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Companies Amendment Bill Published for Comment

October 5, 2021

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

The Draft Companies Amendment Bill has been published for comment.

According to the trade, industry and competition department, the draft bill aims to achieve three policy objectives, namely, improving ease of doing business; providing for greater transparency on wage ratios and addressing true or beneficial ownership of companies so as to address money laundering challenges.

In a briefing last week on the proposed legislation, the trade, industry and competition minister, Ebrahim Patel, pointed out that the proposed amendments “seek to update the Companies Act in light of developments in the field, address public concerns and improve the ease of doing business”.

The minister also highlighted that the draft bill focuses on remuneration policies and proposes a “transparency-driven approach, with clearer shareholder powers than what is currently the case”.

In an earlier statement, the department indicated that the draft amendments “set out to improve accountability and scrutiny on remuneration practices, promote shareholder activism and corporate governance”.

They also relieve companies of onerous, impractical and burdensome provisions contained in companies legislation and give South Africa instruments to undertake its role in the global offensive against illicit cross-border behaviour.

An earlier version of the draft bill was published for comment in 2018.

According to the department, the 2021 version is a redrafted bill with significant amendments.

Comment is invited until 31 October 2021.