1-Editor's-Letter

EDITOR’S LETTER


Dear Reader

Thank you for facing this year with us.
Thank you for rising above and beyond.
Thank you for standing up for yourself.
Thank you for staying positive, despite the hardships that 2016 had to offer.

Thank you for being part of our family.

Enjoy the well-deserved holiday and do something for yourself this festive season.
You deserve it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.
The JJR Inc. Team

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CHRISTMAS WITH FAMILY OR COLLEAGUES


– Jacques Brits

After a long, difficult and exhausting 2016, everyone needs a well-deserved Christmas break, or at least the public holidays that goes hand in hand with it. This creates confusion due to the conflict of interest that exists between the needs of the employer and the employee. Should the employee abandon his beliefs and continue his employment throughout the festive season, or can he make his objection known in this regard? On the other side, under which circumstances and conditions may an employer expect an employee to continue working?

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act1 states that an employer may not require an employee to work on a public holiday except in accordance with an agreement.2 Due to this section, some employers elect to include a clause in their employment contracts / leave policies with their employees, which states that the public holidays (or at least some of it) are construed as normal working days.3 In all fairness, one cannot blame an employer for this mind-set, as employers in the retail sector for example, may lose substantial benefits on public holidays like Easter and Christmas.

Therefore an employee may refuse to work on public holidays, as long as there exists no employment contract or leave policy stating the contrary. However, can a refusal lead to disciplinary action? The Constitution of South Africa prohibits discrimination based on religion.4 Section 6(1) of the Employment Equity Act5 confirms the principles in regard to unfair discrimination on the basis of religion. Section 6(4) of the Employment Equity Act further reiterates the prohibition by stating that any difference in the terms and conditions between different employees on the basis of any of the grounds listed in subsection 1 would be construed as unfair discrimination.

In this regard, it seems as if the well known labour law principle of fairness would apply in this instance, as the employer will have to be consistent in its actions towards its employees, as well as the protection of their beliefs. The failure of an employer to adhere to and protect the aforementioned rights and beliefs may be to the employer’s detriment.

What happens when an employee does not celebrate Christian Public Holidays? In this case the Public Holidays Act6 states that “any public holiday shall be exchangeable for any other day which is fixed by agreement or agreed to between an employer and employee”. Therefore, an employee who does not wish to take a certain public holiday would have the right to request paid leave on another day, as agreed upon by the parties.7

Remuneration payable on public holidays

What does the law say about remuneration for working on a public holiday? Section 18(2)(b) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that employees are entitled to double their normal daily remuneration, or if it is greater, their normal daily wage plus the amount earned by the employee for the time worked on the day.

If the employee however reaps the benefits of a well-deserved and soothing day at home, an employer is expected to pay the employee the wage that the employee would normally receive for work on that day.8

The end of Religious Holidays?

The South African Law Reform Commission’s most recent proposal moves for a removal of Good Friday and Christmas as public holidays on the South African Calendar,9 as the continuous existence thereof favours only one religion. This may lead to the revision of the aforementioned Public Holiday Act, and finally the elimination of the religious aspects of public holidays.

1 75 of 1997

2 Section 18(1) of the basic conditions of employment act 75 of 1997

3 Labour guide http://www.labourguide.co.za/conditions-of-employment/565-religious-holidays (visited on 14 November 2016)

4 Labour guide Section 9(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

5 55 of 1998

6 36 of 1994

7 FOR SA http://forsa.org.za/good-friday-and-christmas-under-threat/ (visited on 15 November 2016)

8 Section 18(2)(a) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 11 of 2002

8 FOR SA http://forsa.org.za/good-friday-and-christmas-under-threat/ (visited on 15 November 2016)

SPEED CAMERAS
Avoiding the flash


– JD Robertson

It has happened to all of us. While cruising along, on your way to the coast, you forget to keep an eye on the speedometer and as Sir Murphy would have it, traffic court is your next destination.

This article summarizes the requirement, as found in the Technical Committee for Standards and Procedures Guidelines, for a valid speed fine by looking at each type of camera used in South-Africa.

Fixed Speed Camera

These cameras are permanently mounted next to the road, after their use was legalized in December 2012. The camera is triggered by either a strip on the surface of the road or by the use of electromagnetic induction.

In either case the fine must reflect the date and time of the offence, speed measured and the location of the infringement.

Furthermore, it should be noted that special written permission from the Department of Public Prosecution is required if the traffic authority does not intend on immediately stopping and charging the alleged offender. The traffic authority must at all times have in their possession and be able to provide a calibration certificate for the equipment used, an operator’s certificate and an appointment certificate, to any person requesting such documents.

Cameras using portable radar

A Doppler effect is used in these cameras to determine the speed of a motor vehicle by sending a microwave towards the car and measuring the time the wave takes to return to the receiver.

During operation of the camera system the operator may not touch or move the speed trap. The ticket issued would not be valid should any metal sign or vertical flat surface larger than one meter in vertical height be present within 100 meters of the 15 degree aiming direction. A ticket will also be invalid should there be any high-voltage overhead power cables within 100 meters of the radar field.

Cameras using portable LIDAR

These cameras use pulses to measure speed. The guidelines require that all measurements should be taken within 500 meters of the camera. The image, as seen through the gun, must be clear and include a separation between the target vehicle and any other vehicles. Should there be no photographic evidence of the alleged offence the charge sheet must state the distance between the camera and the target vehicle.

Cameras used for average speed prosecution

Automatic number plate recognition is triggered when a car passes through the starting point of the speed trap and again when the vehicle exits the assessment area. For these tickets to be valid two images, one of the vehicle entering the zone and the other of the vehicle’s exit, must be attached to the fine. Once again, the date and time of the alleged offence must be evident from the fine. Should the information of the ticket not match what is captured in the National Register of Vehicles, the fine will also be invalid.1

Conclusion

When considering the effort one would have to go through to get a ticket quashed, would it not be better to avoid them from the start? Many experts advise to drive with the cruise control function engaged, when driving long distances. Should your car not have this function, have your passengers help you keep an eye on the speedometer.

Most important of all: enjoy the journey, drive safely, cherish the time with family and return safely.

1 Vermeulen, J. Speed Camera Tech used in South Africa: What you should know. September 28, 2015 http://mybroadband.co.za/news/government/139616-speed-camera-tech-used-in-south-africa-what-you-should-know.html, Accessed on October 12, 2016; See also https://arrivealive.co.za/Prosecuting-Guidelines-for-Speed-Measuring-Equipment, Accessed on October 12, 2016.

CHRISTMAS BRAAI RECIPE


– JJR Inc.

JJR Inc. Christmas Braai Recipe

Christmas with the family is almost like pre-organised chaos. To prohibit possible domestic violence we have decided to include a Christmas Braai recipe. Now dad can do the work while mom entertains the guests. Sounds like the perfect solution! Enjoy!

Butterflied Leg of Lamb on the Braai
By Cameron Ewart-Smith (Getaway Magazine)

This recipe serves six to eight.

Ingredients for the lamb

1.5 to 2 kg leg of lamb, butterflied (ask your butcher)
200 ml buttermilk
2 portions of Worldly rub
Oil

Ingredients for the Worldly rub

1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp onion flakes (you can use fresh onions too)
2 tbs dry rose petals (not essential)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs turmeric
2 tbs chilli flakes (leave out if you don’t like hot spicy food)
1 tbs tamarind paste (often difficult to find and not essential)
3 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped (essential)
2 tbs pine-nuts, toasted and ground (could be substituted with cashews or macadamias)
½ teaspoon pepper

Worldly rub

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. You can refrigerate the rub in an airtight container for up to two weeks (it’s ideal to make at home before you leave).

Lamb

Mix the buttermilk and worldly rub to form a marinade for the lamb (for best results, rub directly into the meat before marinating). Ideally leave overnight, otherwise leave for at least three to four hours. Brush kettle grill with oil. Cook lamb over medium coals for 30 to 40 minutes depending on your preference. Remove and set aside for five to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

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This newsletter is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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