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Co-operative Regulations Set Down

April 18, 2019

Department of Small Business Development

18 April 2019

Co-operative Regulations have been published.

The small business development department published the regulations in Government Gazette 42408 in terms of the Co-operatives Act.

The regulations focus on co-operative registration, governance and maintenance, financial reporting framework for co-operatives, co-operatives tribunal, co-operative development and support structures, winding up of co-operatives and judicial management of co-operatives.

Schedules cover fees, remuneration of liquidators and forms.

The regulations came into effect on 1 April 2019.

This is the date on which the Co-operatives Amendment Act came into force.

A key aspect of the act is the setting up of the Co-operatives Development Agency.

The agency will aim to:

• Help with governance and management of the co-operatives sector
• Lend support to the development of co-operatives as an organised sector
• Provide financial and non-financial support to the sector
• Provide business support services including pre-registration support, business plan development, mentorship and after-care to co-operatives.

The Tribunal will be tasked with handling disputes and conflicts as well as ensuring compliance with the provisions of the act. It will be placed within the trade and industry department.

Meanwhile, in Notice 594, the department published the Principles of Good Governance for Co-operatives.

The principles focus on co-operative identity; governance; members; management of co-operative; structure for decision-making in the co-operative; voting rights; constitution of a co-operative; restrictions on the functions of a co-operative; openness, transparency and accountability and self-assessment checklists.

The aim of the principles is to improve the quality of leadership that boards of directors and managers provide to their respective co-operatives.

“The principles seek to assist directors as well as managers to ensure compliance with legislative requirements as well as the requirements as stipulated in the co-operatives own constitution and to assist members of cooperatives to understand their rights as members of co-operatives.”

As stipulated in the act, all cooperatives are required to comply with the prescribed principles of good governance.