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Masters Degrees (Business Law)

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    How safe is our food? A critical overview of the South African food safety legal framework.
    (2023) Govender, Noresha.; Stevens, Clydenia Edwina.
    Foodborne diseases such as listeriosis, food fraud and recall of food products have become a serious cause for concern. These food safety challenges have brought food safety concerns to the fore. Moreover, food safety challenges have severe consequences on people’s health and the economy since the food industry contributes significantly to the South African economy. This thesis sought to address the central issue of food safety in South Africa. It has been highlighted that several food safety regulations and various regulatory bodies have been created in South Africa to deal with food safety. This thesis aimed to analyse the various regulations implemented by the South African Government to deal with food safety, the international food safety regulations and the current food safety challenges that exist in South Africa to assess the extent to which the South African legal framework regulates food safety and how effective have they been in addressing these food safety challenges. Further, the thesis aims to explore consumer rights and remedies under the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 and provide a discussion of product liability and how businesses can be held accountable for unsafe food products. The research has found that despite these food safety regulations and the international commitment to ensure food safety, there are frequent food safety outbreaks and a high incidence of foodborne diseases in South Africa. This means that food in South Africa is not very safe. The main findings of this thesis were that there is an ineffective enforcement of these regulations, a gap in food safety governance and a lack of consumer awareness. Furthermore, it has been found that food safety laws are complex, and there is a lack of coordination between the DOH, DALRRD and the DTIC, who are responsible for ensuring and regulating food safety. The thesis argues that food safety is a shared responsibility and all stakeholders must play their part in improving food safety. Lastly, several recommendations have been provided to address these concerns and prevent future food safety risks.
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    A critical analysis of the requirements needed for the commencement of business rescue in South Africa.
    (2023) Chikuvanyanya, Tafadzwa Munashe.; Subramanien, Darren Cavell.
    The ripple effects of COVID 19, the rise of inflation, interest rate hikes, and the negative effects of the Russia-Ukraine war are some of the reasons that have led to the poor performance of global economies. South Africa is no exception to the negative impacts of these global challenges. South Africa, which is still a young democracy, faces unique challenges such as load-shedding. Load-shedding has adversely impacted all businesses that are being forced to operate at a loss because of the additional costs they are incurring to procure alternative electricity sources to keep their businesses operational. Interest rate hikes have also impacted South African businesses to the extent that they have been described as a ‘punch to the gut for businesses already struggling. These challenges bear negative consequences on the South African economy at large because both small and big businesses may be forced to default on their payment obligations due to insolvency. Insolvency usually results in businesses being placed in liquidation, which may result in their ultimate closure and job losses. To avoid this, South Africa, like other countries, has adopted a corporate rescue process as an alternative to liquidation proceedings. This corporate rescue process is commonly referred to as ‘business rescue’, and it is necessary to analyse its requirements to ensure that the maximum potential of this process is realized and that companies benefit more from it
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    The duty of bank confidentiality and the safeguarding of financial privacy.
    (2024) Ahmed, Kousar Bibi.; Ramdhin, Avishkaar.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Perception of internal audit function of the MBA students at UKZN GSB&L.
    (2017) Nayiager, Vernon.; Kader, Abdullah.
    ABSTRACT This study focused on the issue of the perceptions over the internal audit function. Various trains of thoughts exist and there are many debates on the value of the internal audit function. Currently, no study exists in the local context of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) market space to determine the value of the internal audit function in organisations. To address the problem, the purpose of the study was to explore the perception of the internal audit function within the KwaZulu-Natal environment. This study explored perceptions of the internal audit function of the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) students at University of Kwazulu-Natal(UKZN) Graduate School of Business and Leadership(GSB&L). For this purpose, questionnaires were used as the data collection tool. The second year MBA students at the UKZN GSB&L, comprising 80 students (both part time and block release), were selected to be participants for the study. Reponses were received from 58 of these students, which was a response rate of 72.5%. Findings of the study were able to prove that most respondents seemed to think their internal audit is well resourced; that no factors negatively impact their internal audit function; that there is alignment of the corporate governance structures and the internal audit function; and that the internal audit function is well implemented which adds “value” to the organisation. The organisation data collected were divided into the following four themes: The resources allocated to the establishment and maintenance of the internal audit function; factors that affect the implementation of an effective internal audit function that adds value to the organisation; alignment of the internal audit function; and the governance process and future strategy of the organisation. These four themes will be useful to understanding the view of MBA students at UKZN. The findings will assist the organisations to better organise and tailor their internal functions.
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    The tax implications of intellectual property: an overview of the development of the law pertaining to deductions.
    (2021) Khan, Ilhaam.; Bosch, Shannon Joy.; Schembri, Christopher Carl.
    No abstract available.
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    Evaluating the management of the psychological contract between the employer and employees at Umgeni Water.
    (2017) Mbongwa, Nkosinathi Wiseman.; Amrithlal, Prathana.
    ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to evaluate the management of the psychological contract that exists between the employer and employees at Umgeni Water and the alignment of the psychological contract. The study further aims at determining the significance of properly managing psychological contract in ensuring that the workforce of Umgeni Water has high level of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, motivation and engagement. Furthermore this study will also determine and propose existing contemporary management strategy to effectively manage the psychological contract at Umgeni Water. This study will ensure highly motivated workforce hence increase organizational performance, effectiveness and efficiency. This study was conducted at Umgeni Water where a sample of population of employees was selected. The study used a mixed method research approach where survey questionnaire was used to gather data from the sample of employees. The study has also used group interview with Umgeni Water Human Resource Managers. The psychological contract held by the majority of employees at Umgeni Water is a relational contract which indicates that employees are interested at long-term employment at Umgeni Water. The perception in the majority of employees is that the employer has not breach their psychological contract obligations hence there is an appreciable alignment in the psychological contract. The existing Human Resource management policies and practices have sufficiently and adequately managed the psychological contract between the employer and employee hence the majority of the work force has high level of organizational commitment, job satisfaction, motivation and engagement employees . There is a considerable minority fraction of employees that perceive that their psychological contract obligations have been breached. It therefore recommended that Umgeni Water device strategies to further reduce the number of unsatisfied employees by fostering a covenant psychological contract where employees are interested in increasing their employability, boundaryless, protean type employment instead of a relational psychological contract. This could be achieved by ensuring flexible policies to enable Skills and Knowledge Development Support in the organization.
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    Listing price estimation of flats in KwaZulu-Natal Coastal sub-markets: a novel econometric model.
    (2016) Bax, Dane.; Chasomeris, Mihalis.
    Abstract The aim of this study was to derive a hedonic price function for flats within KwaZulu-Natal coastal sub-markets, filling a gap in residential hedonic price studies in South Africa. This study set out to develop a model to estimate listing prices of flats located in sub-markets along the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Identifying the appropriate distribution of listing prices and a set of statistically significant structural and locational attributes was paramount in achieving the research objectives. This was accomplished through a set of research hypotheses that were formulated and tested through rigorous statistical techniques. A generalised linear model based on the gamma distribution and log-link function was developed as a novel alternative to derive a hedonic price function for a segment of the residential property market in KwaZulu-Natal. The generalised linear model based on the gamma distribution and log-link function proved to be a more effective model for this research problem than the traditional ordinary least squares modelling approach. Based on the findings, a software application was developed to disseminate the results of the generalised linear model for potential commercial use by real estate businesses, bridging the gap between academia and business.
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    Employee performance management and development system at King Edward V111 hospital as a tool for service delivery.
    (2016) Moodley, Megandrie.; Kader, Abdul.
    Abstract The purpose of this quantitative, descriptive study was to identify the effectiveness of the Employee performance management and development system at King Edward V111 hospital and to assess the level of awareness the employees have of the EPMDS. Moreover it looked towards the possible shortcomings in the implementation of the EPMDS in King Edward V111 hospital. Data was obtained from the employees in the junior and senior management positions at King Edward V111 hospital and more evidence was gathered from literature review. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire from one hundred and four participants (n=104) and analysed by means of descriptive and inferential statistics. The research findings revealed that the employee performance management and development system was not effectively applied at King Edward V111 hospital and that participants had a low awareness level on the purpose of the Employee performance management and development system. The shortcomings were attributed to insufficient management skills and a lack of appropriate communication among employees of their rights and responsibilities when an employee performance management system is being incorporated in their organisation. It has been recommended that employees in the management position need to incorporate the employee performance management and development system into their own ranks thereby equipping them with a deeper understanding of the policy and its true potential. Moreover the incorporation of balance score cards would enable employees in the management position to quickly target areas of shortfall in their organisation. The research has been limited to only one hospital. It doesn’t provide a holistic view of the EPMDS in public hospitals in South Africa. Future research should look at other public hospital in South Africa, Africa and first world countries. It should look at the similarity between the systems existing in these public institutions that contribute to its successfully implementation and analysis the shortfalls that have occurred and the strategies utilized to overcome them.
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    Student perceptions of the University of KwaZulu-Natal brand.
    (2016) Moonsamy, Poveshnee.; Singh, Anesh Maniraj.
    Abstract All higher education institutions require a brand that can be honest, trustworthy and which distinguishes them from others. It is vital for every higher education institution to know what it is that enables them to establish improved associations with the various stakeholders linked to the institution. Higher education institutions that are aware of their capabilities and offerings are better suited to market themselves as the best, thus creating a niche market and thereby adding prestige to the brand. This can also benefit the institutions in terms of understanding their customers and their students. The aim of this study was to determine how the UKZN brand can be improved upon. Furthermore, the study aimed to identify student perceptions of the UKZN brand. Due to the insightful input required, a qualitative study which was exploratory in nature was adopted. Face-to-face interviews with 12 participants (students) from each of the five UKZN campuses were conducted using a semi-structured interview schedule. Those participants who were selected shared their insightful experiences, thus enabling the achievement of the study’s objectives. The core findings were that students generally experience challenges in terms of the support structures, facilities, resources and amenities. Further to this, there is a lack of social interaction amongst students in terms of social and recreational activities, as well as the differing views with regard to the students’ positive perception in comparison to the public’s negative perception of the brand. The analysis of the data found that whilst UKZN is viewed negatively by the public, stakeholders and some students, it is a good university with a good brand. The offerings provided by the university are of great value and benefit to students who participated in the study. In light of the preceding statement, various recommendations such as reinforcing the positive aspects of UKZN and establishing an awareness of the brand have been put forward to address the challenges faced by students as well as the ways in which the negative perception of the brand can be changed. This will ensure that potential students, stakeholders and the public will view all the positive elements and offerings of the UKZN brand.
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    The impact of leadership styles on organizational performance.
    (2017) Nzimande, Sandile Jerome.; Chummun, Bibi Zaheenah.
    Many contemporary private and public enterprises have been hit by scandals and underperformance which have been linked to organizational leadership. This study therefore sought to establish the impact of leadership styles on organizational performance. Leadership and organizational performance crises that have rocked institutions such as Eskom, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the South African Airways, Steinhoff, Enron and others necessitated the study. The study focused on MBA year three students (class of 2017) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The assumption has been that since these are masters’ students, they have once been exposed to various leadership styles, some of them are leaders, all have studied leadership styles and therefore likely to understand how these styles impact on organizational performance. This is a quantitative study. The total population was 140 students of which a total of 100 were targeted. Simple random sampling was used. Most of the participants revealed that there is a significant link between leadership styles and organizational performance. They unanimously agreed that there is definitely a noteworthy relationship between leadership styles and the organizational performance. The respondents also revealed that transformational leadership style is the most complimentary leadership style to organizational performance followed by strategic and open leadership styles respectively. Participants agreed that toxic leadership style and autocratic leadership style are undermining the organizational performance. It is therefore recommended that organizations ensure continuous checks on leadership in order to ensure that available leadership can assist in the realization of organizational goals. In addition, it is also recommended for organizations to assess the "type" of a leader in terms of leadership styles before he/she is promoted to take leadership roles in the organization in order to make proper placements. This will allow the organization to assess whether that type of a leader is suitable for the organization. Future research is needed on how models can be developed on how to make proper placements to leadership levels/roles. Research should also focus on how leadership styles dovetail with other organizational efforts that are meant to boost organizational performance.
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    A South African perspective of business rescue abuse: protecting the sanctity of the business rescue process without losing sight of its purpose.
    (2021) Mthembu, Lusanda Remind.; Subramanien, Darren Cavell.; Phungula, Simphiwe Peaceful.
    The current Companies Act 71 of 2008 (the Act) signaled a move away from a creditor-protectionist society and toward a debtor-protectionist business rescue model. As a result, applications have sprung up to take advantage and abuse this new rescue procedure. Unfortunately, this change has led to the widespread misuse and abuse of the business rescue process. Essentially, business rescue finds refuge in the Companies Act 71 of 2008 Chapter 6 (the Act). It offers a restoration mechanism to companies in financial distress. When done correctly, the business rescue procedure provides a much-needed ‘win-win’ situation for all parties involved. However, when a company cannot be rehabilitated, the secondary goal of the business rescue procedure is to achieve the best possible outcome for the creditors. Unfortunately, there are two sides of the coin when it comes to business rescue proceedings. Business rescue is used as a means to frustrate creditors from exercising their rights. Unfortunately, in the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies will resort to business rescue proceedings as a means to seek refuge from creditors even if the facts do not justify this. This dissertation raises difficult questions of how the statutory framework governing business rescue procedure is open to abuse and whether it sufficiently protects creditors from exploitation without them having to resort to our courts for recourse. While business rescue envisages noble objectives such as ensuring the continued existence of a financially distressed company, the preservation of valuable jobs, and so on, the abuse of the process often results in creditors being left out of pocket which needs to be addressed by the legislature. Furthermore, this dissertation will provide recommendations on how the Act needs to be rectified to protect it from abuse and preserve its sanctity of the Act.
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    A critical analysis of the role, appointment, and powers of a business rescue practitioner.
    (2022) Luthuli, Bayanda Nompumelelo.; Subramanien, Darren Cavell.
    No abstract provided.
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    The role of good faith in South African contract law.
    (2022) Govender, Tashri.; Subramanien, Darren Cavell.
    This research paper seeks to address the role that good faith plays in South African contract law by first discussing its origin and then chronologically tracing its position from pre-1994 to today. The judgements of both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court will be unpacked, as a means to understand the development of good faith over the years. The position that good faith plays in foreign jurisdictions will also be discussed, for the sake of achieving a universal understanding of how good faith is perceived around the world. The research concludes by placing good faith in its current role and context in South Africa, and also proposing a way forward.
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    Electronic signatures: how should the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 be amended to facilitate increased use in South Africa?
    (2022) Misra, Nikita.; Swales, Lee Jay Edwin.; Clark, Brigitte Jennifer.
    Technology reform has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa with the result that business owners have to conduct day-to-day business operations by electronic means. This includes the authentication of electronic contracts and agreements by way of electronic signatures. However, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 does not facilitate the use of electronic signatures in South Africa. The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act aims to abide by the principle of technology neutrality and conform to international standards. However, the act has been criticised for adopting a technology specific approach as it prefers the use of PKI technology for the fulfilment of an advanced electronic signature. This dissertation reviews the legal framework regulating electronic signatures which includes recent South African case law, in particular, the cases of Spring Forest Trading v Wilberry, Global and Local Investments v Fouche and Borcherds v Duxbury. The judiciary has created some confusion amongst the legal fraternity surrounding the legal validity and use of electronic signatures when the Supreme Court of Appeal delivered two diverging judgements in the cases of Spring Forest Trading v Wilberry and Global and Local Investments v Fouche. The case of Borcherds v Duxbury adds to this confusion as the Eastern Cape High Court delivered a judgement which appears to suggest that an electronic signature does not satisfy the requirements of a signature. For the purposes of clarity, confirmation as to what is considered an electronic signature is required and users are forewarned to use handwritten signatures until the position is cleared. This dissertation proposes that South Africa conduct a review of the provisions of ECTA, which should aim to conform to international standards and cater for a wider variety of transactions that can be authenticated by way of an electronic signature, given the rapid pace at which technology develops.
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    The justification of dismissals emanating from social media misconduct in the workplace.
    (2021) Maharaj, Alankar Rathnesh.; Swales, Lee Jay Edwin.
    No abstract available.
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    The tripartite free trade area: towards a comprehensive African economic community with a particular focus on SADC.
    (2021) Mabinza, Siqhamo.; Stevens, Clydenia Edwina.
    No abstract available.
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    A critical analysis of the effect of the moratorium on property owners.
    (2021) Beekarun, Yasthil.; Phungula, Simphiwe Peaceful.
    No abstract provided.
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    A critical analysis of the institution of business rescue proceedings during liquidation proceedings.
    (2022) Krishundutt, Sanam.; Phungula, Simphiwe Peaceful.
    South Africa is currently undergoing harsh economic times, and as such, many companies are feeling the brunt of the situation. As a result, these companies begin to trade at a loss and are left without any other option but to liquidate their affairs in order to pay off creditors. However, with the development brought by the Companies Act 71 of 2008 (“the Act”), business rescue was introduced. Business rescue is an alternative to liquidation and it allows the company to undergo rehabilitation and continue trading if certain requirements are met. Chapter 6 of the Act aims to assist businesses in providing some sort of relief in the form of business rescue to provide them with the breathing space that they require to try and become a viable business again. Just like any new formulated concept, it is susceptible to abuse. Many companies that are already under liquidation are suspending their liquidation in favour of business rescue, despite, in some instances, the liquidation order having already been granted against the company. The Covid-19 pandemic has made the question of whether a business can suspend liquidation proceedings in favour of business rescue more prevalent as the pandemic has caused a detrimental financial impact on a number of businesses. Now more than ever businesses find themselves struggling to keep afloat, and as a result many of them have to consider the avenues of liquidation or business rescue. This dissertation aims to look at both liquidation and business rescue proceedings and decipher whether the courts were correct in their decision regarding when business rescue proceedings can be instituted during liquidation proceedings. The importance of taking into account the above is due to the fact that many companies in present day are experiencing financial difficulties, and liquidation or business rescue proceedings are the options that they are left with. However, one has to carefully consider both options, taking into account the company’s financial circumstances. This is of importance, as one needs to establish if there is a reasonable prospect of rescuing the company or not. If there were, then business rescue would indeed be the route to be taken, but if not, then liquidation proceedings would be. However, many companies that have no prospect of being rescued, and that have already opted for liquidation may want to institute business rescue proceedings to delay the inevitable and frustrate creditors, thus leading to the abuse of the newly formulated concept, which has to be curbed.