facing).

The design has a curved façade, what was the thought process behind this and the design of the building in general?

The unique curved façade (with vertical fins) opens up unobstructed views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Table Bay to the South East and make the building a landmark in the Century City. The highly original form of the building, designed by award-winning dhk Architects, includes a glazed circulation staircase and lift lobby that link the convex-shaped section of the building to a rectangular appendix, allowing for economical office design without compromising on the spectacular curved façade.

Underlying this slick design, is of course, the very important Green Building design techniques, smart design principles, clutter-free entrances and exits and direct access to secure basement parking. Sable Corner’s Green Building design isn’t only good for the planet. Fresh air and natural lighting make for a healthier, happier workspace, while water and energy-efficient technology reduces the overall running costs of the building.

We are aiming for a minimum 4 Star rating through the Green Building Council of South Africa. Rabie have already developed six five-star rated green buildings and seven four-star rated green buildings in Century City and we are working towards our vision of making Bridgeways Precinct the highest concentration of Green Buildings in the entire country.

Can you chat to us about the benefits of Sable Corner’s location?

It’s situated on a very prominent corner in Century City and it can be easily spotted off the N1 highway with its high-visibility position on Sable Road – one of the primary routes into Century City. This not only lends itself to a most unique brand visibility opportunity but, from inside the building, you have access to incredible uninterrupted views of the City and Table Mountain.

Access to an amazing campus lifestyle that is unique to Century City is a big plus, within the Bridgeways Precinct most of what you need is a short walk away – from coffee shops, conference facilities, hotels, food stores and much more.

Sable Corner’s strategic location encourages the use of public transport to cut carbon emissions: bus, MyCiTi bus and minibus taxi routes leave from a public transport hub less than 500m away while Century City station is just a few minutes away by foot.

Sable Corner’s snap shot:

  • 6,830m2 rentable area
  • Minimum sizes from 530m2 with typical floor size of 1,500m2
  • Roof deck offering an executive entertainment opportunity or function area
  • Naming rights for single/anchor tenant
  • Parking ratio of 3 bays per 100 m2 on site
  • Additional parking available within easy walking distance
  • Completion Q3 2020
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