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My boss and I have the same qual­i­fi­ca­tions and the only dif­fer­ence is that she has more work ex­pe­ri­ence. She has now ac­cused me of not meet­ing her work­ing stan­dards and wants to give me a warn­ing. As we have the same qual­i­fi­ca­tions, can she set per­for­mance stan­dards for me? ANONY­MOUS, KIM­BER­LEY

AIn terms of the South African labour laws, an em­ployer or an em­ployee in a higher role at work has the right to set-up per­for­mance stan­dards that they deem ac­cept­able and th­ese stan­dards should not just be what they per­son­ally want, but what the com­pany re­quires.

If you have not been made aware of the pun­ish­ment should you not meet the stan­dards, you can write a let­ter of griev­ance against your boss.


I’m in the process of en­ter­ing into a financial trans­ac­tion and I have been re­quested to put my house as surety. I need to know what rights will this cred­i­tor have over my house? ANONY­MOUS, PRETORIA

AWhen a house has been pledged as se­cu­rity for a loan, the cred­i­tor ac­quires lim­ited rights in the prop­erty of the debtor as se­cu­rity for the pay­ment of what is owed. The cred­i­tor does not have any right to im­pose con­di­tions on what should hap­pen to the house.

The right of the cred­i­tor only oc­curs if the debtor fails to pay the debt. When the debt is paid in full, the surety comes to an end. But should the debtor fail to pay, the cred­i­tor ac­quires the right to at­tach the house and sell it. This is the right a cred­i­tor gets as a re­sult of the sure­ty­ship.


I have been a tenant in a flat for a year and I want to can­cel the lease con­tract be­fore it ex­pires. Is this pos­si­ble?


AA tenant can give no­tice to ter­mi­nate the lease agree­ment at any time. In terms of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, a tenant has to give 20 days no­tice to the land­lord. The land­lord has a right to im­pose a penalty fee for early ter­mi­na­tion.

In cal­cu­lat­ing the penalty fee, the land­lord can de­ter­mine how much rent is still out­stand­ing up to the ter­mi­na­tion date of the con­tract, but he or she can­not sue you or re­quest that you pay money for fu­ture rental.

If the par­ties can­not agree on the penalty fee, the mat­ter must be re­ferred to the rental tri­bunal.


My part­ner and I signed a co­hab­i­ta­tion con­tract whereby he agreed that I will stay in his house and that he will fi­nan­cially sup­port me. He has now passed away and the ex­ecu­tors of his es­tate want to evict me. ANONY­MOUS, BRITS

APart­ners who do not want to marry but de­cide to live to­gether, can en­ter into a co­hab­i­ta­tion agree­ment. This agree­ment must state what will hap­pen should the re­la­tion­ship end or upon death. In the event of death, if the co­hab­i­ta­tion agree­ment is silent about whether the sur­viv­ing spouse can con­tinue to live in the part­ner’s house, the sur­viv­ing part­ner can­not rely on the agree­ment to con­tinue liv­ing there. A co­hab­i­ta­tion agree­ment comes to an end once a part­ner dies.

Nthabiseng Monareng holds an LLB from Wits Univer­sity and is study­ing for her LLM. Nthabi has more than 10 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the le­gal field, spe­cial­is­ing as a fam­ily law ex­pert. She’s writ­ten books on fam­ily law and is a fam­ily law me­di­a­tor.

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