It has been almost 3 weeks since the last blog post and Rusties newsletter but we managed to set aside enough time to send out another one for June ’09 just in time before July arrives. Initially we planned on sending out a weekly newsletter but it will now be done on a monthly basis until Rusties has grown to employ a staff member as an editor to do writing, editing, copy writing and content aggregation.

In this article

Your Company website

This article identifies areas of concern generally associated with the implementation and management of a company website,and discusses new proposed amendments to the South African Law and how these could create possible risks for your business.
While every business website is different in its visual appeal and characteristics, there are significant similarities found amongst the most common South African websites, which are clearly identifiable by the intended working and expected interaction of visitors and/or users of the website.

Advertising and Transaction

The two most common website types in use are the Information Based Website also known as an Advertising Page and the Transaction / E-Commerce website.

The primary function of the above websites can be identified by the way your business intends operating over the internet. Your website may simply give your business a web-presence with basic information, contact details, services offered, which is not unlike an electronic advertisement. Or your website may be designed to generate business with advertisements of available stock, personal customer data collection and is capable of full electronic transactions over the internet with secure electronic payment facilities.

Don’t mislead

Even if your website is only used to advertise sales stock and/or special deals, you do not want to be held liable for misleading and/or incorrect information being posted on the website. The rule governing newspaper advertising and other media would arguably also be applicable to these specific circumstances. However, the opposite is also true that, if a company’s website does not have this basic protection, it is making itself vulnerable to unnecessary risks, both from a corporate governance perspective and possibly from a civil and criminal  perspective and possibly from a civil and criminal perspective.

It must be remembered that every visitor or user of your company’s website has the ability, in given circumstances, of concluding a valid and enforceable agreement/contract are regulated. This is where a carefully worded Disclaimer and Terms and Conditions included on the site will prove invaluable to the business. n addition, the implementation of a privacy policy, disclaimers and further terms and conditions applicable to the specific website would probably be required.

Respect Confidentiality

A further ares of concern is an evaluation of how your company website interacts with potential customers. As companies in South Africa know very well, a database of prospective clients is an invaluable commodity. If your business is obligated to ensure that this personal data is sufficiently protected from the open market, not sold to third parties and only used for the purposes for which it was collected.

This is one area where the South African Government has taken a firm stance in an attempt to protect the South African consumer. Government is currently in the process of drafting new legislation and amending older legislation to ensure that South Africa falls within internationally recognised standards for protection of personal data, and more specifically, when, where distributed on a national and international level.

There are many reasons for this, one of which is the stimulation of the South African e-commerce environment through a protected electronic commercial environment. With an estimated 4.5 million new South African Internet users and potential consumers by the end of 2010, we can understand why the Government wants to ensure a safer e-commerce environment.
What this may mean for your business is that the current voluntary compliance will become compulsory. The inclusion, implementation enforcement of potential penalties and fines will apply to any business which fails to comply with the appropriate legislation.

The above is a brief overview of the possible risks associated with operating and managing a company website. As such, no business decisions should be based upon the information supplied without consulting a specialist attorney who can identify and address your company’s specific needs and requirements.

Hannes Filander from NWCL

Interview with Hannes Filander from North West Cash Loans.

Hannes Filander from North West Cash Loans
click to enlarge

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am Hannes Filander and I am the manager of North West Cash Loans in Ridder St, East End, Rustenburg.

2. When did you start doing what you are doing and why?

I started in the cash loans business in June 2007 because I enjoy working with numbers and I have good collaboration skills.

3. What are your specialties?

To help people get loans and to maintain a good relationship beween my clients and myself.

4. What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me was to learn the programmes and procedures when people came in to apply for loans. It is a complicated system with many factors taken into consideration which requires time and patience to learn.

5. What is your one killer piece of advice?

At the end of the day you have to be honest with your clients and keep everything confidential. Most people are affraid and ashamed of going to cash loans so always keep their interests at heart.

New Business Listings for June ’09

Quite a few new Rustenburg businesses were keen on signing to Rusties for online advertising in June ’09. Most clients are shockingly impressed by our whopping prices and immediately sign the 12 months period to take advantage of reduced advertising premiums.

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