1887

n Journal for Juridical Science - Die sorgsaamheidsplig van trustees in die uitvoer van hulle beleggingsbevoegdhede : kan ons by die Engelse trustreg leer?

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Abstract

<b>Trustees' duty of care when performing investment duties : can we learn from the English law of trusts?</b> <br>It is settled law in South Africa that the trustee of a trust is unequivocally charged with the duty to invest the assets of the trust. However, in South Africa in the past, this duty has been qualified, with avoidance of risk seen as the trustee's number one priority when investing. The legislature and the judiciary mainly focused on providing safeguards for beneficiaries, therefore trustees were to avoid all risk to the capital of the trust. Despite economic realities, such as the devaluation of currencies and progressive inflation, the courts have continued to favour investment in interest-bearing securities. Most of the time trustees erred on the side of caution, following the judiciary's lead. Unfortunately, as it will be pointed out, this means that trustees are blind to their primary task, which is and always has been, to do the best for the beneficiaries.Trustees will have to expose the assets to at least some risk in order to outperform inflation, as the traditional investments are no longer sufficient. Change occured in English trust law with the introduction of the <I>Trustee Act 2000</I>. This Act removes the constraints that previous legislation imposed on trustees and imposes positive obligations on trustees which reflect the reality of modern investment practices. In this article, attention will be given to the legal position in South Africa regarding a trustee's duty of care pertaining to trust investments. Subsequently, the legal position of a trustee in terms of English law will be discussed in order to advance recommendations for future developement in South Africa.

Dit is gevestigde reg in Suid-Afrika dat die trustee van 'n trust onmiskenbaar verantwoordelik is vir die belegging van trustbates. In die verlede moes die trustee egter enige beleggings, waarin daar 'n mate van risiko bestaan het, vermy. Die wetgewer en die howe het hoofsaaklik gefokus op maatreëls wat beskerming aan begunstigdes kan verleen en op dié manier is die trustee verhinder om enige riskante beleggings te maak. Ten spyte van veranderinge in die wêreldekonomie, byvoorbeeld die de-evaluasie van geldeenhede en progressiewe inflasie, gaan die howe oor die algemeen voort om voorkeur te verleen aan beleggings wat 'n versekerde opbrengs, al is dit gering, lewer. Dit is te verstane dat trustees, in die lig van die howe se uitsprake, verkies om versigtig met trustbeleggings om te gaan. Ongelukkig beteken dit dat trustees nie hulle primêre taak, naamlik om die bes moontlike belegging vir begunstigdes te maak, nakom nie. Dit is noodsaaklik dat trustees trustbates behoort te kan blootstel aan 'n mate van risiko ten einde inflasie uit te oorlê, aangesien die tradisionele metodes van beleggings nie meer voldoende opbrengste bied nie. Die <I>Trustee Act&lt;/I&gt; 2000 het aansienlike veranderinge met betrekking tot die sorgsaamheidsplig van trustees in die Engelse reg teweeggebring. Aangesien die Suid- Afrikaanse trustreg op die Engelse trustreg geskoei is, kan dit nuttig wees om die sorgsaamheidsplig van trustees in die Engelse reg met dié van trustees in die Suid- Afrikaanse reg te vergelyk. In hierdie artikel word die sorgsaamheidsplig van die trustee in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg bespreek en vervolgens met die posisie in die Engelse reg vergelyk alvorens volstaan word met aanbevelings vir veranderings, indien enige, vir die posisie in Suid-Afrika.

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/content/juridic/30/1/EJC55549
2005-06-01
2016-12-02
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