The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods was adopted and opened for signature at a diplomatic conference in Vienna on 11 April 1980. South Africa was not represented at the conference and the Department of Industries and Commerce has asked ASSOCOM to comment on the desirability of South Africa acceding to the Convention. There is the possibility, therefore, that the Convention will become part of our law. The purpose of the Convention is to achieve a universal law of international sale. As such it constitutes another step towards the ideal of global uniformity in the law of international commercial transactions. An analysis of the 101 articles contained in the convention is quite beyond the scope of a journal article. The purpose of this article is fourfold: (a) to place the Convention in some historical perspective; (b) to discuss the legal environment into which the Convention is being introduced; (c) to consider the form of the Convention and to refer specifically to those articles which define the sphere of application of the Convention, and to refer to the general provisions which are designed to steer national courts away from the conceptual peduliarities of their domestic legal systems and towards a universal construction of the Convention; (d) to evaluate the role of the Convention in bringing South Africa closer to a universal law of sale where the sale is an international one.
This discussion demonstrates that the nature of ownership of shares in South African law is imperfectly understood without reference to English law. It is evident that South African law has digested the English law concept of the share with some discomfiture, as in the case of trusts, but that for the future it should be possible to pick a way past the pitfalls of English equity on one side and the theoretical rigour of the civil law on the other.
Environmentally detrimental land use decisions are continuously being made in South Africa and unless a coordinated strategy is developed in terms of a uniform national policy in respect of the establishment, status and management of conservation areas, the retrograde tide may not be stemmed and potential conservation areas may be lost, possibly forever, while a considerable degree of uncertainty will continue to prevail with regard to the jurisdiction and management of existing areas. The formulation of a national policy to serve as a guide for the establishment of future conservation areas and for the rationalisation of the twenty-odd different types of conservation areas, currently in existence, is consequently of the utmost importance.
The article considers the predicament of widows under customary law in modern Zambia. In traditional society, women were not allowed to inherit from the estate of their deceased husbands. There were perhaps sound reasons for this rule based on the structure of traditional society. In modern society this rule can but work injustice and cause hardship. Read has observed that, "the customary laws based upon the traditions of rural life and family authority, can not be applied to the conditions of life in modern cities." This is more so when the rule relating to inheritance is derived from the fact that African marriage treated a woman as inferior to the husband in the marriage relationship. This paper examines the traditional rule, the reasons for the rule, and shows that the premise on which the rule was founded no longer exists. It is contended that its survival is in part, due to the failure of the courts to look at the rule analytically and critically. This means that many of the gross inadequacies of the law will continue unless rectified by legislation.
During the time of the Apartheid government, the accommodation of blacks outside the national states in the constitutional structure of the Republic of South Africa accentuated the longstanding issue of citizenship. South African citizenship legislation which compelled blacks outside the national states to exercise their rights of citizenship within the national states while maintaining their South African nationality, was generally justified by an appeal to international law. In terms of the distinction sometimes drawn between nationality as a concept of international law and citizenship as a concept of municipal law, we learn that nationality was merely a formal indication of state membership without concomitant rights and obligations, whilst citizenship implies the individual's political participation and his enjoyment of political rights. The much-acclaimed freedom of a state to make its own arrangements concerning its own nationality and citizenship without interference from international law, explains, in terms of this argument, how South Africa can deny citizenship to the majority of the South African population yet invest them with nationality for purposes of international protection.