30 Mar

Gender-Based Violence In Africa

Studies have shown that gender-based violence is more prevalent in Africa than on any other continent on the planet. Evidence of this is provided by Bowman-Gilfillan’s study where they conducted interviews with women all over the continent, and the results are shocking.

According to the study, approximately 45% of women in Africa over the age of 15 years have experienced physical violence either within an intimate relationship or as part of a sexual encounter with those from the opposite sex. The study indicates that there are a number of factors that are considered to be root causes and contributors to gender-based violence on the continent:

  • lack of basic education
  • misuse and abuse of alcohol (alcoholism)
  • extreme gender inequality
  • child abuse and neglect
  • regional conflict and exposure to violence

Many of these factors involve the male’s personal development, or lack thereof. If the male child is abused or neglected he is most likely to become an abuser at a later stage in his life. Additionally, if he is exposed to extreme amounts of violence, then the same is true. Because many countries in Africa have experienced periods of violent warfare in the last 2-3 decades, the exposure to violence is considered a major factor in the use of physical violence alongside sexual assault.

Studies indicate that programmes are required in order to alleviate the problem in the poorer communities. Community-based initiatives and educational programmes in schools can teach younger men the importance of gender equality. However, even women in fully developed communities are also at risk of gender-based violence. In these cases it is important that women empower themselves and make use of protection orders against abusive men. Charges should be laid against abusers at the nearest police station so that justice may be served appropriately.

If there is any evidence of abuse inflicted by a parent in the home, that parent is unfit to have custody of his/her children. Report cases of domestic abuse, and if you require a professional and experienced child custody attorney don’t hesitate to contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today! 


23 Mar

What Is A Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a tool for parents allowing them to organise, orchestrate and resolve issues regarding their duties, responsibilities and actions as parents. The parenting plan is usually outlined in a document, and it is recommended that the formation of the parenting plan is facilitated by a child custody attorney.

South Africa has many cases of what has been traditionally considered ‘broken’ homes, where parents are either divorced or single parents are expected to raise children on their own with the other parent providing maintenance. However, the trend is slowly becoming the norm, and for this reason, a parenting plan becomes essential if parents intend on ensuring their children’s appropriate upbringing.

A parenting plan outlines the important agreements that facilitate the children’s upbringing. Most importantly, and where parents are separated, the parenting plan describes exactly who pays maintenance and how much maintenance will be required. It will also explain where the child lives, who the child lives with, and how much contact the child will have with the parent he/she does not live with.

The parenting plan is not a requirement, but rather a method that parents have the option of utilising instead of dealing with the matters in court. This not only saves the parents time and money, but it also allows the children a voice in the proceedings. Depending on the age of the children, their ideas and concerns are often taken into account, helping formulate a cohesive plan that parents can revisit during changes in the children’s lifestyle and development.

If you require a mediator during the development of a parenting plan, and assistance regarding the child custody process, then make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today. Our mediators, candidate attorneys and attorneys will ensure that a parenting plan is constructed in the best interest of your children.

16 Mar

Municipality Penalizes Businesses In Debt

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) revealed their plans to penalize local businesses who have not paid their taxes. South Africa has 278 municipalities who are owed more than R25 billion in taxes, and with so many businesses in arrears it is a serious drain to the state coffers.

In an effort to turn the situation around, SALGA has announced that it requires businesses to present evidence that they do not owe the state in taxes if they are to be awarded any municipal contracts and tenders. The “rates clearance certificate” will provide municipality with the necessary evidence of a positive credit rating, allowing them to do business with the municipality. If rates and taxes have not been paid for an extended period of time, municipalities are within their power to turn off electricity and water to the business premises.

The new municipal debt collection procedure, as proposed and orchestrated by SALGA, will involve the creation of a debt collection agency that will act similarly to a private debt collection firm. This organisation will collect the municipal data, detailing the information of those who have not paid their rates and taxes. They will also have access to the South African Revenue Service database. From this point, SALGA’s debt collection division may decide which businesses to refuse municipal contracts and tenders, and even cut off services if necessary.

SALGA also maintains that the agency will be responsible for pursuing state employees who are also in arrears. SALGA maintains that the changes will hopefully tighten up a system which suffers from such a high number of defaulters because of poor service delivery.

SALGA’s debt collection process will likely cause altercations between businesses and municipalities. If your business requires the services of an experienced debt collection attorney, then make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.

Our experienced team of debt collection attorneys can assist you in moments. For more information concerning our debt collection practice, consult our debt collection page by clicking the link.

14 Mar

Problems Regarding Surrogacy

Surrogacy in South Africa has been subject to some major changes recently, some of the changes seriously affecting couples’ chances of having children in future.

Legislation in South Africa demands that at least a single gamete from either one of the intended parents is used during the insemination of the surrogate childbearing mother. This drastic change in legislation prevents many parents from having the child that they want, and the state redirects them to rather consider adoption.

The state determines that a genetic link between the child and the intended parents during surrogacy ensures that the best interests of the child are served. If there is no genetic link between the child and the surrogate mother, both the parents and the mother have the capacity to ‘walk away’, making it difficult for either party to be held accountable when enforcing the rights of the child.

Surrogacy advocates maintain that not everyone is willing to adopt. Often people want to be able to pick the attributes of their children, and adoption is sometimes limiting due to issues such as race, age and gender that are problematic for certain couples. Sterile homosexual couples, sterile heterosexual couples and sterile individuals have had the option of surrogacy closed to them because of the onset of this law. The Surrogacy Advisory Group and a number of other organisations are lobbying against this new legislation as it disqualifies people from having their own children.

Surrogacy is an extremely expensive, drawn-out and complicated affair that the surrogate mother, as well as the intended parents, invest heavily in. To assist them in the process they will require the services of a surrogacy attorney who can draw up a surrogacy agreement that will need to be presented to the courts if the process is to begin. If you require a legal team with experience in surrogacy, then make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.

For more information on surrogacy visit our surrogacy page by clicking the link.

09 Mar

Dispute Resolution Is Not A Sport

How could the two ever be compared? Sport is fun, whereas a dispute resolution is nowhere close to being entertaining.

However, they can be compared. A sport is played between two competing teams, and both teams look to become victors in what is often a monumental struggle of physical strength, deftness and skill. Disputes between two parties have been viewed much the same way, even in litigated circumstances. Before the idea of dispute resolution and its ‘alternative’ derivatives, conflict was approached differently.

The likely circumstance was that either one of the parties achieved the reward of receiving the outcome that he/she desired while the other was left unfortunate. Very many years ago the courts facilitated these kinds of conflicts, however, dispute resolution has changed all this. Modern dispute resolution invests heavily on the idea of collective bargaining. Collective bargaining ensures that resolution is reached before either party begins to dictate outcomes. When one party seeks to dictate terms in his/her favour, this is called ‘power-play’ and it is often the facilitator or the courts’ responsibility to identify this ‘power-play’ and rather ensure that the dispute reaches a settlement that benefits all.

Extrajudicial dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation, can be made out of court between two parties, usually facilitated by a mediator. The mediator will take the role of ensuring that a settlement is reached, otherwise the dispute resolution process will require the coercive power of the courts to reach a settlement. In either case, a dispute resolution attorney may be used. During mediation an attorney, who is not bias in his position to facilitate the dispute, will ensure that an agreement is entered into between the two parties, while in litigated courses he/she will often represent a particular party in the dispute.

In either case, Ivan Zartz Attorneys offers its clients a professional team of dispute resolution mediators and attorneys. With experience and involvement in dispute resolution in cases involving family law as well as commercial law, Ivan Zartz Attorneys can provide the assistance that you desperately require.

Contact us today. 

Or check out our dispute resolution page to find out more about dispute resolution with regards to family conflicts.