Who has legal liability for harm caused by defective or unsafe goods?
The developer, importer, distributor or retailer of any software will be liable for any harm caused wholly or partly as a consequence of:
- That person supplying unsafe software, i.e. software that poses an extreme risk of personal injury or property damage to the buyer, user or other persons;
- Any failure, defect or hazard in the software
- Inadequate instructions or warnings were provided to the consumer pertaining to any hazard arising from or associated with the use of the software.
The harm contemplated by the Act includes:
- the death of, or injury to, any natural person;
- an illness of any natural person;
- any loss of, or physical damage to, any property, irrespective of whether it is movable or immovable; and
- any economic loss that results from harm contemplated in 1-3 above.
A consumer seeking damages against a supplier no longer has to prove that the harm resulted from any negligence on the part of the supplier.
In order to counter the possible negative effects of introducing strict product liability, the legislature has also introduced a number of possible defences that can be raised by suppliers facing lawsuits for defective or unsafe products.
These defences are as follows:
- The unsafe product characteristic, failure, defect or hazard that results in harm is wholly attributable to compliance with
- any public regulation.
The alleged unsafe product characteristic, failure, defect or hazard did not exist in the software at the time it was supplied.
- The alleged unsafe product characteristic, failure, defect or hazard was wholly attributable to compliance by that person with instructions provided by the person who supplied the software to that person.
- It is unreasonable to expect the distributor or retailer to have discovered the unsafe product characteristic, failure, defect or hazard, having regard to that person’s role in marketing the software to consumers.
- The claim for damages has prescribed, i.e. it is brought more than 3 years after the death or injury occurred; or more than 3 years from the date the plaintiff first had knowledge of the material facts about an illness or property damage caused by the software in question; or more than 3 years from the latest date that the plaintiff suffered any economic loss caused by the software in question.
The court hearing the damages claim will still be entitled to assess whether any harm has been proven and adequately mitigated and will determine the extent and monetary value of any damages, including economic loss. If, in a particular case, more than one person is liable for the harm caused, their liability is joint and several and the court may apportion liability among the persons found liable as it deems fit.
In the EU, goods must conform to what is reasonably expected of them. The trader will be liable for any lack of conformity.
What is a suretyship?
A suretyship is an agreement between three parties being the creditor, the principal debtor and the surety. In terms of this agreement, a surety in his/her personal capacity undertakes to fulfil the obligations due to the creditor by the principal debtor in the event that the principal debtor fails in whole or in part to fulfil the obligations him/herself.
What are the requirements and when does it become enforceable?
The General Law Amendment Act, 50 of 1956 provides that a valid suretyship agreement must be embodied in a written document signed by or on behalf of the surety. A suretyship agreement cannot however exist without a principal obligation. Therefore, the creditor can only claim performance of the obligation from the surety if there is a principal debt and the principal debtor fails to perform in terms of the principal obligation. It must also be the clear intention of the parties to enter into a suretyship agreement and the parties must agree on the extent to which the surety accepts liability and the period for which the surety can be held liable.
What is a co-principal debtor?
Most suretyship agreements bind the surety as surety and co-principal debtor, which means that the surety’s obligations are equivalent to those of the principle debtor and he is jointly and severally liable to the creditor. One of the potential consequences of signing as co-principal debtor results in the renunciation of the benefits of excussion. The means that the creditor need not recover the debt form the principal debtor first before enforcing the agreement against the surety.
Why does trauma among staff affect their productivity and efficiency?
Unfortunately, all of us influence each other. When you spend time with someone who is down in the dumps, you automatically feel a bit lower than what you did before you spend time with that person. Say, for example, you are the one down in the dumps – you will feel a bit uplifted if you spent the time with someone in a more positive mood than you. This boils down to the law of vibrations. Our emotions determine our level of vibrations. The Law of vibration states; high vibration attracts high vibration and low vibration attracts low vibration. When a high vibration and low vibration meet up, both of them will change to the average of the vibration between them. This means that the high vibration will come down to the average and the low vibration will go up to the average.
When a staff member experienced a traumatic event, it inevitably has an effect on their emotions and this has an effect on their vibrations. They then enter the work environment, which toxifies the space between staff on which staff reacts.
Different levels of vibrations have a different impact on each individual. Please note that this happens unconsciously. We are rarely aware, though we can be, of what is happening unconsciously.
Let’s look at an example;
Jim got divorced and feels disappointed and discouraged. He has 5 colleagues; Lisa, Fred, Jack, Paul and Lara. The disappointment in Jim triggers the failure feeling in Lisa and the feminism in Lara but triggers the abandonment in Fred. Jack experiences an uplift knowing he is not the only one experiencing bad things in his life. As for Paul, it reminds him of his divorce a couple of years back.
The negative impact those emotions have on each of their productivity and efficiency is their unconscious mind associating that emotion with their work environment. Every time they come to work the emotions are triggered. Have you tried to be productive feeling severe emotions?
What can be done then?
Staff need to;
•Understand how their conscious and unconscious mind works in order to take control over their emotions.
•Learn to handle different environments in order to help protect themselves from different toxic atmospheres.
Employers need to;
•Give their best to create a proper work environment where staff can feel safe and secure.
•Make sure to develop their staff with appropriate skills to enhance their emotional life.
The Deputy Minister of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Ms Pamela Tshwete joined by the Executive Mayor of Bitou Municipality Councillor Peter Lobese, on Wednesday addressed students from the War on Leaks programme on their importance to the water sector in South Africa.
The programme, which was initiated by President Jacob Zuma in 2015 as a result of South Africa losing R7 billion due to water leaks, is a tripartite agreement that DWS has entered into with Rand Water as the implementing agent and EWSETA as the training authority.
The programme aims to curb the water losses and unaccounted water through training 15 000 water agents, plumbers and artisans over the course of three years.
In his welcoming address, Executive Mayor Lobese emphasised that the role of the students is more than they realised. He alluded to this by saying “You are more than just a water agent, you are a teacher, you are the solution to the problem, you are trained to fix the leakages and build the economy of South Africa.”
In addition to fixing leaks, the project places great emphasis on job creation, encourage the development of small, medium-sized and micro enterprises as well as speed up leak repair time through working with municipalities and communities to report and fix water leaks.
Deputy Minister Tshwete said we are calling on employers, particularly municipalities, to play a key role in this project and open their workplaces to these learners. The mutual benefit that can be gained by both learner and municipality/employer is unquestionable, especially given the amount of water we lose on an annual basis through water leaks.
Deputy Minister Tshwete also expressed her gratitude to the partners of the programme and calmed the fears of students. “We thank Rand Water and EWSETA for the good work that they are doing, we acknowledge the challenges associated with the stipend, the protective gear and equipment necessary to ensure that training takes place, we are resolving these challenges and want to ensure that the stipends are paid on time and all other resources needed are delivered on time.
The programme is currently in its second phase having recruited over 10 000 young people and will recruit the remaining 5 000 before the end of the financial year.
The Expedition Africa 2017 adventure race saw team Skylotec Adventure place first on Wednesday, 18th of May after only four days of racing.
As they anticipated their several days of catching up on sleep and stuffing themselves to replenish and refuel their minds and bodies, the remaining racers were still dreaming of crossing that line.
Plett Tourism’s sponsored participants, the Plett Adventure Racing Team, crossed the line in 10th place, after 105 hours and 514km of adventure racing, closely following another popular Plett adventure racing team: Buco Adventures, finishing in 9th place. Also, completing this mammoth challenge was 3 Dutchmen and a Lady, finishing the full route of Expedition Africa for the first time.
Plett Tourism is proud to sponsor our Plett Adventure icons as a symbol of the adventurous nature of our beautiful town and congratulate the Plett Adventure Racing Team, Buco Adventure and 3 Dutchmen and a Lady on their completion and placing in Expedition Africa 2017.
Delicious Film and Compelling Food at the fourth edition of Plett Food & Film, part of the Plett Arts Festival this June and July. Whether you’re talking cuisine, film, chefs or raw entertainment, this year’s festival has a buffet of options catering to any entertainment junkie.
Of course, films are not the only course of the Plett Food & Film’s offerings this year. Chefs will retell the stories of highlighted feature films through exquisitely prepared meals. Featuring the finest local ingredients, each of the events offer a unique dining experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Tickets will be available from 30th of May, so save these dates 10 – 12 July.