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CIPC Briefs Parliament on Response to COVID-19

May 15, 2020

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

During the level 5 lockdown, approximately 270 000 companies applied for essential service certificates via the BizPortal system.

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) confirmed this during a briefing on its response to COVID-19 at a virtual meeting in parliament.

The CIPC added that, during the extension of the lockdown, all applied companies were issued with new certificates with additional wording so as to meet the additional requirements of the South African Police Service.

Following the move to alert level 4 on 1 May 2020, the CIPC was involved in additional essential service categories coming online.

Currently, approximately 360 000 companies have applied and received their essential service certificates.

The CIPC also pointed out that it “proactively and reactively revokes or withdraws certificates of companies who irregularly applied and informs the Ministry of same for auctioning through the SAPS–Support SAPS/Ministerial Litigation”.

At this stage, approximately 1300 certificates have been revoked and this will continue as more information becomes available.

The CIPC confirmed that, in terms of the practice note issued on 24 March 2020, and for the duration of the COVID-19 national disaster, the reckless trading provisions will not be invoked if the “CIPC has reason to believe that the companies are temporarily insolvent due to the national disaster”.

Meanwhile, in its briefing, the National Credit Regulator announced that, in terms of compliance monitoring post lockdown, it planned to review credit agreements entered into with consumers; intensify compliance monitoring through inspections and complaints assessments; conduct raids in smaller towns, townships and rural areas for illegal collection methods, such as the retention of bank cards, SASSA cards and ID books; analyse the performance of loan books of credit providers to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on consumers and issue a circular for credit providers and credit bureaus to submit monthly statistical reports to monitor the impact of COVID-19.