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Safety programmes save money and look good to insurers

South Africa is home to the farthest-reaching and highest-quality transport network on the African continent. For the average South African or aspiring entrepreneur, this means the transport sector is a vehicle for growth in South Africa’s economy. Road networks, especially, are our backbone, virtually everything we consume is transported by road haulage services.

The road haulage industry is a service-driven industry, responding to fluctuating customer demand and it faces a number of inescapable challenges that have a huge impact on their bottom line. Anton Cornellissen, Head of Heavy Haulage at Santam, says “Like the rest of the world, South Africa is bound to global oil fluctuations and as such, the fuel price is constantly changing – leaving businesses with very little room to plan effectively. Fuel remains the biggest contributor to road transport costs, exacerbated by deteriorating road infrastructure, a lack of a skilled workforce and the ever-escalating risk of hijacking. Being exposed to so many pressures, many of which are out of one’s control, it is imperative that fleet owners have safety-focused business to effectively manage risk on the ground.”

Good drivers are good for business

Heavy commercial trucks are one of the most expensive assets, some retailing from R2.5 million, not to mention the cargo they transport, insurance and the operational costs. Choosing the right employees to drive for your company is the most basic element in your company’s fleet safety programme. The 2017 RTMC report shows that human factors were the biggest contributor to road crashes and fatalities, accounting for 91%, with driver fatigue listed as one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Your business depends on your drivers and the decisions they make on the road every day. Cornellissen advises that good drivers can help you:

  • Reduce the cost of loss: Fleet vehicle accidents are among the costliest of injury claims for business. The average cost of a loss related to vehicle accidents is approximately R1 million. Safe drivers can help lower the possibility of loss due to accidents and improve loss ratios.
  • Lower liability in case of loss: The injuries caused by trucks can be catastrophic and financially ruinous for trucking companies. Although your truck is likely to be insured, the cover under that policy may not be sufficient for catastrophic injuries or death, especially when there are multiple people injured or killed. In addition to the cost of repairing or replacing a truck, the company could lose revenue while the truck is unable to make deliveries. Effective screening, hiring, training and monitoring can help reduce liability.
  • Boost your public image: Every driver has the potential to send a message. When your truck is headed down the highway, you want it to tell a positive story about your company. A good driver tells the kind of story you want to tell.

The importance of telematics in improving driver behaviour

“Telematics technology is becoming more and more important to the trucking industry. It improves maintenance, fuel efficiency, security, road safety, communication, and navigation,” adds Cornellissen. Not only do telematics promote safer driving as the driver is aware that their actions are being filmed, more importantly, GPS tracking and alerts let fleet managers keep track of all vehicles at all times, an especially important feature if a truck is stolen or damaged.

Safety analytics help managers identify which drivers are practicing safe driving habits, and which drivers need additional training—thus increasing the fuel efficiency and safety of the entire fleet for substantial cost savings. And of course, what is good for the driver is good for the fleet owner. Well-trained, stress-free, high performing drivers tend to stay committed to their employer, helping reduce turnover and training costs of new drivers make business sense.

Prepared by CORE Short-Term

For more information, contact 051-448 8188

Deployment of the annual return (AR) ‘hard-stop’ functionality

As from 01 July 2018, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has mandated the digital reporting system for all qualifying entities when submitting their annual returns.

This means that all entities have to submit their Annual Financial Statements (AFS) to CIPC in an XBRL format or, alternatively, by filing a Financial Accountability Supplement (FAS/COR30.2). All entities currently submitting AFSs in PDF format via email to CIPC will have to submit AFSs in XBRL/FAS format via a web portal. XBRL-qualifying entities will need client-side software to produce their AFS in XBRL before uploading to CIPC.

None of the rules about Annual Financial Statements changed, except the mechanism from PDF format to XBRL format, and all legislation remains the same.

As from 01 August 2018, CIPC rolled out an AR “hard-stop” function. This entails that customers using the Annual Return process would be prevented from completing the AR submission unless the system could verify that a valid set of AFS were filed, either by XBRL format or by the Financial Accountability Supplement (FAS/COR30.2).

Initially, this system had a few problems and the function was unavailable for a few weeks. Notice was given by CIPC that this service is now up and running again, and no entity will be able to file their Annual Return duty at CIPC unless the mandatory XBRL or Financial Accountability Supplement has been filed first.

For more information or assistance in this regard, please contact CORE Co Services.

Prepared by CORE Co Services

For more information, contact 051-448 8188

Removal of a trustee

A trust functions through its appointed trustees who, in their official capacity, act together for and on behalf of the trust in line with the trust deed and the Trust Property Control Act.

The trustees stand in a fiduciary relationship to the beneficiaries. This fiduciary relationship entails that the trustees shall, in the exercise of their powers and duties, act honestly and in good faith in the interest of the trust and for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Because of the fact that people are involved as trustees of trusts and that people may have shortfalls, it is important to know how a trustee may be removed as trustee where, for instance, such a person have a negative effect on the smooth administration of a trust.

There are various options available to the Master and other interested parties for the removal of a trustee. The trustee could resign by notice to the Master and the beneficiaries as is provided for in s21 of the Trust Property Control Act. However, the question that needs to be answered is what the options are if a trustee is unwilling to resign.

Firstly, one has to look at the provisions in the trust deed for the removal of a trustee.

Secondly, the High Court has the power under the common law to remove a trustee, if it is in the interest of the trust and the beneficiaries of the trust.

Thirdly, the Master of the Supreme Court has certain powers, in terms of the Trust Property Control Act, to remove a trustee. The most common ground for dismissal by the Master of the Supreme Court is to be found in paragraph (e) of s20(2) of the Trust Property Control Act, which states that the Trustee may be removed if “the trustee fails to perform satisfactorily any duty imposed upon him, by or under the Act, or to comply with any lawful request of the Master”.

With regard to removal of a Trustee in terms of the trust deed, it is important to take note of the decision in the case of Du Plessis NO and Others v Van Niekerk and Others. In terms of this decision, the trustees cannot take decisions without any reason or for mala fide reasons but need to exercise their discretion based on the discretion of a good person acting reasonably.

Persons drafting trust instruments and trustees should take careful notice of the above decision. The authority of the Master and the power of the court will not readily be ousted by the trust instrument. Affected trustees will always have the right to challenge such decisions by the Master and appeal such decisions made by the court. This is even more relevant in the case of decisions made by trustees.

Prepared by CORE Trusts & Estates

For more information, contact 051-448 8188

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