THE DTI TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO COMPANIES ACT TO PROVIDE CLARITY ON COMPLIANCE WITH SOCIAL AND ETHICS COMMITTEES
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will approach Parliament to request permission to amend the Companies Act during this year. This was said by the Acting Deputy Director-General in the Consumer and Corporate Regulations Division of the dti, Mr MacDonald Netshitenzhe. He was speaking at the Social Ethics Committees (SECs) seminar hosted by the dti and the Companies Tribunal in Midrand, today.
Netshitenzhe said the legislation was not clear with regards to compliance of foreign companies with the clause on the creation of the SECs in the companies and how these companies should take responsibility with regards to ethics issues in the areas they operate.
“Most companies look at profit making and fail in the area of ethics. If the SEC is functional and provide proper advise within a company, this will have a positive impact on the brand of that company, which will in turn extend to profits, job creation and further sustainable growth of the company and subsequently the economy,” said Netshitenzhe.
He highlighted that currently things were not working as they were supposed to and that it was important for government and private companies to engage to ensure that the challenges were properly handled.
Speaking at the same event the Commissioner for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) Mr Rory Voller said the CIPC fully supports the review of the legislation. According to Voller, the CIPC would propose amendments in areas of public interest, shareholder supremacy as well as annual returns to see the role played by SECs.
“The criteria put into regulations for the SECs also needs to be looked at, to make the regulations more meaningful,” added Voller.
He echoed that the Companies Act needed to clarify compliance by foreign owned companies to the SECs.
A member of the Companies Tribunal Mr Khashane Manamela said 70% of the applications received by the Tribunal by companies to be exempted from the SECs were rejected during 2013 and 2014 financial year. He added that most applicants were not providing enough facts for the Tribunal to draw conclusions.
Manamela said among the 52 cases decided between September 2015 and January 2017, 37 were refused and only 13 were granted.
“We need clarity in the legislation, which could work as a guide to say what we should look at,” he said.
The seminar is attended by government officials, private companies, labour, non-government organisations as well as other entities of government.
Caption: The Acting Deputy Director-General in the Consumer and Corporate Regulations Division of the dti, Mr MacDonald Netshitenzhe addressing the SECs seminar in Midrand.
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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